The VW Scirocco might be the Golf’s more glamorous sibling, but its sporty bias isn’t echoed in the showroom, with diesels making up around 75 per cent of sales. To demonstrate the facelifted Scirocco’s best blend of sportiness and efficiency, we drove the 181bhp 2.0 TDI in R-Line trim, fitted with a DSG automatic gearbox.
Visually the 2014 Scirocco gains re-profiled front lights, LED rear lights and revised bumper styling. You’d be hard pushed to spot them though, unless you park up alongside an old one. Still, the Scirocco has always been a looker, and the changes, while not extensive, do freshen it up. The same is true inside; you'd have to own the existing car to notice the extra dash-top dials - in homage to the original car from the 1970s - or main instruments housed in deeper cowls.
Again, no complaints from us, as the Scirocco’s interior is typically Volkswagen, so you get fine feeling material quality, backed up with bombproof build and a familiarity and ease of use that’s impossible to fault.
The 2.0-litre TDI engine tested here is the same higher power unit that features in the Golf GTD, the 181bhp it produces allowing the car to reach 62mph in 7.5 seconds from a standstill. For a diesel it’s uncharacteristically keen to rev, even if its best work is done before 3,000rpm. That enthusiasm for revs is in part down to the DSG transmission, which is always ready to drop a gear or two for maximum acceleration.
Choosing the manual gearbox will solve this, and save fuel at the pumps, it delivering an official 64.2mpg - over the DSG’s 58.9mpg. Grip levels are good, the Scirocco rides well too despite the larger 19-inch wheels with R-Line specification. It steers crisply and refinement is acceptable, even if you’re always aware it’s a diesel thanks to some vibration through the controls. Unfortunately though, the Scirocco is just not that exciting to drive.