VW Scirocco R Line

The VW Scirocco R Line adds a dash more panache, but it’s all for show with no added go

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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The Volkswagen Scirocco R Line is a brilliant all-rounder in terms of looks, efficiency and performance. It won’t be worth the extra £1,525 outlay for most buyers, but it makes sense if you’re looking for a more desirable package with a sportier appearance and handling edge over the Scirocco GT. The fact that this version is an official model line will help with residual values, too.

There’s some stiff competition in the sporty coupe market these days, with the Audi TT and BMW 2 Series offering all the thrills and style drivers could want. The long-in-the-tooth Volkswagen Scirocco is still up for the scrap though, and offers good value, decent performance and looks though. Especially if you specify the R Line version.

The Scirocco R Line is based on Scirocco GT spec, but it’s roughly a grand more expensive with a ‘like for like’ engine choice, so you’ll need to be quite committed to the car’s extra visual impact. What you get is a set of bigger and more boldacious 19-inch alloy wheels, and a racy looking body kit with a bespoke radiator grille, new front and rear bumpers, and side skirts. That’s on the outside, while inside there’s a pair of heated R-Line leather sports seats and a sporty perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel. The seats feature an embossed R highlight, and they’re deeper, more supportive and more comfortable than the standard items.

There’s a set of shiny chrome-look pedals underfoot, while the standard equipment carried over from the GT includes Adaptive Chassis Control, a touchscreen sat-nav system and DAB radio.

The sporty Scirocco spec sheet also includes front fog lamps, dual-zone climate control and rear tinted windows, and the build quality and fit-and-finish are as exemplary as we’ve come to expect.

You can choose the R Line package with a range of engines, but we tested it with a 138bhp 2.0 TDI under the bonnet, which has since been upgraded with an extra 10bhp. It’s the most efficient Scirocco you can buy, with a smooth power delivery and one of the best-sounding four-cylinder diesel notes out there. It’s not the fastest Scirocco for sale – 0-62mph takes a lengthy 9.2 seconds – but it idles with decent refinement and has plenty of torque for motorway work.

The larger wheels mean that while the ride is firmer than on the GT – which has 18-inch alloys – it’s still excellent at ironing out bumps. The Adaptive Chassis Control has default, Comfort and Sport modes, and there’s a noticeable benefit in selecting Comfort around town. If you accelerate hard, however, the nose lifts as you move off; Sport mode makes the Scirocco feel much more balanced.When you boil it all down, though, the R Line is merely a more stylish Scirocco that costs a fair chunk of cash more than the GT. It looks the part, but not all buyers will be drawn in by the extra glamour.

Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

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