Volkswagen Scirocco

Cool new Volkswagen Scirocco coupe hits road at last... and Auto Express is first behind the wheel

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

VW expects the Scirocco to go down a storm in the UK – it’s anticipated to be the biggest market for the coupé. Prices have yet to be announced, but bosses have hinted that the 2.0 TSI could start at £19,500, which is good value for money. The car we drove features the GT pack, which is likely to cost about £1,000, and brings 18-inch alloys, climate control and Adaptive Chassis Control.

The Scirocco is back! And Auto Express is first behind the wheel of the official production version of Volkswagen’s reborn coupe.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for since full details of the three-door were revealed in Issue 1,002. Now, we can tell you exactly what it’s like out on the road.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the VW Scirocco

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This is the first time we’ve seen the Scirocco out in the open, away from the flattering lights of a studio or motor show turntable – and it looks great. Not everyone was convinced by the idea of a hatch-style coupé, but in the flesh it looks curvaceous and muscular.

The hooded headlights and narrow grille, plus the high rear bumper and swollen arches, all exaggerate the car’s width, helping to distinguish it from the Golf on which it’s based.

Despite this, VW was anxious to maintain a fair degree of practicality, so there’s a sizeable 292-litre boot. Fold the two individual rear chairs, and the volume increases to 755 litres. Passengers are well catered for, too, with space for two adults in the back.

And while the cabin is dark, there’s the option of a panoramic glass roof to brighten things up. Throwing more light inside highlights the generic dash, though. Nearly all the parts are standard VW fare, so if we have a criticism, it’s that the Scirocco’s interior doesn’t feel special enough. Even so, the driving position cannot be faulted, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel is great to hold.

The engine impresses, too. Flexible from low revs, potent at the top end, smooth and with a crisp sound, it’s perfectly suited to the 1,298kg coupé. The Scirocco has a lower kerbweight than the Golf, and acceleration feels keener in the low gears, although VW claims the same 7.2-second 0-62mph for both this and the GTI hot hatch.

The unit comes with either a six-speed manual or the twin-clutch DSG gearbox in the car we tried. The latter is likely to be a £1,200 option, and is as impressive as ever, delivering ultra-fast, seamless changes.

But the best news is that the new suspension settings and redesigned back axle, plus the chassis’s lower centre of gravity, all help make the Scirocco even better to drive than the Golf GTI. The wider track gives it greater grip and cornering composure, and although there is some body roll, it’s well contained.

Overall, the Scirocco feels more agile and responsive than the GTI, while retaining that car’s sense of enthusiasm. There’s even the option of different driving modes. The Adaptive Chassis Control set-up allows you to select Comfort, Normal or Sport settings, which adjust not only the stiffness of the dampers, but also the steering weight and

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