By Patrick James on 2018-10-14 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Volkswagen T-Roc 1.5
TSI Evo Design
IT'S taken a while for VW to join the hatchback/small crossover/SUV market, with stablemates Audi, SEAT and Skoda already pretty well established, but better late than never.
The T-Roc compact SUV enters new market segment for Volkswagen and comes with a range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, DSG automatic gearbox and four wheel drive options.
VW says the five-door SUV offers, space, style, safety and practicality andjoins the range of new SUVs.
It is based on Volkswagen's flexible modular transverse matrix (MQB), which provides improved interior space, making it a five seater, and has one of the biggest stowage areas in its class, with 455 litres with the rear seats in place.
This increases substanitally to an impressive 1,290 litres with the rear seats folded. Extra space is available with a river's under seat drawer and front seat back storage pockets.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine on this model mated to the six-speed slick shifting gearbox and is equipped with Active Cylinder Management (ACT) which delivers automatic deactivation of two cylinders, thus saving fuel.
The German manufacturer expects as many as eight out of 10 models sold in the UK are expected to be petrol-powered, and three quarters of sales are anticipated to be to private buyers.
It looks a premium vehicle and is equipped accordingly all models receivinghi tech safety systems like passenger protection, braking and lane assist plus assisted braking and radar parking sensors.
The T-Roc is a handsome sporty looking motor rather than visually stunning with a wide and long stance allied to a relatively low roofline. There are sports-styled body-coloured bumpers with silver-metallic underbody fascia and body-coloured door mirrors with integrated indicators and integrated roof rails.
This model came in an optional extra eye-catching two-tone blue with white roof, a colour mirrored with the interior.
The car can be personalised with various contrasting roof and pillar colours; contrasting dashpad decors; and various interior trim versions. Personalisation offers the option to save individual settings for more than 100 infotainment, convenience, and assistance combinations
The interior has a faintly retro feel, with painted metal finish rather than soft touch finish, but still maintaining that typical VW quality build, with logical controls and solid fixtures and fittings.
Features include three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and leather gear knob, front footwell illumination and light strips below trim in front doors, seating upholstery in ‘Tracks 4' cloth
One thing missing, which seems an oversight for a motor costing this much, is that sat nav is only available as an option, but full connectivity is available for phone or tablet.
The seats are firm and comfortable, while head and legroom is good, despite the seemingly modest proportions of the car.
The 150ps turbocharged petrol engine on this model is impressive, warm to hottest hatch performance. It sprints to 60mph in just 8.5 seconds. It's a refined unit with plenty of torque for motorway overtaking. It's also pretty economical with the claimed 53-odd mpg, being closer to mid-40s mpg in the real world.
On the road, there is little evidence of body roll despite its higher stance on the road, feeling agile and well planted on corners. There is also little evidence of wind and tyre noise which can be irritating in this type of vehicle, while the ride is firm, but comfortable.
Volkswagen T-Roc 1.5 TSI Evo Design
Mechanical: 150ps, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 8.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 53.3
Insurance Group: 16
C02 emissions: 120g/km
Bik rating: 25%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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