Review: Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017)

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Rating:

Good to drive, with strong performance and keen handling. Improved from 2014, with up-to-date equipment.

Poor rear visibility. Firm ride with large wheels. Rear seats aren't very practical.

Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017): At A Glance

You might think the Volkswagen Scirocco, launched in 2008, would feel thoroughly out of date these days – but it’s still a surprisingly enjoyable and capable car. Sure, there are details scattered around that betray its age, like some dated-looking plastics, but the Scirocco still holds plenty of appeal as a sportier Golf alternative.

It might be a three-door, but it’s a surprisingly practical car – especially when you consider the effectively pointless rear seating in rival cars like the Peugeot RCZ. Adults might not be particularly comfortable in the back seats, but younger teenagers will be fine – just remember there are only rear two seats. The 312 litre boot is a good size, but a high load lip can make getting big items in and out tricky.  

On the road the Scirocco behaves like a slightly more agile Golf – no surprises here. The steering is well-weighted, responsive and accurate and the suspension tends to provide a good blend of comfort and body control, though it can be a little harsh over potholes and speed bumps. An optional suspension system lets owners choose between Normal, Comfort and Sport modes, but it’s expensive at more than £800.

Given the longevity of the Scirocco it’s no real surprise that there have been dozens of trim and engine variations over the years. Most of the petrol and diesel engines, with the exception of the lowly 125PS 1.4-litre petrol, provide ample performance and refined motorway cruising, while economy is generally decent.

The 2.0-litre TDI, available with 184PS or 150PS, is probably the best choice for most, providing impressive pace and in-gear torque, but with good fuel economy of 67.2mpg and emissions of 109g/km if you opt for the lower-powered option. The 184PS variant isn’t far behind with economy of 64.2mpg and emissions of 115/km.

Sciroccos produced from late 2014 get tweaked styling, with new lights, a new grille and new alloy wheel designs. There are a few interior tweaks too, including new upholstery finishes – but some of the plastics, like those used on the centre console, feel out of date compared to more recent Volkswagens like the latest Golf.

If you aren’t too bothered by the age of the Scirocco then you’ll find plenty to like. It’s good to drive, easy to live with, refined and its coupe looks haven’t gone out of date. The Peugeot RCZ was a strong rival, but production of that car has ended, making the Scirocco a good choice for those who want a well-finished, sporty coupe with some practical touches.

Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI 2008 Road Test

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Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4248–4256 mm
Width 1810–2080 mm
Height 1394–1406 mm
Wheelbase 2578 mm

Full specifications

The Scirocco is starting to show its age inside. The plastics, while still very sturdy, aren’t up to the very high standards of more recent cars from Volkswagen, including the Golf. That said, it’s still an impressively finished car that should stand up to the ravages of mud, spilt drinks and kicking feet well. 

In the latest models the dashboard layout has been livened up with a new pod of gauges, including oil and turbo boost pressure. There is also new equipment on offer in more recent examples of the Scirocco, including blind spot warning and a park assistance system that will automatically steer into spaces, with the driver controlling just the speed.

It isn’t the most practical car. Access to the rear seats is tight and the seats themselves are fairly cramped – and there are only two, rather than three. Smaller children will fit, of course, - and there is more space than in a Peugeot RCZ or Audi TT - but for those with taller teenagers or adults to carry in the back row, the Scirocco is best avoided.

The boot could be more practical too. The load area itself is fairly spacious at 312 litres, but the opening could be a better shape and the load lip is high, which makes getting heavy or bulky things in and out a bit of a chore. But some practical shortcomings are to be expected in a car like this – and it’s no worse than its rivals. 

Standard Equipment:

Entry-level cars get 17-inch alloy wheels, space saver spare wheel, LED rear tail lights, sports seats, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, 50:50 folding rear seats, fabric upholstery, touch-screen infotainment with DAB radio and USB/Aux-in, hill-hold assist, air conditioning, automatic headlights, automatic wipers and start/stop.

GT models gain 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome twin exhaust pipe finishers, tinted rear glass, two-zone climate control, parking sensors front and rear and part Alcantara seat trim.

R-Line models gain (over GT) 19-inch alloy wheels, R-Line styling pack, R-Line interior details, electrically adjustable front-seat lumbar support and leather upholstery.

R models gain Dynamic chassis control, lower sports suspension, R styling back and brake calipers, LED front running lights, bi-xenon headlights, gloss black rear diffuser, R front seats trimmed in leather, XDS differential lock.

 

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017) like to drive?

The Volkswagen Scirocco has been offered with a wide range of engines since its introduction in 2008. Volkswagen has steadily evolved its selection to improve economy and performance, so later cars are typically more responsive and economical than earlier ones, even if on paper the capacities and names are the same.

For example the original 2.0-litre TDI diesel produced 170PS and had emissions of 139g/km, with economy of 53.3mpg. Now you can get a 2.0-litre TDI that produces 184PS, yet has official economy of 64.2mpg and emissions of 115g/km. This is probably the pick of the Scirocco range, but lesser engines are perfectly capable too.

The 184PS diesel gets from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, more than a second faster than the 150PS diesel – but in-gear performance is fairly similar. For overtaking and slip roads it’s ample and, since peak torque comes in fairly low in the rev range, there’s no real need to work the gearbox when tackling a series of corners.

There are petrol options too - the basic 1.4-litre TSI 125 lacks punch, but the 180PS and 220PS 2.0-litre TSI petrol engines are responsive, sound good and give exciting performance. If you really need the best out of the Scirocco then the 280PS petrol in the R is the pick of the bunch, providing a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.5 seconds in the DSG variant or 5.7 seconds with a manual.

Even with one of the less powerful engine options under the bonnet, the Scirocco is a good car to drive. The steering is precise and nicely-weighted, while the gear change is precise and snappy. Through corners the Scirocco feels secure and planted, with impressive levels of grip and excellent body control. This can come at the expensive of ride comfort over poor surfaces, but for the most part the Scirocco is fairly comfortable.  

Buyers who enjoy trinketry can specify adaptive dampers, which can be adjusted between Sport, Normal and Comfort settings on the go. The difference between each of the modes isn’t huge, but it is noticeable, particularly when in Comfort on a long cruise or in Sport on a twisting road. For most, standard suspension is probably fine though - it's what we'd choose. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 TSI 43 mpg 8.0 s 154 g/km
1.4 TSI 122 44 mpg 9.7 s 149 g/km
1.4 TSI 125 52 mpg 9.7 s 125 g/km
1.4 TSI 160 DSG 45 mpg 8.0 s 147 g/km
2.0 TDI 140 55–63 mpg 9.3 s 118–134 g/km
2.0 TDI 140 DSG 51–58 mpg 9.3 s 129–145 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 67 mpg 8.6 s 109 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 61 mpg 8.6 s 119 g/km
2.0 TDI 170 53–55 mpg 8.1 s 134–139 g/km
2.0 TDI 170 DSG 50–51 mpg 8.1 s 144–147 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 55 mpg 7.9 s 134 g/km
2.0 TDI 177 DSG 51 mpg 7.5 s 144 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 64 mpg 7.5 s 115 g/km
2.0 TDI 184 DSG 59 mpg 7.5 s 125 g/km
2.0 TSI 180 46 mpg 7.4 s 139–142 g/km
2.0 TSI 180 DSG 44 mpg 7.4 s 148 g/km
2.0 TSI 210 38 mpg 6.9 s 172 g/km
2.0 TSI 210 DSG 38 mpg 6.9 s 174 g/km
2.0 TSI 220 46–47 mpg 5.0–6.5 s 139–142 g/km
2.0 TSI 220 DSG 44 mpg 6.5 s 148 g/km
R 2.0 TSI 265 35–35 mpg 5.8–6.0 s 187–189 g/km
R 2.0 TSI 280 35 mpg 5.8 s 187 g/km
R 2.0 TSI 280 DSG 36 mpg 5.6 s 185 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

87%

Real MPG

21–61 mpg

MPGs submitted

458

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I have £6000 for something reliable and stylish. Recommendations?

I have up to £6000 (could push for a little more) to spend on a car. I want a reasonably economical to run/repair model, but with a bit of punch and flair. I'm an older driver so the insurance bracket isn't so expensive for me. Head says Ford Fiesta, heart says DS3 or Scirocco! I drive around 8000 miles per year, mixed motorway/town. Very rarely more than two people in the car.
I'd recommend a Suzuki Swift Sport. It's fun to drive and has a very strong reputation for reliability: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/suzuki/swift-2010
Answered by Dan Powell
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What Cars Are Similar To The Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – 2017)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Design led, Diesel engine, Keen handling, Economical, Cheap Tax and Coupe.

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