Car Reviews

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Review

Our independent 2020 VW T-Roc review in Australia, including price, specs, interior, ride and handling, safety and score.

Volkswagen’s new T-Roc is a great addition to the small SUV crowd. It’s compact yet spacious where it counts, and of course, there’s a lot of contemporary styling to stand out. But it’s also it endowed with some very smart technology and plenty of great safety technology.

What does it cost?

There are two variants and pricing starts at $33,990 plus on-roads for the 110TSI Style, and $40,490 plus on-roads for the T-Roc 140TSI Sport. The 110TSI has a smaller, and less powerful, engine than the 140TSI.

Standard equipment on the 110TSI Style includes active cruise cruise control, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry with folding mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels and a swathe of active safety measures. This model has a smaller 1.4-litre petrol engine.

The 140TSI Sport scores a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine and, beyond the powerful engine, also has an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, city AEB with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, lane guidance, rear cross-traffic alert, park assist, LED headlights, automatic wipers and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

What’s the interior like?

The design inside mirrors many VW products – generally long horizontal lines without much clutter. The surfaces inside are a mix of hard and soft plastics, but most of the touchpoints are made from quality material. 

Front and centre is an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Devices can connect via USB ports (both with CarPlay/Android connectivity) and the screen has a high-resolution screen with punchy colours. It pairs well with the digital cockpit dash that has a similar resolution and vibrance to it.

The front seats have plenty of adjustment to get into a good position, and headspace is generous throughout the cabin with clearance not an issue despite a slightly smaller appearance outside. The seats themselves are well constructed and feel durable, but they’re not plush nor overly hugging. The rear seats are less chunky than the front seats but offer a similar level of support. The legroom in the rear is surprisingly roomy, and a wide door aperture makes entry and exit easy. Three large kids or two adults would be quite content travelling long distances.

The boot holds a reasonable 445 litres of capacity. It’s enough for fitting items like prams and kids sports gear into and, compared to some others CX-3, it seems large. The seats split fold to increase space to 1290 litres, which is a pretty large space for something like a bike of snowboards.

What’s it like to drive?

Around town, the T-Roc is quiet both idling and poking around, with smooth light steering feel and a good amount of clear vision throughout the cabin. The 110TSI provides a reasonable amount of herbs at 110kW but it’s the 140TSI 2.0-litre petrol turbo, with 140kW and 320Nm, that’s a real goer and offers plenty of zip.

There’s no doubt that the 140TSI is almost in pocket-rocket territory and has no problem at all keeping up on the freeway and performing quick overtaking moves.

Further out of town and the T-Roc feels quick to turn in on twisting roads. The steering is a bit light but its also precise and sharp enough to be engaging. Dynamically, the T-Roc has minimal body roll and with all-wheel drive it has minimal understeer in even wet conditions, and the chassis feels well balanced and is fun to direct through twisty roads.

The safety assistance systems, such as blind-sport monitoring and adaptive cruise control, are well integrated and worked properly. The adaptive cruise control kept within 2-3km/h of its set speed when descending hills – better than some other models tested lately.

What about safety features?

The Volkswagen T-Roc carries a full five-star ANCAP rating.

Active safety features include AEB, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic headlights and wipers, rear-view camera, two ISOFIX anchors and top tether child-seat anchors (rear seats).


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