The 2018 Volkswagen T-ROC
The Volkswagen T-ROC

Read Caroline’s Volkswagen T-ROC review for all you need to know about Volkswagen’s new crossover.

The new Volkswagen T-ROC arrived in Ireland in 2018 as an exciting new model for Volkswagen.  It shows more personality than what we’re used to from the sensible German brand. Volkswagen has brought the new T-ROC the way of the crossover and with pricing starting from €24,750, the Volkswagen T-ROC slots in neatly below the popular Volkswagen Tiguan family SUV.

The new Volkswagen is positioned as a sportier, compact model and it’s immediately clear that the designers at VW had some fun with this one. The Volkswagen T-ROC is easily one of the most interesting and playful looking models in the range. In the metal it sits like a slightly elevated hatchback with gorgeous coupé-like styling, especially towards the rear.

But being marketed as a crossover means that the curves are balanced out with extra plastic cladding around the wheel arches, sills, and front and rear bumpers, adding more attitude to what is a very expressive design. The T-ROC is also the first Volkswagen SUV that will be available to order in two-tone paintwork with a contrasting roof, A-pillars and exterior mirror covers.

The interior of the 2018 Volkswagen T-ROC
The interior of the Volkswagen T-ROC

Inside the Volkswagen T-ROC

Inside much of the switchgear is shared with other Volkswagen models. Dark grey plastics feature a lot. To add some interest there is a plastic dashboard insert that stretches the width of the cabin. It continues its colour theme around the centre console. This was grey/black in the test car, but there are other colours available. The quality in the cabin is good. But the interior of a Golf for similar money feels a bit more plush.

In terms of technology and in-car entertainment, this car scores well with a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. There’s also a very impressive digital instrument panel.

The Volkswagen T-ROC is a five seater. Though realistically four will be most comfortable because the middle seat in the rear is quite narrow. There is good accommodation up front and the two rear footwells are a reasonable size. There’s extra headroom too. The boot is good at 445 litres but opting for a model with a spare wheel will eat into that boot volume.

In Ireland this new crossover is available with a 1.0-litre TSI petrol (115hp), 1.5-litre TSI EVO petrol (150hp), a 1.6-litre TDI diesel (115hp) or a 2.0-litre TDI diesel (150hp). The 2.0-litre diesel is available exclusively with 4MOTION all wheel drive. A 6-speed manual gearbox comes as standard but there are also 7-speed DSG automatic gearboxes available.

Rear legroom in the Volkswagen T-ROC
Rear legroom in the Volkswagen T-ROC

On the road in the Volkswagen T-ROC

My test car was powered by the 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit with 150hp. It’s a powerful and refined option for this car. My fuel consumption over a week of driving was about 6.6 litres per 100 kms.

The Volkswagen T-ROC is built on the same MQB platform as the Golf and other Volkswagen products. On the road, it is smooth and confident, with well-weighted steering and a fun, agile feel. It doesn’t quite feel as hunkered down on the road in corners as a hatchback owing to that raised ride height. But heck it adds to the fun.

The T-ROC is generally comfortable. But a firm edge to the suspension will transmit some bumps into the cabin over uneven surfaces at low speeds around town.


Is it well-equipped?

There are three trim levels for Ireland – T-ROC, Design and Sport. Standard equipment includes leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, electric windows, 6.5” touchscreen, Bluetooth, automatic climate control, auto lights and wipers, lane keeping aid, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking.

Design models start from €26,995 and add 16” alloys, more chrome detailing on the outside, and front fog lamps. There’s also roof rails, parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and more advanced infotainment system with 8 speakers, voice control and app connect.

The Volkswagen T-ROC range starts from €24,750 in Ireland
The Volkswagen T-ROC range starts from €24,750 in Ireland

Sport models start from €29,750. They add 17” alloys, double rear tailpipe, front sports seats, ambient lighting, LED headlamps, tinted rear windows, auto high beam among other exterior styling updates.

Would you buy it?

It’s hard not to come away from this new crossover feeling a little more enthusiastic about life.

With this car, Volkswagen set out to make a fun crossover to complement the larger and more traditional Tiguan. They have succeeded. The Volkswagen T-ROC is a fabulous addition to the Volkswagen range. It’s easily one of the brand’s most playful cars.

The Volkswagen T-ROC is not the value option in the compact crossover class, but it is a stylish and sporty family vehicle.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Volkswagen T-ROC Sport 1.5 TSI EVO
€30,525 (Available from €24,750)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo petrol
Torque: 250Nm
7.9 seconds
Top speed: 205km/h
Claimed Economy: 
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax: 
€270 per year

The Volkswagen T-ROC is a sporty and stylish crossover
The Volkswagen T-ROC is a sporty and stylish crossover