For the first time, we’ve just spent more than a few minutes on the road in the new Volkswagen Scirocco. And you know what? It’s pretty good.
Okay, okay. “We drive ‘pretty good’ new Scirocco” is not going to make the cover of a magazine, but there you have it. Like most new products in life, it’s not brilliant, but it’s far from bad. And it is cleverly positioned.
I’ve just spent the day in a 2.0-litre, 197bhp, turbocharged version with a DSG twin-clutch gearbox. With a wider tracks and a lower, stiffer bodyshell than the Golf GTI, but riding on effectively the same platform. You’ll be unsurprised to learn that the Scirocco is a little better than Volkswagen’s hot hatchback.
That’s no bad thing in itself, but what’s better about it is that Volkswagen UK expects prices to start from £20,500: bang on Golf GTI money. For a long while the coupe market at this price has been a bit on the quiet side – we’d steer you the way of a Megane R26 instead. Possibly no longer.
Not because the Volkswagen Scirocco is a better drive - it’s not - but because, for £20,500, what you do get is a pretty stylish way to travel.
Our test car has been stared at a lot today, but that is no surprise because it is among the first in Europe and was finished in Kermit green. Nevertheless, to my eyes this is a pretty good looking car. Elegant, restrained, and it looks quite tasty on the road, too.
I didn’t think it would when the first pictures came out – white car in white studio. But the red version at the Geneva motor show looked better and, on the roads around Lisbon, it looks better still.
It's a shame the Scirocco's interior isn’t a bit more flamboyant, though. The dashboard and centre console are taken straight from the Eos convertible, and their dullness contrasts markedly with the rather more expressive seat patterns, rear seat sculpting and door trims.