It’s quick, simple, and easy to drive.
What is it?
The first-generation Volkswagen T-Roc has sold more than expected in many markets, including the UK. It is not surprising that changes made halfway through the eight-year-long life cycle of the Volkswagen T-Roc are subtle.
Volkswagen has sold over 1,000,000 units worldwide since the launch of its 2017 model, including 650,000 in Europe, and clearly doesn’t see any need to change what has been a highly-respected car. Although there are some minor tweaks, there isn’t much that changes the performance, appearance or driving characteristics of the five-door crossover-style hatchback and its two-door sibling, the Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet.
The key exterior design improvement is a new front end. The exterior design changes include a slightly reworked front end, LED headlamps (optional with IQ Light matrix projectsors with adaptive function), a modified grille with a more structured black plastic insert, a light band either flanking a larger Volkswagen badge, and a redesigned bumper that features new-look cooling ducts.
Reprofiled bumper and lightly modified tail-lights are found at the rear. T-Roc 2022 models come with an updated set of alloy wheels with sizes 16-18in. Buyers can choose between the standard model and Life or Style exterior design lines. They have the option of choosing a two-tone exterior color scheme, as well as either an aluminium look or black detailing.
The new R-Line exterior design line is also available, as seen on the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged 2.0 TSI 4-Motion model that we drive. It is heavily inspired by the range-topping Volkswagen T-Roc R’s unique front bumper. This features vertically stacked LED daytime-running lamps and high gloss black highlights. They are similar to those found on the Golf R and larger air-ducts.
The T-Roc 2.0 4Motion is a pleasant, responsive vehicle that delivers a lot of usable performance. The turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine is responsive and smooth. Its 6500rpm redline provides impressive low-end flexibility, allowing for comfortable cruising and plenty of mid-range urge when under acceleration.
According to the firm, the 0-62mph speed is 6.8 seconds. This is comparable to the Volkswagen Golf GTI’s overall acceleration. The top speed is 135 mph.
The most powerful T-Roc model is driven through a standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and fifth-generation 4Motion all-wheel drive system. It offers four driving modes: Eco, Comfort and Normal, as well as an Individual setting, which allows you to personalize the Volkswagen.
Although there is plenty of grip and traction, the handling lacks the communication and interaction that drivers desire. Our test car was fitted with an optional progressive rack, which provides assistance in all driving situations. The steering is usually light and direct, but lacks any feel of centre.
The T-Roc’s compact dimensions make it easy to maneuver in urban driving conditions. It is also very precise when turning into corners on the open roads. The T-Roc’s higher ride height means that there is more body movement than other hatchbacks. Although the ride is smooth on smooth roads, it doesn’t feel as controlled as the Golf. It shares its MQB platform and its MacPherson front and rear suspensions, as well as its multi-link (rear), which bring adaptive damping.
The interior changes are more extensive than the ones made to the exterior. In response to the criticisms of the original T-Roc models’ hard plastic materials, Volkswagen gave the model a soft-touch dashboard to give it what officials called “a more premium feeling”. The basic design of the model is unchanged, but it now features a standard 8.0in Digital Cockpit instrument screen and a revised tablet-like touchscreen infotainment display.
T-Roc’s updated infotainment system gets new menus, graphics, and a third-generation MIB upgrade (Modularen Infotainmentbaukasten). This makes it simpler and more intuitive than ever before. However, the response time to swipes and other commands can still be a bit slow compared to some of its rivals.
The new or revised functions include conversational voice control, real-time traffic sign recognition and optional Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. An embedded SIM card allows access to Volkswagen’s WeConnect streaming service.
A new selection of coloured trim elements is available, along with redesigned fabric doors trims and revised switchgear. This includes touch-sensitive controls, a slider for air conditioning, and a multi-function steering wheels with capacitive controls.
Do I need one?
The T-Roc is a reliable car that’s easy to drive and has many useful features. While the core characteristics of the T-Roc are still intact, the subtle changes make it more enjoyable to use than its predecessor.
However, prices have increased in line with the greater standard equipment. It is not cheap.
However, you can expect it to be just as popular, if perhaps more, than its predecessor.