What is it?
Volkswagen's facelifted Scirocco caused quite a stir when it was unveiled at the Geneva motor show last year. With revised styling, new four-cylinder petrol engines and improved interior fittings, it seemed VW had done more than enough to keep its six-year-old coupé relevant against increasingly strong competition.
We've already tested various versions of the updated coupé, including the range-topping Scirocco R and the new 217bhp 2.0 TSI , but this is our first chance to try a version equipped with VW's 2.0 TDI engine. The car tested here is the higher-powered option, with 181bhp.
In R-Line specification and with the 19in alloys and metallic paint of our test car, the latest Scirocco does cut an impressive figure. The reprofiled front bumper and grille give the VW a sporty-looking front end, while reworked light clusters and twin tailpipes at the rear make this seem more hot hatchback than semi-practical coupé.
Inside, VW has added a new three-dial cluster to the centre of the dashboard, with readouts for oil temperature, tubocharger pressure and a stopwatch. It's an homage to the 1974 original and adds some sporting flair to the interior. R-Line spec also means the Scirocco is fairly well kitted out, with leather sports seats, dual-zone climate control and R-Line badging on the trim.
This model costs £28,375, which places the Scirocco firmly within reach of the BMW 220d M Sport and new Audi TT diesel in terms of price. Additional extras on our test car, though, including an upgraded stereo and infotainment system, electronic differential, sporty alloy wheels and VW's Dynamic Chassis Control system, takes the total price of our test car to £32,025.