3.5 out of 5 3.5
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Volkswagen reboots its Cabriolet heritage... with a soft-top SUV

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Review Video
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At a glance

New price £27,195 - £35,060
Used price £18,920 - £31,570
Used monthly cost From £472 per month
Fuel Economy 39.8 - 44.8 mpg
Road tax cost £155
Insurance group 13 - 22 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Traditional SUV attributes with wind-in-the-hair fun
  • Very practical for a cabrio
  • Well-equipped as standard
  • It certainly makes a statement...

CONS

  • Rear seats not as useful as SUV's
  • Cabriolet quite a bit pricier, too
  • Reduced engine range with no diesel
  • Handling becomes a bit wobbly

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet rivals

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

Is the VW T-Roc Cabriolet any good?

As regular family hatchbacks are pushed out of favour and replaced in the affections of the nation by SUVs, it was only a matter of time before the same happened to convertibles. Consider the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet the natural evolution of deceased cars like the Golf Cabriolet, Renault Megane Cabriolet or Vauxhall Astra TwinTop – it’s a soft-top based on the sort of regular model that people actually buy.

As a result it’s a completely different proposition to dedicated roadsters like the Mazda MX-5, with the focus being very much on comfort and ease of use. And do you know what? Amazingly, it’s a very likable package. So likable, in fact, that we shortlisted the T-Roc Cabriolet for our Sun-Seekers Car of the Year in 2021.

Once you look past the ridiculousness of a high-riding SUV that’s had its roof chopped off and its practicality neutered, the T-Roc Cabriolet offers a way for anybody to have access to miles upon miles of blue sky, but without having to pay a fortune for a premium four-seat cabriolet or squeeze themselves into a two-seat roadster.

Volkswagen will tell you it’s the first crossover SUV – it’s not, that honour goes to the Range Rover Evoque Convertible (or the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet – though that was never available in the UK).

What’s it like inside?

Up front, it’s pure Volkswagen T-Roc. And that’s no bad thing. This is a Volkswagen interior from a generation past, meaning it gets a far more conventional layout than the current Golf, for example. There are more clicky buttons, with fewer functions relegated to the touchscreen, while the infotainment software is clear, simple and responsive – not something we can say about VW’s latest system.

There three trim levels all get this impressive touchscreen. Optionally available are Volkswagen’s digital dials, which are clear and bright and rather more slick-looking than the analogue alternatives.

The rest of the cabin is far from exciting, though optional colour packs – matched to the exterior shade – do brighten things up. However, the plastics are unyieldingly hard and in places, quite nasty.

What models and trims are available?

There are three trim levels – Design, Active and R-Line. All cars come with a power roof, all-round parking sensors, alloy wheels, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Standard safety equipment is generous, too – adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking and a driver attention alert are all included.

Active grade brings the ‘Winter’ pack with heated seats, which we’d consider essential, as well as dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, and foglights, while range-topping R-Line gets a visual makeover along with the digital dial pack, LED headlights and sports seats.

What’s it like to drive?

The T-Roc Cabriolet is definitely best for cruising – keen drivers won’t enjoy the gratuitous amounts of body roll and body shake due to its lack of stiffness.

The lack of cornering finesse also makes something of a mockery of the Dynamic Chassis Control that’s available as an option. Our advice? Don’t bother – stick to the lower-spec model, save a few quid, and just drive more slowly. When you do, you’ll find the T-Roc Cabriolet a fairly comfortable cruiser, aided by supportive seats that keep the front occupants very cossetted.

Wind buffeting is kept to a minimum, too, and with the windows up and the wind deflector in place you can almost have a conversation at normal volume.

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet rivals

Other Volkswagen T-Roc models: