Another entry into the hotly contested compact SUV segment heralds the arrival of the much vaunted Volkswagen T-ROC. The SUV market is growing rapidly in South Africa and from 2015 to 2019, it increased in leaps & bounds by 44%. International experts estimate that the compact SUV segment worldwide will almost double in size over the next decade.
The T-ROC which sits below the Tiguan, will find it’s place within the VW stable above the also acclaimed T-Cross Crossover. This new Crossover will complete the range which has siblings- T-Cross, Tiguan, Tiguan All Space and is topped with the Touareg, and will emphsize the dynamism of the VW brand.
In terms of looks, the T-ROC paints a pretty picture. It has a wide front grille, with integrated dual headlamps, and a distinctive light signature that is all T-ROC. It is one of the first VW Crossovers that will be available in two-tone styling with contrasting roof. It also has the new VW logo in the front.
The regular range comes in an eye watering 28 colours, whilst the R-Line range has 21 colours, the roof accents come in pure white, red & black, so all tastes are catered for. The rear bumper styling is just as distinctive as the front, with the design aimed to frame the rear lid and in turn give the T-Roc a sportier look.
The Design derivatives come standard with the 17-inch Mayfield alloy wheel and have two further options of an 18-inch Montego alloy wheel as well as an 18-inch Grange Hill alloy wheel. The R-Line derivative comes standard with the 19-inch Suzuka alloy wheel.
Into the Cabin.
The interior is comfortable and has the usual excellent set out for dash area etc. The interplay between the Active Info Display and the specific infotainment system creates a new, digital and interactive cockpit.
It has great ambient accent colours in white & grey. Boot space is at a premium 449 Litres which is more than adequate. The T-Roc will come standard with Composition Media radio and App-Connect. The Composition radio has an 8-inch colour touch screen with two USB ports easily located in the centre console of the vehicle.
App-Connect makes it possible to connect your smartphone to the radio system which enables the user to operate selected mobile phone apps from the touchscreen.
The instrument cluster can be full digitalised with the optional Active Info Display digital cluster. The high resolution 11.7-inch screen, makes it possible to adapt instruments to personal needs in various screen views. The interplay between the Active Info Display and the infotainment system creates a new digital and interactive cockpit.
Two petrol engines were available at launch, a 1.4L TSI 110kw variant & a 2.0L TSI 140kw variant. Most of my colleagues preferred the smaller engine, but I liked the 2.0L version better.
The 1.4 was coupled with an 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox, and the bigger engine with A7-Speed DSG gearbox with 4Motion. We whizzed all around the Cape roads, and both performed admirably. The T-ROC also holds the road very well.
Safety & Drive Systems.
In the T-Roc, the level of passive safety features included are Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Park Distance Control, LED Headlights, Light and Vision Package, Blind Spot Monitor and Fatigue Detection.
In addition to these safety features, I.Q Drive technologies are also available on the T-Roc. The technologies support Volkswagen’s journey to autonomous driving and represent the relevant driver assistant systems which aid the parking, driving and security of the T-Roc. The I.Q Drive technologies included in the T-Roc are Park Assist, Emergency Assist, Front Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist.
There are many other sytems to assist a driver, and you should book a test drive to sample them.
Standard specification on the 1.4 TSI Design and 2.0 TSI Design derivatives are details such as climatronic air conditioning, the Composition Media infotainment system, connectivity via the We Connect Go app, Voice Control, LED tail light cluster, visual underbody guard (black) and Park Distance Control (front and rear).
The top-of-the-range T-Roc R-Line comes standard with high-tech systems such as Front Assist area monitoring with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System and the lane keeping system Lane Assist.
Also standard on the top-of-the-range R-Line derivative are the Light Assist package, LED daytime running lights in the bumper and dynamic cornering lights, 19-inch Suzuka alloy wheels, the latest generation Active info display, Keyless entry, Mobile phone inductive charging, Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and Vienna leather seats.
The T-ROC nicely tops of the SUV/Crossover range for VW, and they have a car for everyone’s taste. They perrenially top the sales charts for passenger cars, and other manufacturer’s should take note that VW want a big piece of the SUV pie as well.