T-Roc opens up

Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, static sunset
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, action front
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, action front 2
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, side hood up
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, side action
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, rear seats
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, dashboard
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, action from above
Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet, boot

IT'S hard to make an open and shut case for the new convertible Volkswagen T-Roc. It all depends on what you want from your car.

Chopping the metal roof off a car has consequences. Even without starting the engine you discover you're losing space in boot and back seat because the new ragtop needs somewhere to go when folded down.

Then, drive off and you'll discover the car shimmies ever so slightly on some surfaces because the body isn't as stiff as before.

And the added weight of reinforcing what's left after the chop drains performance and fuel economy a bit too.

But, if you're the right sort of T-Roc Cabriolet buyer, none of the above will matter a hoot. Sun up, roof down and you're in heaven. Even popping to the shops lightens the spirits.

With the optional (£330) mesh wind deflector in place behind you there's precious little hair ruffling even at a motorway canter and with it down (ditto the windows), a gentler pace in full sun is a life enhancing experience.

A cloudy day needn't matter too much either. The hood lifts and folds in seconds with the prod of a button and can be operated at up to 19mph - making you feel decidedly opulent in the process.

Ask the heater to warm the nether regions and going topless in winter sun sounds seductively promising.

You may feel Volkswagen is being brave in producing a convertible with SUV genes in its make up - Range Rover tried the same trick with the Evoque but that version lasted only a couple of years.

Lots thought it looked odd - but the VW brought words like ‘beautiful' and ‘gorgeous' from a lady in the car park as she slipped from her Ford Focus cabriolet. The T-Roc is firmly on her shopping list for its replacement.

Looks are a personal thing but there's no denying it feels a well put together car, logically set out inside, if displaying a bit too much knuckle-rapping hard plastic for something so aspirational and costing from £27,410.

That will get you a T-Roc Cabriolet with a 1.0 litre, 113bhp petrol engine and six-speed manual gearbox.

This particular car's 1.5-litre, 148bhp petrol unit comes in from £29,185 and you can spend £34,365 on a range topping auto version in R-Line trim.

There's lots of kit as standard on the £3,720 less expensive Design versions, including climate control, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors front and rear, six speaker sound system and satellite navigation.

All T-Roc Cabriolets share a boot smaller than their fixed-roof siblings, but its still practical 280 litres of space can be enlarged by flopping down the rear seats, which themselves offer enough room for a couple of smaller adults to enjoy the ride.

Their driver will be enjoying smooth steering and a delightful manual gearchange, while finding the performance absolutely sufficient to make determined progress when required.

Performance from the 1.5 TSI is a maximum speed of 127mph and a 0 to 60 acceleration time of 9.6 seconds. Official fuel economy is rated at 44 to the gallon and emissions are 146g/km.

We bettered that and saw a dash readout of 47.7mpg after several hundred miles of not-always relaxed progress.

That will put a smile on the face of some owners in the same way a sunny day does for others.

: £29,185

: 148bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

: 127mph

: 9.6 seconds

: 44.0

: 19

: 146g/km

: 32%

: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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