The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

Sophisticated and Stylish SUV

Starting price: £27,045

The Pros

Stylish

Good boot size & storage

Entry level has plenty of kit

Cons

Upgrades push the price super high

Buttons needed on the climate control

Boot was heavy to shut manually

Intro

The Volkswagen T-Roc was awarded the small SUV car of the year 2023. We thought it was a great little number!  Bags of style and it just feels more grown up than the VW Golf.

We test drove the T-Roc Style 1.5 litre in a striking blue Ravenna metallic which had a combined MPG of 47.1. There are 4 trim levels (Life, Style, R-Line and R) with a choice of either petrol or diesel engines.  To date there is no electric or hybrid models and entry level start at £27,045.  Another thing to mention is that there is a fabulous Cabriolet model for the sun and fun days. 2 petrol trims available and prices start from £33,905. T-Roc rivals include the Mazda CX-30, Ford Puma and Audi Q2.

We loved the drive of this model.  You have the feel of an SUV and yet the car is small enough to navigate city streets or winding roads with ease. This car strikes a balance between being the main family car or the additional run-around.

Entry level has plenty of kit from wireless app connectivity, lane assist, cruise control, ambient lighting to front and rear parking sensors.  All the models have the optional Park Assist which may require some practice to enable you to trust the technology!  This tech will even let you know whether a space is big enough for you to squeeze in to. Basically, you still operate the clutch, accelerator and break and the car will parallel park for you. Voila!  Not bad heh?  However, the rear-view camera is an upgrade. Another plus, especially if you drive in residential areas and possibly take the car on the school run, is city emergency breaking.  This function operates up to 19 mph.  The brake system is pre conditioned to reduce the severity of an impact by braking hard and it will apply more force than the driver along with a very fast reaction. Likewise, if the system detects a potential accident, it will automatically apply pre tension to the front belts.

Interior

As you open the door you first notice the striking two-tone seats.  All the models have a digital cockpit display.  The graphics are clear when driving and also alert the driver if, for instance, a door is not properly shut.  This is a common occurrence in our households with doors either being slammed or not being shut at all.  Claire and I have both driven off with the boot open on more than one occasion.  Surprisingly we are all still in one piece!

The steering wheel has touch buttons either side. Super handy if you want to quickly and safely change the volume through to using the voice command.

The 8 inch colour infotainment screen is at the perfect angle and distance for the driver.  It’s as intuitive as an iPad with clear and large graphics.  You can of course use the Apple Carplay, Google Android Auto and MirrorLink which allows the smartphone display to be mirrored on the screen.

Directly down from the screen is slider climate control. It’s a little fiddly and because you can’t feel for a button you need to look down which is not the best especially if you are on a busy road. This area of design is not as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of the interior design.

For security there are buttons in the arm of the driver’s door to operate all the windows through to the all-important locking / unlocking the doors.

Finally, there are the all important 2 USB C ports in the front and also in the rear which will keep Ipads fully charged on those longer drives.

Seats & Passenger Space

There is lots of functionality in the front seats for you and your passenger to find that perfect spot.  The drivers seat feels high up giving you that sense of being in control with a great view ahead.  Unfortunately, you will need the winter upgrade pack to have heated front seats.  Its only when you get to the freezing winter mornings, it’s early and you need to get going that there is a pang for a heated bottom!  There is a good sense of space too between the front seats so you are not shoulder to shoulder with your car share!

The rear bench is ideally spaced for 2 adults, 2 teens or 2 car seats.  There is an isofix point on the 2 outer seats of the rear bench.  We tried a combination of car seats and the space left in the middle is large enough to pull the arm rest down or possibly squeeze in a smaller person on a short trip.

Head room is good.  Although if you opt for the luxury of the sliding panoramic sunroof (£1185) you will lose a fraction of the height. Leg room in the back is a little on the cosy side with a small, middle transmission tunnel.

Our one little gripe is that all the seat coverings are fabric and for the nappa leather upgrade you will need to add over £2420 to the package.  The VW fabric is very hardwearing however for the hard knocks of family life, rogue sippy cups and muddy boots then leather is just that bit more forgiving.

Rear tinted glass is also an optional extra.

Cups & Cubby

We love the secret drawer under the driver’s seat.  Such a great spot for storing valuables out of sight or even, more importantly, hiding the car sweets from the rest of your greedy tribe.

The door bins in both the front and rear are a good size.  However, the cup holder shape in the centre console could be improved.  It’s not designed well to hold two hot drinks.

Behind the gear stick there is a 12V plug and a pad for your mobile phone.  Under your armrest you can find a small storage area along with further space in the glovebox.

The rear armrest has 2 good cupholders which grasp the bottle / cup securely. There are also small pockets, to store an iPad or maybe some wipes, positioned in the back of the front seats.

Boot Space

The boot is a great shape and size which allows you to load items to your advantage whether it’s your suitcases or a buggy.  We were able to load our buggy in width ways and push it right to the back of the boot.

The load lip is minimal too so for heavier items you do not have to worry about trying to get the momentum to lift them up and in!  The boot capacity is 445 litres which is very good for this size car.  However, be aware that the top spec four-wheel drive models only have 392 litres of space.

The boot floor is also adjustable and the and you have the option to lower if you find your four-legged companion has to crook their neck!

Summary

The T-Roc is a worthy contender if you are after a small SUV.  It’s stylish, practical and pretty versatile to fit in to every day family life. Entry level comes with a good amount of kit.  However, when you start to upgrade and add the whistles and bells you can find that the car your budget of under £30k is now being pushed to plus £40k.

Car seats : Joie Trillo 2/3 (ember) : width 55cm

Baby seat : Maxicosi CabrioFix (depth 71.5cm / width 44.5cm)

Starting Price     : £27,045 Life Entry Level

: £29,845 Style Line (we drove)

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4236 (L) x 1819 (W) x 1584 (H)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

445 litres

Backseat Size Kate and Claire Reviews

Backseat Dimensions

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

47.1

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-62mph in 4.9 sec