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2020 Volkswagen T-Roc review, test drive

7 min read

What is it? 

To say the Volkswagen T-Roc swims in opposition to the tide of Indian SUV conference is an tremendous understatement. We Indians are inclined to equate SUVs with dimensions and bombastic street presence, and the natural way, value is a direct correlation – the extra high priced an SUV is, the greater it requirements to be. Even among the the crossovers, the preferred vote continue to goes to the tall, chunky, squared-jawed style, so considerably so that even hatchbacks have begun to ape the appear. And then there is the continued preference for diesel electricity with automobiles like this. So this compact crossover with its low-slung roof and one.5-litre petrol engine at a value of Rs 19.99 lakh (ex-showroom) seems like a little something that simply really should not perform. And nevertheless, VW was equipped to locate takers for just about its total one,000-unit CBU import allocation in just above a thirty day period. There is obviously extra to it than satisfies the eye, and we intention to locate out just what that is with this overview.

Just how significant is the VW T-Roc in phrases of dimensions? 

To set that dimensions into point of view, when a Creta is 4,300mm extensive and the VW’s cousin, the Skoda Karoq, is 4,382mm extensive, the T-Roc clocks in at 4,234mm extensive. In addition, its height of one,573mm makes it reduce than even most sub-4-metre SUVs and places it just about into premium hatchback territory. But then, its one,819mm width and 2,590mm wheelbase do at minimum give it a pleasant, relatively extensive stance on the street. It casts a silhouette that’s extra akin to a hatchback also, with a bonnet that’s not also tall and entrance and rear windscreens that are fairly steeply raked.

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What it lacks in outright dimensions and blocky shape, it makes an attempt to make up for with panache in the particulars. The LED headlamps and chrome-lined grille merge into one particular continual variety, there is a neat LED running lamp signature exactly where you’d anticipate the fog lamps (the fog lamps sit reduce, and the DRLs double up as indicators) and there is even a brushed silver skid plate sitting under the significant honeycomb air dam. There is a excellent sum of the requisite black cladding all-around the base of the T-Roc and some distinguished character lines on the bonnet and sides, particularly above the pronounced wheel arches. At the rear, you will locate faux exhaust surrounds and cladding that cuts into the bumper to house the range plate, furthermore extra solid lines, and the words ‘T-Roc’ created bold below the VW emblem.

But most likely the minimum SUV-like point about it – the raked roof – is its most distinguishing aspect. All colors of the T-Roc occur with a gloss black roof procedure that extends down to the A-pillars. The C-pillar, meanwhile, is thick and body-coloured with a silver accent. And just for that very last reminder that this is no hatchback, there are roof rails. Because the auto is so compact, the seventeen-inch alloy wheels fill the arches properly, and when you could have your T-Roc in black, white or gray, you really should have it in orange, blue or this instead hanging Kurkuma Yellow.

What is the VW T-Roc like on the inside of?

The interiors are extremely Volkswagen – which is to say darkish in color, complete of straight lines, but also extremely nicely created. That reported, we would like there have been some smooth-contact plastics in below you will not locate any on the dashboard or the door cards, but the excellent of the textured tricky plastics is outstanding and they’re beautifully screwed collectively. It is pleasant that they’ve carried out a bit to liven issues up with issues like uninteresting gold and piano black trim, a centre console that’s slightly canted toward the driver and tri-tone Vienna leather upholstery.

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Fantastic ahead visibility, exceptional create excellent, but would like issues have been a minor brighter.


Talking of the seats, the kinds up entrance are sculpted and cosy, providing a excellent sum of adjustment, like lumbar for the driver. They are heated, but regrettably, not driven or ventilated. Sitting down up entrance, you really do not seriously really feel like you’re in as compact a auto as the T-Roc is, mainly because ahead visibility is terrific and the dashboard spreads out extensive in entrance of you.

Shift above to the again seat, even so, and you will locate exactly where the house compromise has been made. This is not one particular for the chauffeur driven, with extremely ordinary knee area, and headroom that will be tight for six-footers, even while the roof has been scooped out. In addition, it is not a extremely high-set seat, and the fact the entrance seats are so close to you does make you really feel a bit hemmed in. Encouraging to reduce that feeling is the panoramic sunroof which, while not as massive as most, does let a good deal of light-weight in. The bench itself is ideal for two while, but they will be relaxed, thanks to extra of that cosy bolster sculpting, a massive centre armrest and excellent thigh assistance.

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Knee and head area will be tight for tall people today, but seat is extremely comfy.


The boot, at 445 litres, isn’t just about anything to produce dwelling about either and the sloping tailgate doesn’t assistance, but you will be equipped to quickly fit a weekend’s baggage for 4 in below, and if you seriously ought to go things, you can split-fold the rear seats for extra house. 

What gear does the VW T-Roc occur with?

So the T-Roc doesn’t set any benchmarks for interior house, but VW has made positive to load it up with gear to make its value tag a minor extra palatable. Some of the highlights are dual-zone climate handle, a crisp and customisable ten.twenty five-inch electronic instrument show, an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Car, electronic parking brake with automobile maintain, 6 airbags, tyre pressure checking, fuel-saving engine cease-start off, heated mirrors, the  panoramic sunroof, rear disc brakes, entrance + rear parking sensors and considerably extra. What was a shock have been the sensor-primarily based driver aids, like lane-preserve support which will gently steer the auto again into line if it detects you’ve crossed the lane markers, and even a head-on collision warning program, which luckily for us, we didn’t get a chance to take a look at.

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Instrument display screen is really customisable.


What is the VW T-Roc like to drive?

As we reported ahead of, the T-Roc presents you a significant-auto really feel from driving the wheel, and that’s not just to do with the way the interior is laid out. Its width and one,546mm and one,541mm entrance and rear tracks give it a planted stance, and blend that with a rigid chassis and suspension that’s unchanged from the European edition and what you get is an unflappable poise on the street. Sure, there is an inherent firmness to the journey that you will really feel on smaller bumps at reduce speeds, but as you choose up the pace it simply demolishes even tough streets with confidence. High-pace steadiness is outstanding and even in the corners, aside from a steering that isn’t bristling with responses, it stays wonderfully devoid of body roll. It is the ideal of both worlds, seriously, with a perception of solidity you’d normally locate in a greater auto, but the dimensions compact sufficient for you to seriously take pleasure in it.

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The 150hp, one.5-litre turbo-petrol engine has a solid mid-range, and is also cost-free-revving.


Energy is courtesy the VW Group’s one.5-litre TSI Evo engine by using a 7-pace DSG, and is sent to only the entrance wheels. It is the very same 150hp, 250Nm unit you will locate in the Skoda Karoq, but the T-Roc weighs 45kg less. General performance, then, is marginally better, with -100kph coming up in 9.89sec, and thanks to the swift-shifting DSG, kickdown acceleration is swift also – 20-80kph in 5.51sec and forty-100kph in 6.36sec. This new-gen direct-injection turbo-petrol engine is fascinating in the way that it enjoys a solid mid-range, as do most of its ilk, but is also extremely cost-free revving. In fact, in activity and handbook modes, it will fortunately race all the way to its 6,500rpm redline with no fuss. 

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Cylinder shut-off below light-weight load and engine cease-start off reduce fuel use.


But if you are not in the mood for intense driving, this engine-gearbox combo handles ambling duties nicely, and below low engine loads, can even shut down two of its 4 cylinders seamlessly for better fuel overall economy.

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Revs to 6,500rpm in Activity or Handbook.


VW T-Roc overall performance*
Acceleration (from relaxation)
20kph one.83s
40kph 3.18s
60kph 4.93s
80kph 7.14s
100kph 9.89s
120kph 13.30s
140kph eighteen.34s
160kph twenty five.61s
Acceleration (in equipment)
20-80kph (in kickdown) 5.51s
forty-100kph (in kickdown) 6.36s

Should you buy a Volkswagen T-Roc?

So just exactly where does the T-Roc fit in the Indian marketplace? To respond to that, you need to abandon the plan that it is an SUV it is not. What it is, is a crossover that leans heavily into its on-street ability at the cost of the classic SUV house, practicality and street presence. It is excellent for a compact family, or an unique who at times travels with mates, it has its have distinctive type and it delivers significant on driving dynamics and really feel-excellent variable. 

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The compact T-Roc has rock-strong steadiness, even at three-digit speeds.


To set it a different way, we have often questioned if VW would at any time bite the bullet and deliver in its complete-dimensions hatchback, the Golfing, to India. But it hasn’t, and will not, mainly because the plan of a hatchback so significant and high priced just wouldn’t fly below. The T-Roc is the Golfing they can deliver below, thanks to the included crossover enchantment and practicality, and there is nothing at all else fairly like it on the industry.

*Not to Autocar take a look at benchmarks

Also see:

Volkswagen T-Roc almost sold out in India

Skoda Karoq vs rivals: Price, specifications comparison

2021 Volkswagen Tiguan facelift initial appear online video

Volkswagen T-Roc
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