The Volkswagen T-Roc proves that it can perform
In many ways, the similarities between the T-Roc and Golf are almost uncanny. If it's not the exterior and interior, then it's the engine. Yes, you read that correctly, the 2.0-litre TSI T-Roc gets a detuned engine from the Golf GTI. It's by no means as quick as the GTI but having that additional power on tap is undoubtedly handy, but it does come at a price.
The T-Roc is available in two engines, the entry-level 1.4-litre derivative producing a moderate 110kW and 250NM and the 2.0-litre TSI engine offering a more applaudable 140kW and 320NM. Our test unit featured the 2.0TSI motor and performance was admirable, allowing us to throw it into the corners with competent handling. Overtaking is a breeze, and the T-Roc does pick up speed effortlessly, but you will need to flip the DSG into Sport mode for a sharper response. 4Motion offers the added levels of grip and extra peace of mind in wet conditions. After spending five weeks behind the wheel of the 2.0 R-Line, it returned a modest 8.9L/100km. We achieved this with almost no effort on our part, and we believe we could have brought this number down further.
The T-Roc proves to be a worthy contender in the compact SUV market, competing with the likes of the more premium BMW X2 and Q2 or the Toyota CH-R and Nissan Qashqai, to name a few. The critical decider being the R593 600 price tag. If performance is what you seek, an additional R80 000 will open up your options to the bigger and faster 162kW Tiguan TSI or the highly-rated Golf GTI TCR.
Of course, Volkswagen does have an R version of the T-Roc, and let's just say that it will get your power tastebuds going with an output of 223kW and 400 Nm of torque. Sadly, VWSA has confirmed that they have no plans to bring this model into SA.
The T-Roc 2.0 TSI R-Line can get the heart pumping, and it can put its power down comfortably and competently, but at R593 600 the 2.0TSI is also quite pricey. If you stretch your budget just a little, bigger and faster options are available within VW's stable. If you're on a very tight budget, then the 1.4-litre will be the wiser, more economical choice unless 4Motion is an absolute deal-breaker.
The T-Roc will be sold with a five-year/90 000km service plan and three-year/120 000km warranty.