Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Clean, well laid-out cabin
  • Lots of useful tech available
  • Material quality cheapens feel

Jump into the VW T-Roc and you’re greeted by a bright, contemporary interior. It’s instantly recognisable as a Volkswagen too, thanks to the same steering wheel, climate controls and switchgear used elsewhere in the brand’s range.

However, thanks to the added colour on many models, it somehow feels like a more cheerful proposition than a lot of Volkswagen’s other cars while brightening up the cabin. The sportier R-Line anad R models stick with sombre black and grey colour schemes, however, and the black headlining really darkens the cabin - which can be offset with the optional panoramic roof.

The dashboard is angled towards the driver, which makes their life a little easier, while the optional interior customisation choices add an extra layer of appeal.

Given the price point of the T-Roc, we think the quality of the plastics used should feel more expensive, like those in a Golf, where there's plenty of tactile delight and squidgy mouldings. Instead, it feels more like a Polo - robust, well assembled, but with lashings of hard materials. The creaky door-mounted grab handles and flimsy switchgear above the climate control cluster don't give a great first impression.

Go to town with the options list and you’ll be surprised what your T-Roc can do. We’d specify the Active Info Display in a heartbeat – the display is pin-sharp and means you can have a range of different display formats and graphics right below your eye line; even the full map system on some models. The infotainment screen is pin-sharp, too, and features loads of connectivity options.

Is the T-Roc comfy?

  • Quiet cabin when driving
  • Supportive seats with lots of adjustment
  • Avoid larger wheels for greater comfort

All in all, the T-Roc is a comfortable car to be in. The seats look and feel a little flat to sit on, and could do with a little more side bolstering and lumbar support, but they're firm enough to remain supportive on longer journeys. Heated seats are available to keep you warm during the chilly winter periods, and you can choose from cloth or leather upholstery in a range of different colours and patterns.

We experienced fewer complaints with the more heavily bolstered seats on the sportier T-Roc R, which come with added side support, while both this and R-Line models come with sections of Alcantara to hold you in place securely without ever feeling like you're being gripped too tightly.

Most drivers will be able to feel at home in a T-Roc quickly - the overall driving position is exactly what you’d expect from a small SUV. You sit higher than a conventional hatchback, offering more visibility, and the steering wheel has plenty of reach and angle adjustment.

Those sat in the rear have their own air vents and a 12-volt power socket to get through long journeys, but as mentioned in the Practicality section, there isn't much legroom for taller passengers. There's not much advantage over a Golf hatchback in this respect, but you do at least get feet space under the front seats and more headroom.

The higher the spec, the firmer the ride quality

It's no great surprise that the ride comfort in the T-Roc is very similar to a Golf; well-damped, but can get unsettled if you spec the larger wheel options. Sharper road imperfections are rounded off by the suspension, though, so they don’t feel as abrupt as you'd expect when you drive over them. If you want even more supple suspension, the Skoda Karoq is a better bet,

High-spec R-Line models struggle the most with their 19-inch wheels at low speeds, but it does improve as you head towards the motorway. Even when optioned with the Dynamic Chassis Control - which brings adaptive suspension to adjust the firmness in various drive modes - this particular T-Roc continues to fidget over road surfaces even in its softest Comfort setting.

Thankfully, switching to Sport mode isn’t treacherous either, as there isn't a great difference between the settings, but it's not worth the extra outlay.

When it comes to the high-performance R model, it's hardly surprising that the ride can be just as fidgety, but again, this improves as speeds increase. Plus, given the lowered sports suspension on this model is here to improve body control, it's perhaps a more accepting compromise.

If you view the T-Roc R in relation to conventional hot hatches out there, the extra suspension travel in this SUV means it's still more forgiving than some. It can be annoying on a temporary basis, but it's never jarring or particularly unforgiving.

Wind noise is minimal, so if you couple that with the quieter TSI petrol engines there’s hardly any noise on the move at all. The diesels sound a little gruffer, which increases the engine noise inside the cabin, but it’s not deafening. Road noise can be an issue on the motorway with those larger wheels and lower profile tyres, however.

You can option the 'beats' soundpack to drown this out, which brings a subwoofer and a 400w speaker output, but we found the sound quality disappointing. It’s punchy, but not that clear either as the sounds distorts when you set the levels halfway up. It's powerful enough to drown out the road noise over rough surfaces but it sounds underwhelming.