Volkswagen T-Roc 1.5

TSI R-Line

VW T-Roc Black Edition, 2021, side, static
VW T-Roc Black Edition, 2021, rear
VW T-Roc Black Edition, 2021, rear seats
VW T-Roc Black Edition, 2021, boot
Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line, dashboard
VW T-Roc Black Edition, 2021, front, static

WE tend to be a bit blasé about engines. So long as they start up and go ok, we're happy.

But there are a few motors that scream out to be noticed (not literally, fortunately). One of my favourites, irrespective of price and power, is VW's 1.5 TSI four cylinder.

Tried and tested across the VW group, it pumps out a useful 148nhp, it's almost as frugal as the little three-cylinder 1.0litre and it's as sweet and refined as you could ever ask for.

What's more when pulling the chunky, recently facelifted VW T-Roc, it combines zesty performance and well balanced road behaviour with miserly economy and family practicality.

The T-Roc, which has proved a huge success across Europe, has been treated to a minor makeover with LED lighting, classier dash and (unfortunately in this tester's opinion) more touch sensitive controls on the 10.25-inch screen which is standard issue in the R-Line version.

All T-Roc models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Sat nav, front and rear parking sensors and air con are also fitted.

Although it's slightly smaller than the Golf, it has more leg and knee room and a boot that's more than 60litres larger than the hatchback. A false floor allows you to dispense with the lip when loading heavy objects.

Front seats are well shaped and supportive with ample fore and aft adjustment. Loads of pockets, cubbies and bins for family odds and ends. It's a relatively wide vehicle so shoulder is ample for all four passengers or maybe five at a pinch.

With chunky, cheeky styling and agile handling that appears barely penalised by the additional height, the T-Roc could prove the answer to growing families or drivers who need to carry bulky loads.

It grips well around bends with precise, light steering and well-contained roll angles. Most versions of the T-Roc sold here are front drive, as was the test car.

The turbocharged 1.5-litre pulls strongly and quietly through the gears, yet is supremely tractable, Mated to a slick seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox complete with steering wheel paddles, it doubles up as a satisfying warm hatch when not doing the school run or lugging heavy cargo.

Occasionally the dual clutch system verges on being a touch snatchy, noticeably in low gear, but overall it does its job well.

With acceleration to 62mph in 8.3 seconds and a top speed north of 125mph, it is quicker and more responsive than most of its rivals and is more fun to drive thanks to its excellent platform and innate dynamism.

Our average fuel consumption during the 450mile test period was 46mpg, with a best of 52mpg on a leisurely country run.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen T-Roc 1.5 TSI R-Line

Price: £32.175

Mechanical: 1.5-litre, 4 cyl, 148bhp petrol engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 128mph

0-62mph: 8.3sec

Combined MPG: 46.3

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 138g/km

Bik rating: 33%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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