Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet (2020) Review

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Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet (2020) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
It would be easy to be dismissive of the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, to write it off as a novelty act. But it’s better than that, and we welcome anything that breaks free of the norm. Just how abnormal do you want to be?

+The only convertible SUV you can buy new – exclusivity is guaranteed, excellent level of standard equipment, guaranteed to turn heads especially with the roof down.

-Far less practical than the standard Volkswagen T-Roc, heavy roof mechanism blunts the driving experience.

Volkswagen predicts that crossovers and SUVs will soon account for 40 percent of its overall sales. With this in mind, the launch of the T-Roc Cabriolet makes a lot of sense. It is, after all, a drop-top version of the funky T-Roc crossover. It’s at this point that we’d like to reel off a list of rivals to the T-Roc Cabriolet. Only we can’t, because this car stands in a field of one. Since the demise of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, this is your only option if you fancy some topless crossover action.

Looking for a Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet (2020 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

The T-Roc Cabriolet is the only new Volkswagen convertible you can buy. The drop-top versions of the Golf and Beetle have been consigned to the history books, making this your only choice if you fancy some wind-in-your hair motoring with a Volkswagen badge on the front.

In fact, it’s the only new convertible SUV you can buy. Volkswagen is banking on the enduring popularity of crossovers and SUVs extending to the convertible market. It might seem like an odd combination, but the T-Roc Cabriolet makes more sense than you’d think.

You might recall that Land Rover launched a convertible version of the Range Rover Evoque. It achieved only limited success, so Volkswagen’s decision to remove the roof from the T-Roc SUV is both brave and ambitious. Does it have what it takes to succeed where the Evoque failed? Definitely, maybe.

It’s cheaper, so that’s a start. You’d be looking at a starting price of around £50,000 for a new Range Rover Evoque, but the smaller T-Roc Cabriolet costs around half that for the entry-level version. A top-spec model costs less than £34,000 before options, so the monthly cost of a PCP deal shouldn’t break the bank.

Perhaps sensibly, Volkswagen hasn’t unveiled a long list of engines and trim levels. A case of the company hedging its bets?

There’s no diesel engine, so your choice is limited to a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol. Of the two, we’d favour the 1.5 TSI. It’s only marginally less economical than the 1.0 TSI, but it’s more refined, which makes driving a more pleasant experience, especially with the roof down.

The 1.5 TSI is also available with an optional seven-speed DSG transmission, which seems to suit the T-Roc Cabriolet’s smooth and relaxed vibe. Either way, this isn’t a car that likes to be hurried.

The weight of the roof mechanism blunts the performance and makes the car feel unwieldy when cornering. Slow down and count the number of people looking at you as you drive by. The T-Roc Cabriolet will turn heads.

Of the two trim levels, the more affordable Design model is easier to recommend. It offers a generous level of equipment, while the 17-inch alloy wheels and standard suspension combine to deliver a softer and more comfortable ride. The 19-inch alloy wheels and lowered suspension of the R-Line trim might have kerb appeal, but the ride quality suffers as a result.

Predictably, the T-Roc Cabriolet feels like a quality product, but it’s let down by questionable practicality. There simply isn’t enough space in the back, while the luggage capacity is woeful. It might be based on an SUV, but you need to view it as a convertible designed for two, with the rear seats reserved for extra luggage space.

What does a Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet (2020) cost?

Buy new from £17,995 (list price from £21,440)