In-depth reviews

Volkswagen T-Roc review - Interior, design and technology

Stylish inside and out with plenty of hi-tech options, but there are some cheap plastics considering the price

VW has almost admitted that some of its cars in the recent past have been a little, well, dull. So the T-Roc jazzes things up with its cute, small, sporty, SUV shape and up to twenty exterior paint combinations. The firm touts it as the GTI of its SUV line-up, playing up its Golf-like proportions. VW has even pushed the range a little further, with the introduction of the T-Roc Cabriolet. The four-seater drop-top isn't the most practical SUV derivative, but has plenty of style and no real direct rivals.

We particularly like the T-Roc LED daytime running light treatment that cleverly surrounds what look like air intakes on the lower half of the bumper. The lights actually change from white to amber to double up as indicators.

You can carry some of the exterior colour treatments over to the interior on the dash face and the seats, while a glass panoramic roof is also available. An 8-inch touchscreen brilliantly controls the infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available to connect your phone. You can also opt for VW's digital dashboard display, although a similar unit comes as standard in the Peugeot 3008

As the T-Roc sits on the same MQB platform that supports so many other VW Group cars, there’s a whole host of the very latest tech features – whether it’s connectivity or driver assistance – all controlled through the excellent touchscreen. Everything is easy to use, from the dash display to the placement of switches and the high quality buttons and stalks.

However, in something of a shock, the plastics across the dash and door tops are poor for a VW – especially one with prices that exceed £40,000. The material is hard to the touch, rather than soft, and that’s particularly noticeable on the door tops where your elbow may rest – all very surprising for a VW.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Every T-Roc sold in the UK is equipped with an 8.0-inch ‘Composition’ touchscreen infotainment system, plus Bluetooth, DAB radio and USB connectivity, with SE models and above featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The eight-inch system is as snappy and as clear as you’d expect, flanked by touch sensitive buttons that are quick to react. Gesture control systems are always a fiddle, but Volkswagen’s set-up seems fairly well developed, snappily bringing up a taskbar of icons on the bottom of the screen before you even touch it. Maps and directions are shown clearly, while the menus on the system are simple to navigate, too.

The T-Roc is also available with a digital display. The 10.3-inch Active Info Display, replacing the manual dials behind the steering wheel with a crisp screen, is standard fit on SE L trim cars upwards, with voice activation for the in-car entertainment and communications functions also featured.

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