Volkswagen T-Roc review - Interior, design and technology
The T-Roc is stylish inside and out with plenty of hi-tech options, while interior quality is good
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 small, sporty, SUV shape and up to fifteen 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.
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 touchscreen.
With the sportier Taigo coupe-SUV joining the range in 2021, the T-Roc was facelifted in 2022 to keep it fresh alongside its new sibling. This introduced tweaks to the T-Roc's lighting; all models now include LED headlamps, along with a thin light strip that runs through the middle of the grille - as you'll find on the Polo and Golf. Scrolling indicators are featured at the rear, while Volkswagen has also brought in fresh wheel designs and additional paint colours. Interior quality is noticeably improved over the previous model, with softer plastics in use, too.
Car group tests
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Used car tests
An eight-inch 'floating' style touchscreen controls the infotainment system, while Style variants and above come with VW's 10.25-inch digital dashboard display, which is a £390 option on the entry-level Life model.
Volkswagen has seen fit to dispense with physical switches for the climate control function and introduce touch sensitive buttons. We're not a fan of the change as they simply don't work as well as before, and they’re fiddly to use on the move which can be frustrating.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The eight-inch infotainment touchscreen comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with USB-C ports. Integrated sat-nav is standard with Style models and above, although you'll have to pay an extra £385 if you want a wireless smartphone charging pad.
The touchscreen is responsive and easy to use, but it’s been rather unceremoniously plonked on the dash rather than seamlessly integrated like earlier models. The 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro fitted to all but the base model offers lots of customisation and is easy to navigate, but the eight-inch display in Life trim cars should work just as well.
VW’s Discover Media system is standard on Style trim and above, but isn’t the most feature-laden option in the T-Roc range. For that, you need to step up to the Discover Pro system, which costs an extra £1,120. Most buyers will find the standard system absolutely fine – and in some ways better.
This is because the touchscreen is surrounded by touch-sensitive shortcuts for all the key functions, but there are two physical dials – one for the volume, and another that can be used to zoom in and out on the map screen. Loading times, especially when route planning, are impressively quick, and when we tested the T-Roc against a Mazda CX-30, we found the Volkswagen’s map screen showed the route in a little more detail than the Mazda.
In this review
- 1Volkswagen T-Roc reviewThe T-Roc is a Golf-based SUV that's practical and fun to drive. Mid-life updates have improved cabin quality, but it can be a little expensive to buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveEngine choice is broad, while the T-Roc provides a spirited drive without being uncomfortable. It’s an ideal urban runaround
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsLatest VW petrol and diesel engines are strong all-rounders offering refinement, performance and decent real-world economy
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe T-Roc is stylish inside and out with plenty of hi-tech options, while interior quality is good
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt's Golf-sized on the outside, but the T-Roc offers more space inside. It’s comfortable, too, in spite of the sporty drive
- 6Reliability and SafetyStrong safety is one of the big benefits of using the VW group’s MQB platform – there’s plenty of active tech and even more on the options list