Volkswagen cars are often considered benchmarks in their class. For example, a balance of driving qualities, ergonomic and comfortable interior, good equipment and modern equipment, liquidity during resale. The list of such advantages is worth a lot. But is it all justified in the end? Let’s try to figure it out on the example of the Volkswagen T-Roc, which has recently been updated.

Design: it’s like “Golf Plus”

Yes, yes, I am aware that such a car once existed: it was an enlarged version of the usual Golf, frozen halfway from a hatchback body to a minivan body. But the fact is that the Volkswagen T-Roc crossover is also like a “Golf with a plus”. In the sense that the size and design of the car somewhat resembles the seventh Volkswagen Golf: straight longitudinal lines, a wide solid rear roof rack, a typical C-class overall length of 4.23 meters. But this “plus” is provided by cross hints in the form of slightly increased ground clearance (161 mm) and protective overlays.

The Volkswagen T-Roc update brought not radical, but noticeable changes. A new bumper with changed hexagonal inserts appeared in front, headlights with the IQ.Light designation are now installed, new wheel rim options have been added, and the rear bumper has also changed. If you know where to look, you can quickly recognize the updated Volkswagen T-Roc crossover.

Volkswagen T-Roc crossover looks compact – and it really is: length 4.23 meters, width 1.82 meters, height 1.57 meters, wheelbase 2.59 meters. But it also looks “strong”: this impression is created by the wide roof rack and massive outlined wheel arches. If you compare the updated Volkswagen T-Roc with the first incarnation of this model (photo at the end of the gallery), the changes are noticeable in the shape of bumpers, new headlights and wheel rims.

If the appearance of the model has evolved, then there has been almost a revolution in the interior! This is a level of not an update, but the launch of a completely new generation of the car: the front panel has a new shape and is made of a new soft material, the central display is now installed on a separate podium, and the ventilation deflectors are located below it (previously they were located to the right/left of the display). Moreover, in addition to such significant changes, there are also many small ones: a new steering wheel (I welcome this!), a new “climate” unit with sensor control (this not so much…), an automatic transmission lever with illumination of the selected position. So, the front part of the interior has changed a lot!

But the back remained almost untouched. Everything here is at an average level: not bad, but not impressive. For example: not too much space for the knees – but, thankfully, plenty of room for the head. Another example: there are no adjustments for the rear row of seats – but, thankfully, there is an armrest with glass holders and ventilation deflectors. Against this background, the trunk is still pleasantly impressive: a sufficiently large volume of 445 liters, a floor with the possibility of changing the height level, additional side niches, an electric lid drive. Well done for working so carefully on every detail.

Compare the two interiors – new (first photo) and previous (next): changes in the shape of the front panel, frames of the display, ventilation deflectors are immediately noticeable. But the image conveys the main thing: from now on, better “soft” materials are used for the front panel! The seat is comfortable, the range of settings is sufficient, good visibility. Personally, only the sensory “climate” prevents me from calling the ergonomics standard. But otherwise, yes, it is almost a benchmark. As for the rear part of the interior, it does not impress the imagination, but it makes it possible to comfortably transport two adults. The trunk deserves recognition not so much for its volume, but for attention to details – which, after all, serve convenience.

Equipment: familiar “software”, the latest equipment

Generally speaking, the Volkswagen T-Roc car is built on the MQB platform, provides for the use of gasoline and diesel engines, offers front or all-wheel drive. However, in Ukraine, the Volkswagen T-Roc crossover is offered only with a 1.5-liter TSI gasoline engine paired with a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. However, the details are important. For example, the EA211 series engine has a turbine, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and can switch to a 2-cylinder mode of operation to save fuel. The transmission is automatic with a double clutch and the possibility of preselective (preliminary) selection of gears. However, the Volkswagen T-Roc model had the same technology before the update.

What has changed? Basically, the equipment. Moreover, when studying the equipment in detail, one sometimes thinks that this car should have been called the Volkswagen IQ: the new “smart” IQ.LIGHT LED headlights are able to flexibly control their light, the IQ.DRIVE system complex monitors the “blind spots” behind, the distance to the car in front, controls the linearity of movement. Moreover all these systems are active: not only do they warn and flash a warning, but they can also influence the driving process to avoid trouble. In addition, the updated crossover Volkswagen T-Roc also received an updated version of the “digital cockpit”: the test car was equipped with a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro display and a multimedia system of the modern generation MIB 3 – this means an expanded list of functions, customization options, menu items.

Under the hood – a 1.5-liter gasoline engine paired with a 7-speed gearbox, plus front-wheel drive. In general, this technology has not changed since the start of car sales on the Ukrainian market. But the equipment has changed: new headlights, a new version of the digital cockpit, etc.

Behind the wheel: a standard of behavior on the road?

Yes, it is very close to it. To understand the high class set by the Volkswagen T-Roc crossover, you need to try many other cars. And then you suddenly notice how easily and effortlessly the T-Roc turns: it follows the steering wheel as if following the driver’s thoughts. Clear and fast, without pauses or delays, without semi-tones or trying to “push” a too heavy steering wheel. After all, the Volkswagen T-Roc steering wheel, on the contrary, is quite light and with medium sharpness (barely more than 2.5 turns from stop to stop), but in it you appreciate the overall relationship with the car and the clarity of command execution. And you also appreciate the fact that with such control settings, the car’s suspension maintains a normal level of comfort. The crossover easily and effortlessly overcomes a variety of bumps, without excessive shakes or kicks, it does not frighten you with swaying from below (and it is a quiet car in general). You drove by, almost did not notice – and forgot.

As for the operation of the engine and the automatic transmission, sometimes it seems that they are too leisurely. The transmission likes to shift to a higher gear – then the engine rpm drops and you can save fuel. But then at low revolutions it is impossible to feel the full power of the engine. And it it is only seemingly leisurely!

At medium (3-4 thousand) and high (4-5 thousand and higher) revolutions, the engine pulls perfectly and provides great dynamics: a small and not very heavy Volkswagen T-Roc with a capacity of 150 hp. and a torque of 250 Nm is quite enough. Want to experience full power and torque more often? Then immediately switch from “D” (Drive) mode to “S” (Sport) mode – and you will always be happy. Now the automatic transmission allows you to work in lower gears more often, and the engine revolutions are higher, just in the desired middle zone. And I will separately note the feeling of a mechanical rectilinear connection between the engine and the wheels: this is it, the breed and feature of DSG operation.

Great combination of TSI + DSG; however, you need to know how to open it. Do not spare the revolutions (the S-mode will help with this) – and you will be surprised by the dynamics of this car. At the same time, under conditions of calm movement at a constant speed, the engine can switch to 2-cylinder mode and save fuel. After all, in the city I got a stable 7.5-8 l per 100 km, plus/minus 0.5-1 l of fuel for traffic jams or the most careful driving style. On a country road at a speed of 80-90 km/h, the car consumes about 5 liters per 100 km, at a speed of 100+ consumption increases to 6-6.5 liters per 100 km of travel. At the end, a few “passport” technical specifications: acceleration to a hundred km is promised in 8.4 seconds, the maximum speed is declared at 205 km/h, fuel consumption in the city should be 8.3 liters per 100 km, on the highway – 6, 3 l per 100 km. In principle, plus/minus works like that.

Cost: How much does the Volkswagen T-Roc cost

The Volkswagen T-Roc crossover is offered in Ukraine in only one technical version, as described in this article – gasoline 1.5-liter engine, 7-speed transmission, front-wheel drive. However, the car is available in one of three configurations.

Volkswagen T-Roc Style starts with a price from UAH 1.12 million or about $29.5 thousand. Moreover, this configuration is not at all “empty” – there is the following: Digital Cockpit digital instrument panel, separate 2-zone “climate”, 16-inch light-alloy wheels, Ready 2 Discover multimedia system, wireless smartphone connection, heated front seats and steering wheel, LED headlights, adaptive “cruise”, lane keeping, rear view camera and much more.

The next level is Volkswagen T-Roc Sport with a price from UAH 1.22 million or $32 thousand. To the above, the following is added: Digital Cockpit Pro digital instrument panel, LED Plus headlights, automatic control paddles, ArtVelours seat trim, decorative interior lighting, 17-inch light-alloy wheels, etc. The test car was presented in this configuration.

The maximum option is the Volkswagen T-Roc RLine with a price from UAH 1.28 million or $33.7 thousand. According to the equipment list, this car is similar to the previous one, but it has its own details: R-Line front bumper with vertical triple LEDs, original 17-inch wheels and modified rear bumper, sports steering wheel and sports seats, metal pads on the pedals, etc. By the way, this R-Line configuration became available for Ukraine just after the model was updated.

Volkswagen T-Roc test drive: a standard compact crossover?

Maksym Solovyov, founder of the Drivovo company: “Within our company, the Volkswagen T-Roc crossover is one of the most popular among customers who take a car by subscription. After all, the Volkswagen T-Roc model offers an optimal combination of small external dimensions, easy driving, high-quality interior decoration, and good equipment. And within the Volkswagen T-Roc range, probably the Sport version is the best in terms of cost and equipment list. Although I would like to note that we also decided to try new products and purchased a Volkswagen T-Roc in the R-Line version with the option of choosing the driving modes – sport/normal/eco. This is for customers who want to get maximum emotions from Volkswagen T-Roc”.

Let’s consider several competitors from the list of what we have already seen here on test drives. For example, Mazda CX-30 crossover: the price is similar, the power is the same, modern equipment, a good interior in front, little room in the back; plus there are versions with all-wheel drive. Another example can be Nissan Qashqai: soft suspension, a wide selection of configurations, front or all-wheel drive, modern equipment, spacious interior. Or I will remember Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: also more space in the back seat, there is also a version with all-wheel drive; let there be no sense of novelty compared to Mazda or Nissan – but the price is more acceptable. Finally, I will mention Opel Grandland, which also offers more room inside, doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, but boasts a wide choice of engines and an attractive price. And these are not all rivals…

In fact, finding a compact crossover of the Volkswagen T-Roc format and for the same amount of money is not a problem. And many competitors offer their significant advantages. But the problem is to find a compact crossover of the Volkswagen T-Roc format, which will be similarly cool to drive. This is where this car simply wins “in one goal” against almost all rivals.

Volkswagen T-Roc test drive results

The story of the update of the Volkswagen T-Roc is a story about how not to lose existing advantages and, at the same time, find new ones. From the very beginning of its career, the Volkswagen T-Roc crossover was distinguished by a good balance of driving and comfort, it had a good platform and technology under the hood. And now more modern technology and an improved quality interior have been added – exactly what you expect from Volkswagen.

Perhaps the Volkswagen T-Roc car does not look very bright at first glance. But it will definitely find something to impress upon a detailed acquaintance and remain in his memory with pleasant memories from a truly trained product.

Car provided by Drivovo: Cars by suscription