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View all Volkswagen T-Roc reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

VW reboots its Cabriolet heritage... with an SUV

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet (20 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Traditional SUV attributes with wind-in-the-hair fun
  • Marks a return of convertibles to VW’s line-up
  • It certainly makes a statement

CONS

  • Less practical than the five-door T-Roc SUV

PROS

  • Traditional SUV attributes with wind-in-the-hair fun
  • Marks a return of convertibles to VW’s line-up
  • It certainly makes a statement

CONS

  • Less practical than the five-door T-Roc SUV

Details are so far scant, but initial information has emerged about the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, set to reach the UK market before the end of 2020.

Hang on – a soft-top version of the VW T-Roc SUV?

Yes, exactly that. Volkswagen’s had convertibles in its range for almost as long as the firm’s been in existence, with both the Beetle Cabriolet and the original Mk1 Golf Cabriolet having affectionate places in the hearts of many VW loyalists.

Volkswagen T-Roc SUV badge

In more recent times, convertibles have fallen out of favour with the buying public: VW didn’t replace its Eos hard-top convertible, while the last generation of Golf Cabriolet has yet to be succeeded either.

Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet side static

However, with the ever-growing popularity of SUVs – Volkswagen expects 40% of its output will be crossovers by 2020 – there’s scope to expand on the variety of high-rise bodystyles on offer, hence the T-Roc Cabriolet.

What competition will the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet face?

It’s such a small niche that – right now, at least – the VW has no direct competition, although that situation may be on the brink of changing by the time the T-Roc Cabriolet reaches showrooms.

Already on sale is the larger and significantly more expensive Range Rover Evoque Convertible, although that is also likely to have been replaced by the time the VW arrives

Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

Volkswagen has already previewed a concept version of its forthcoming smaller SUV, likely to be badged T-Cross, while it’s not inconceivable that upmarket sister brand Audi might have Q1 and Q3 Cabriolets in the pipeline.

Savvy competitor brands will doubtless be watching with interest, with feasibility studies ongoing to determine how easily their SUVs could be turned into convertibles.

How practical is the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet likely to be?

That remains to be seen, but self-evidently from the solitary official sketch that VW’s released, the Cabriolet will be less family friendly than the T-Roc SUV. Clearly it’s more of a lifestyle choice.

Most obviously, the T-Roc Cabriolet only has two side doors, meaning getting into the back will be more awkward than on its conventional sibling. We would also expect that due to the folding roof mechanism encroaching into the sides of the cabin that it will be a strict four-seater.

Volkswagen T-Roc SUV front static

Boot access will inevitably be inferior to the SUV alternative thanks to a stubby bootlid rather than a full-height tailgate. But, because the roof appears to be fabric-based, it should require less stowage space when retracted, allowing more of whatever boot volume there is to remain available.

Other Volkswagen T-Roc models: