This sweet steering European SUV is a must try for potential buyers who love to drive, but not everything is up to scratch.
Small SUVs are all the rage, they’re as city-friendly as a hatchback but benefit from an increased ride height and improved forward vision.
We take a look at VW’s soon to be refreshed T-Roc 140TSI.
The two-tier Volkswagen T-Roc range kicks off at about $40,000 drive-away for the 110TSI model and tops out at about $48,000 for the sporty flavored 140TSI version tested here. The 140TSI is in run out before an updated version arrives in August, so you might get a deal.
The extra money gets you a potent turbo petrol engine, all-wheel drive and a sporty dual-clutch auto transmission.
It’s a steep asking price to get into the T-Roc range, but the 140TSI is on par to a similarly equipped Mazda CX-30. You’ll find cheaper range toppers with Kia and Hyundai badges, though.
Aimed at urban drivers the T-Roc blends funky styling with a decent level of stand kit.
It has desirable items such as LED lighting, red ambient interior lighting and 18-inch alloy wheels.
An eight-inch central touchscreen is compatible with wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and there’s a 10.25-inch digital display in front of the driver.
Both rows are serviced by multiple USB-C charging points, but the lack of a wireless device charging pad is disappointing.
VW covers its vehicles with the industry standard five-years/unlimited km. Servicing is expensive at $3367 for five years, but prepay at time of purchase and it’ll cost $2600 for five services.
Inside passengers are greeted by firm cloth seats with manual adjustments. Our test car was fitted with the $3500 Luxury pack that brings leather-bound heated sports seats, a panoramic sunroof and an electric tailgate for easy access to the boot.
A leather-wrapped, three spoke and flat-bottomed steering wheel and gear shifter with red contrast stitching is a nice touch.
The cabin is a let down by VW standards, though, as there’s plenty of hard, cheap feeling plastics. It wins back some points with rear-seat air vents and soft-touch seat backs.
The increased ride height makes getting in and out easy for older passengers and improves forward vision.
There’s a fair amount of tire roar over poorer quality road surfaces. Firm suspension makes for a sweeter steering SUV, but you’ll feel the bumps and lumps more.
The T-Roc is packed with active safety aids. The car will automatically apply the brakes if it detects a potential collision, pull you back into your lane if you wander and let you know if another car is in your blind spot. It will also sound an alarm if a car is approaching from the side as you reverse.
Front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera assist in tight spaces, while six airbags add further peace of mind.
The punchy 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine makes an impressive 140kW and 320Nm. That torque comes on early in the rev range, delivering plenty of oomph off the mark.
It’s matched to a seven-speed dual clutch auto that appeals to the car’s sporty nature, but can be a bit grabby at lower speeds.
Sharp and quick steering paired with all-wheel drive grip make light work of a twisting county back road.
The suspension borders on the firm side on pockmarked city streets, but provides excellent body control through the corners.
VW claims fuel use of 7.2L/100km and it requires pricier premium petrol.
Sporty SUV with a punchy engine but a less than inspiring cabin takes off some of the shine.
KIA SELTOS GT-LINE, FROM $45,290 DRIVE-AWAY
Can’t compete with the VW’s drive experience but has a longer seven year warranty.
MAZDA CX-30 ASTINA AWD, FROM ABOUT $49,000 DRIVE-AWAY
Handsomely styled with a healthy equipment list. Older, thirsty non-turbo engine.
HYUNDAI KONA N, FROM ABOUT $52,500 DRIVE-AWAY
Massive step up in performance and ability for not much extra spend. Not quite as easy to live with day to day.
VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC 140TSI SPORT VITALS
PRICE From about $48,000 drive-away
ENGINE 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol, 140kW and 320Nm
WARRANTY/SERVICING Five year/unlimited km, $3367 over five years or $2600 (prepaid)
SAFETY Auto emergency braking, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise
SPARE space saver
LUGGAGE 392 liters