However, for price and practicality, despite its modest length, there’s as strong an argument that it’s a Nissan Qashqai rival, too. “All our cars are successful because of luggage room, and room for passengers,” said Welsch, “and this car has even more room than you’ll find in a Golf”.
As you’d expect, there’s more shoulder and head room than in a Golf, but the boot is bigger, too, at 440 litres to the Golf’s 385 litres.
The T-Roc is similar in length to a Golf, and very similar underneath to Audi’s Q2, which is no surprise because it has been conceived on VW’s modular MQB platform.
The T-Roc has a shorter front and longer rear overhang than a Golf and it rides around 8cm higher, but from the centre of its front wheels to the cabin, it’s essentially the same as a Golf underneath, just taller, owing to a raised axle line.
There’ll be six engine options at launch, three petrols and three diesels, one of each in 114bhp, 147bhp and 187bhp forms. Two and four-wheel drive will both be options, with manual and DSG dual-clutch automatic offered as well.
300bhp Volkswagen T-Roc R under evaluation
All T-Rocs get multi-link suspension so there’s no torsion-beam derivative. “We have SUV genes in here, so we can do more than a Golf does. You sit higher. The wheels are bigger. Lots of things are different, so we put multi-link in here,” said Welsch.
Although Welsch said the recent Arteon brought a new expression to VW’s exterior styling, the T-Roc “inside and out has more emotion than you would normally expect from a Volkswagen”.
VW executives were keen to pull the covers over the interior of our prototype when our cameras appeared but a finished version that we saw in a studio, and that will be on autocar.co.uk later this week, had lively — by VW standards — coloured trim and neat ambient lighting.
The new design flair doesn’t necessarily equate to the way the T-Roc drives. “We have a clear idea of how a Volkswagen should be,” said Welsch, “and this is what we’ve tried to reach here. We’ve also made this car more quiet, from wind noise and road noise and so on. People like more and more comfort.”