Volkswagen Scirocco (2008-2017) review - Interior, design and technology
The facelift improved the handsome Scirocco's cabin, but compared to other VW products it feels dated
The VW Scirocco was masterminded by the company’s current chief of design, Walter de Silva, and for the facelift the car has been left largely unchanged. That means you get a coupe which is more compact hatchback than sports car, although the wide grille, bulging rear wheelarches and narrowing windows give it a distinctive look.
The updates centre around the lights and bumpers, with LED tail-lamps now standard across the range, while the headlights are new and the front bumper takes styling cues from the latest Golf GTI. Unless you’re a diehard VW fan, you’d be hard pressed to notice big differences but they do enhance the car’s looks. And while it lacks the concept car bravado of the soon-to-be-defunct Peugeot RCZ and the classic proportions of the BMW 2 Series, there’s no doubt it still turns heads.
Sadly, whichever model you choose, the cabin fails to live up to the exterior’s stylish standards, because it’s here where the Scirocco really begins to show its age.
Build quality is solid, but the dashboard – inspired by the Eos coupé-cabrio’s – is old-fashioned compared to the latest in the Golf Mk7, for example. There’s lots of old-generation switchgear, too.
Still, you get decent kit levels, with leather seats (on R-Line and R) and two-zone climate control (all models except the base cars, which get manual air-con), while brushed aluminium inserts around the instruments set the higher-spec versions apart from entry-level Sciroccos.
The facelift ushered in the Mk7 Golf’s fresher multifunction steering wheel with new spoke controls, together with an updated infotainment touchscreen, but the Scirocco still feels like a fundamentally elderly car with some trinkets, which hurts it in a fashion-conscious market.
Those three dials on top of the binnacle show very driver-focused data, in an effort to reinforce the message that the Scirocco is the sports car of the range. So the driver knows the oil temperature and turbo boost pressure at all times, which the centre gauge is actually a stopwatch, so owners can time their laps on track.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Standard equipment is largely strong. Every Scirocco gets Bluetooth, alloy wheels, DAB radio and an air-conditioned glovebox. Touchscreen sat-nav comes as standard for all models except the base model, where it's a £750 option.
The R now benefits from 19-inch wheels as standard, as does the R-line trim. However, VW forces you to pay extra for niceties such as electric folding door mirrors (£155), keyless entry and go (£365), cruise control (£460), a rear-view camera (£185, not available on the R) and a colour screen between the instrument dials (£205 on Scirocco and GT models, standard on the R-Line and R). Voice control can be added for £185 on all models.
For £460 on all variants, buyers can add the 400W-output Dynaudio Excite sound pack, which adds an eight-channel digital amplifier, digital signal processor, subwoofer and eight speakers to the Scirocco’s cabin. It’s an impressive sound system if you enjoy driving to tunes all the time.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen Scirocco (2008-2017) reviewThe VW Scirocco still delivers a strong combination of style, space and ability, but is starting to feel its age
- 2Engines, performance and driveStrong engines with reasonable performance for the Scirocco, but other VW Group products - and rival cars - drive better
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Volkswagen Scirocco is economical, clean and holds onto its value, making it an appealing proposition to private and fleet buyers
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe facelift improved the handsome Scirocco's cabin, but compared to other VW products it feels dated
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Scirocco is spacious for a coupe but less practical than the cheaper Golf on which it's based
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Scirocco's mediocre showing in the Driver Power 2015 survey is evidence the model is getting long in the tooth