Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a Volkswagen T-Roc?

There's much to recommend the T-Roc, but there are other interesting and desirable SUVs it competes against, not least the MINI Countryman, Toyota C-HR and Volvo XC40 to name a handful.

The Volkswagen T-Roc will definitely appeal to small families looking for something practical and yet funky to look at. It’s arguably easier on the eye than the Audi Q2, has more interior space than it and is a little cheaper too. Its highly configurable exterior and interior are other big positives that should really hit home with the buyers it's aimed at. However if you don't want that kind of thing, you can still have a typically restrained version with more muted colours. Very Volkswagen.

What isn't very Volkswagen is the quality of some of the interior plastics. We've become used to VWs coming with plush materials on the dashboard and doors, but the T-Roc's cabin is awash with harder, scratchier materials than you might expect. This is where it loses out to its Audi and MINI stablemates. 

It’s not as fun to drive as a MINI Countryman either, and it'll get expensive very quickly if you start clicking on the options when speccing your car. If you're looking for more space or value for your money, you'd be better served looking at something like a Renault Kadjar or even the SEAT Ateca. 

The good news is that you don't have to spend the most amount of money to get a better T-Roc. As is often the case, the mid-range models are the sweetest of spots, so we'd opt for a Design unless you want something decidedly more sporty, if only in appearance. We'd avoid the higher-spec models as the larger wheels result in quite a bumpy ride, especially with the R-Line and its 19-inch items.

The biggest portion sold come with the 1.6-litre TDI diesel engine, but this will soon be replaced with a 2.0-litre offering the same power. If you seek a petrol engine, we'd recommend the larger 1.5-litre if you can. Unless you're predominantly going to drive in cities, we'd recommend avoiding the lower-powered engines and going for one with at least 150hp.

Having a 110hp engine is fine in the smaller T-Cross or Skoda Kamiq, but the added bulk of the T-Roc is just a bit too much here - the gains in fuel economy will diminish as soon as you work the engine harder to get up to speed.

Performance fans will be well catered for with the T-Roc R as it shares the same engine as the Golf R, but even the diesels are a good fit if it's outright economy that's your main priority. 

Overall, the Volkswagen T-Roc will be a safe pair of hands for many small crossover buyers, but there's very little in the way of helping it stand out from the heavily-populated crowd. 

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