VW Scirocco 1.4 TSI review

Familiar Volkswagen Scirocco coupe is still a great buy in 1.4 TSI form

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Volkswagen has clearly followed the philosophy of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ with the VW Scirocco. The 1.4 TSI is punchy, with improved emissions and economy, and is a great choice for coupe buyers on a budget.

There have been a range of updates to the Volkswagen Scirocco, including the return of the rapid R flagship. But if you’re after a coupé on a budget, does the new entry-level 1.4 TSI deliver enough thrills to warrant a second look?

On the surface, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the updated model from its predecessor. There are new lights front and rear, the lower front bumper is styled after the Golf GTI and the interior gets a bank of dials on top of the dash to show turbo boost, oil temperature and a stopwatch. But aside from that, the revised Scirocco isn't much different.

But then that’s no bad thing, as there wasn’t much wrong with how the Scirocco looked. That hatchback body has a unique style, while the squared-off rear means this is a practical four-seater with a usefully large boot and 50:50 split folding back seats.

The 123bhp 1.4 TSI turbo petrol is offered in the £20,735 base model or the GT tested here (which costs £1,850 more), but while the engine is small, it’s still punchy. There’s a broad spread of mid-range torque for overtaking, while the six-speed gearbox (there's no DSG option) has a smooth shift with a weighty feel.

However, the Scirocco is still based on the Mk5 Golf platform, so while it’s a decent performer in corners, it doesn’t have the sharp reactions or lightweight feel of VW’s latest MQB-based models.

It’s a little heavy and slow to react, although there’s no faulting the car’s comfort or cruising ability. Go for the base model, and you get 17-inch alloys, which deliver a more comfortable ride than the 18-inch turbine-style alloys found on the GT version. And the six-speed gearbox means the engine is barely ticking over at motorway speeds. VW claims combined fuel economy of 52.3mpg, while standard-fit stop-start should help you come close to that figure, and emissions of 125g/km mean you can expect £110 road tax, too.

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