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VW's smallest SUV gets sporty R-Line trim

PROS

  • You can guarantee that it’ll be the coolest small crossover you can buy
  • R-Line specification promises to put the Sport in 'SUV'

CONS

  • But will it be worth a premium over its sister VWG products?

Verdict

The 2017 Volkswagen T-Roc is the German carmaker's pitch at a rival for the big-selling Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, as well as the still-popular Nissan Juke. It’s basically an all-new SUV that’s usefully-sized for city-dwellers.

It’s based on the same platform as the Volkswagen Polo and shares similar dimensions to the SEAT Arona as well. 

At the Frankfurt motor show in 2017 an R-Line version was confirmed featuring a sporty bodykit. 

VW T-Roc R-Line

In its first official statement about the T-Roc, Volkswagen says that it, ‘combines the effortless superiority of an SUV with the agility of a sporty, compact model.’

It promises to be roomier than a Juke

The T-Roc is smaller than the VW Tiguan (252mm shorter) but shares the larger car’s styling and design. It’s smartly packaged too, so you can expect a large 445-litre boot, expandable to 1,290 litres with the 60/40 split rear seats folded.

Inside the car there is plenty of storage too, with a large box in front of the centre stack featuring two USB ports and optional wireless charging like we’ve seen in the SEAT Ateca.

This is also the first VW SUV you can have with a contrasting paintjob, which should emphasise what Wolfsburg describes as a ‘coupe-style’ sloping roof.

What engines does the VW T-Roc have?

The T-Roc will launch with Volkswagen’s 1.0-litre TSI petrol three-cylinder engine in 115hp form, as well as the new 150hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with active cylinder deactivation technology for boosting fuel economy. It works well in the Golf, so expect it to work very well here.

There’s also a 2.0-litre 190hp petrol, but whether the UK will get this is yet to be seen.

Diesels are on the agenda, despite VW’s move away from these, so if they make it to the UK, expect the excellent 1.6-litre TDI turbodiesel motor in 115hp form, plus 150hp and 190hp versions of the 2.0-litre diesel to be popular choices.

As for gearboxes, there is the standard mix of five- and six-speed manuals and seven-speed DSG automatic transmissions. The top engines are all-wheel drive/DSG only, while the smallest are exclusively 2WD/manual. Those 150hp units come with all of the options.

Big car levels of equipment available 

Being based on the Polo, expect lots of ‘big-car’ technology to be offered, such as wireless phone charging, keyless entry/keyless goadaptive cruise controlApple CarPlay/Android Auto and automatic parking.

Safety is also a priority, with high-tech kit such as multi-collision braking (applies the brakes after a crash to stop further incidents), hill-hold control, blindspot monitor and cross traffic alert available. As standard you get front assist with city emergency braking and lane assist.

Other tech highlights include the next-generation Active Info Display (11.7-inch digital dials), plus optional LED headlights, 300-watt Beats stereo, and a huge panoramic glass sunroof.

What equipment grades are there?

As well as the standard car there are two higher trims called Style and Sport. The former gets you white ambient lighting inside, a contrasting roof, customisable interior trim panels, 17-inch wheels, and a silver underbody guard.

Sport has a performance look and benefits from tinted rear windows and lights, aluminium pedals, red ambient lighting, red brake calipers, 17-inch wheels, black roof liner and sports seats.

There’s an R-Line package too with special sporty bumpers and side sills, as shown below:

VW T-Roc R-Line launched

An optional Sport pack offers firmer suspension and more responsive steering.

When can I buy one?

The T-Roc launches for Europe in November with some early pre-sales in September.

Keep an eye out for the full Volkswagen T-Roc review coming soon on Parkers

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