Volkswagen T-Roc Review 2023
Volkswagen T-Roc At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 10–24
On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure
The Volkswagen T-Roc has been given a round of mid-life updates in 2022, improving an already popular small SUV. With a solid and practical cabin, a refined and comfortable drive and plenty of engine choices, the VW T-Roc in this review is a sensible - if unexciting - buy.
The Volkswagen T-Roc is one of those cars that sits between two sectors. It's technically a small SUV, so key rivals include the Ford Puma, SEAT Arona and Peugeot 2008, but VW also has the T-Cross to compete with those. The T-Roc is also based on the Volkswagen Golf, making it larger and more refined.
The T-Roc sits between the Taigo and Tiguan in VW's line-up, to make things even more confusing. It's almost a competitor for the Nissan Qashqai, but lines up more closely in price and size with cars such as the Honda HR-V, Renault Arkana and Mazda CX-30. Confused? We bet you are.
Wherever it fits, the T-Roc has struck a chord with buyers, and in a bid to increase that desirability it's been given a mid-life facelift. The range starts from £25,000, with the regular T-Roc strange now split into just three core trim levels: Life, Style and R-Line. All three are well-equipped, with even the most affordable Volkswagen T-Roc Life featuring an eight-inch infotainment system, 16-inch alloy wheels and a range of driver-assist systems.
The majority of T-Roc buyers opt for one of the petrol engines: there's a 1.0-litre, a 1.5 and even a 2.0-litre with four-wheel drive. The latter will be quite expensive to run so, unless you really need the reassurance of all-wheel drive, we'd look at one of the smaller engines. In fact, the little 1.0-litre is perhaps the sweetest, with eager performance and impressive refinement for a three-cylinder engine.
You can also get a diesel Volkswagen T-Roc (increasingly rare, especially in a small SUV like this). Although the T-Roc was previously offered with an underpowered 1.6-litre diesel, it's now available with a 2.0-litre with a variety of power outputs and a choice of two- or four-wheel drive as well as manual and DSG automatic gearboxes. If you need to tow a caravan with your T-Roc, the 2.0-litre TDI could be ideal.
As well as the standard T-Roc range, you can also get the hot Volkswagen T-Roc R range-topper with its 300PS petrol engine and even a T-Roc Cabriolet soft-top. The latter is a pretty unique car, harking back to the old Range Rover Evoque Convertible.
The Volkswagen T-Roc has a higher driving position than a lot of small SUVs, giving you a good view of your surroundings. It's also got a softer suspension setup than many, which helps on bumpy road surfaces (although it's not quite as rewarding to drive as a Ford Puma).
It also has a spacious interior, meaning you could use the T-Roc as your main family car. Its boot is considerably bigger than you'd find in a Volkswagen Golf, while there's an impressive amount of headroom for rear-seat passengers.
The Volkswagen badge is synonymous with quality but that was lacking slightly in early T-Roc models. There were quite a few harsh plastics and the cabin wasn't upmarket enough to tempt buyers away from alternatives like the MINI Countryman.
The 2022 facelift brought with it a redesigned dashboard with a classier finish and an improved eight-inch infotainment display, as well as an eight-inch digital instrument cluster.
These improvements mean the Volkswagen T-Roc is now more competitive than ever before, and should be high on your small SUV shortlist.