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Will T-Roc be a VW best seller?

Created on 28/03/2018 @ 09:41

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

It may be late arriving to the Crossover party but Volkswagen’s new T-Roc already looks to be enjoying the celebrations.

The Crossover market has become the most competitive in the motoring sector and the big question is why it took Volkswagen so long to join the rest?

VW bosses may well have been studying the opposition before launching because T-Roc arrives with them confidently boasting it will not just become a major player in the sector but could become the company’s best seller – better even than Golf.

That’s the boldest prediction I’ve heard in the motor industry for a very long time and if the Design 1.0 TSi 115ps model we tested is any guide those suits at VW may well be onto something.

There’s now massive competition in this look-alike sector, even from Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca in the company’s own garages. And both those models are cheaper and bigger.  So what has VW done to produce a car predicted to become one of Britain’s best selling cars?

The answer is the production of an eye-catching car with sporty styling, a coupe like profile and a big range of personalisation options which sits just beneath the popular Tiguan and above the soon-to-arrive T-Cross, representing a key element of the company’s SUV offensive.

T-Roc measures 4,234 mm long – that’s 252 mm shorter than the Tiguan - and it has a 2,603 mm wheelbase. The SUV’s width is 1,819 mm and its height is 1,573 mm. Golf measures 4,255 mm long, 1,452 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2,637 mm.

Luggage space in the five-seat T-Roc is generous with one of largest luggage compartments in its class at 445 litres when loaded up to the top of the second-row seat backrests. Its styling is also defined by its short overhangs and large track widths.

T-Roc is offered in S, SE, Design, SEL and R-Line trims, with a generous standard specification throughout. Standard-fit items across the range include 2Zone electronic climate control; Composition Media infotainment system with eight-inch colour touch-screen, Bluetooth telephone and audio connection, DAB radio reception, USB connectivity and charging, and 6 x 20W speakers; minimum 16-inch alloy wheels and extensive passive and active safety equipment.

Personalisation and style are key elements of the new car’s appeal, and T-Roc comes with an expansive range of colour, trim and equipment options.

Design models, in particular, offer a wide variety of styling features, and choice. Aside from advanced features such as chrome-effect trapezoid exhaust tailpipe surrounds left and right, the T-Roc Design offers a choice of contrasting roof, A-pillar and door mirror housing colours; rear tinted glass from B-pillar backwards; and sport-styled bumpers with silver-metallic underbody protection.

Inside, Design models provide a choice of coloured dashpad and interior door panels alongside standard-fit features such as ambient lighting in the front footwells and light strips below the front door trims.

Interface designers have further developed the Active Info Display and its high-quality graphics for new T-Roc. Standard on SEL models, and optionally available on other T-Rocs (excluding S), the new Active Info Display now offers an interplay with the car’s specific infotainment system to create a digital and interactive cockpit.

The systems have been customised for a maximum range of online services and apps via smartphone and Volkswagen Car-Net. The phone and media library have also been integrated optimally. Both of these functions can be displayed and controlled via the Active Info Display, as well as via the infotainment system.

The 8-inch infotainment systems can be extended with App Connect (integrated MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ from Google). In addition, Volkswagen also offers the “Security & Service” package in the new T-Roc which provides support in a wide variety of situations. Highlights include Emergency Service, Automatic Accident Notification and Roadside Assistance.

Like its larger Tiguan sibling, the new T-Roc will in time be offered with a broad range of turbocharged engines: three petrol engines (TSI) and two diesels (TDI) units, with – depending on engine choice – the option of manual or DSG automatic gearboxes and in front- or 4MOTION all-wheel drive formats.

Every all-wheel drive version of the T-Roc also has 4MOTION Active Control with driving profile selection as standard. The system is operated via 4MOTION Active Control on the centre console. The driver uses it to activate four higher-level modes and various pop-up menus. When the rotary switch is turned to the left, one of the two on-road profiles is activated: ‘Street’ and ‘Snow’.

The Design 1.0 TSi on test came with ESC, EDL, ASR and EDTC stability options, all-round airbags, driver alarm assist, automatic lights, and tyre pressure indication.

For added convenience the model had battery regeneration, stop/start function, heated door mirrors, rain sensor wipers, lane assist, cruise control, radar-controlled distance monitoring, predictive pedestrian protection and parking sensors.

The test car checked in at £21,900 but the addition of the full navigation information system, active info display, winter ack, silver roof rails, pre-crash protection, upgraded 18inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, front fogs, an electric tailgate, wireless smartphone charger and colour personalisation pushed the price up to a £26,000.

There was a claimed top speed of 116mph and 0-62mph in 10.1 seconds and CO2 emissions of 117g/km – impressive figures from a 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol engine which was fitted with a turbocharger with electric boost pressure regulation.

It’s a massive ask for this new car to outsell Golf but it’s certainly going to be a player in the Crossover sector.

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