From £19,780
Better to drive than the Golf GTi, and surprisingly practical as well

What is it?

VW’s stylish new offering is the first coupe the brand has built since the Corrado died in 1995. It’s based on the same mechanical package as the Golf, but we’re promised that it offers a more dynamic driving experience than its hatchback sister.

The range-topping 2.0-litre TFSI version gets the company’s familiar 197bhp turbocharged petrol engine. It’s got a wider track and a lower stance than the Golf, but rides on the same platform.

It’s a cleverly positioned car, too. Volkswagen is selling TFSI of the Scirocco for the same money as the Golf GTI, which should offer buyers an attractive, upmarket alternative to the hot hatch.

What’s it like?

A real head-turner. The Scirocco is surprisingly colour-sensitive, looking very restrained in darker hues but really leaping off the road when finished in the particularly bright shade of Kermit Green that VW has chosen to finish most of the early cars in.

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.

There's plenty of space in the front of the Scirocco, though there are no grab handles and, although rear seat space is tighter, it’s not so bad as you might expect. Volkswagen makes some big claims about the boot space but it’s all limited by the size of the opening, and that’s small.

Ergonomics are fine, and its reasonably easy for most drivers to find a comfortable seating position. The ergonomics are good: visibility is not great but the dials and minor switchgear are all sensibly laid out, and the quality feels fine.

The TFSI engine responds as enthusiastically as ever. The engine only revs to 6500rpm, but the turbocharged surge is strong enough to mean that you don’t need the last 500rpm – possibly not even the last 1000rpm. Changing up early on full bore gives a nice pop from the exhaust, too, and the DSG ‘box is its usual excellent, if slightly detached, self.


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Steering offers decent weight, linear responses and just the right amount of self-centreing. It’s a shame about the flat bottom to the wheel – and there’s not much feel to indicate when the front-end grip actually runs out.

Handling offers the right blend of sport and comfort. It’s respectably agile, grips well and the line can be adjusted to a reasonable extent on the throttle. It’s certainly more fun to drive than the Golf GTI.

Sometimes there’s a little crash into the cabin – more so than in a Golf – and the feeling is that the Scirocco’s less dynamically polished than, say, a Renault Megane R26 or a Ford Focus ST.

Should I buy one?

Volkswagen should clean up with the Scirocco. Until now, if you wanted to really good-to-drive £20K car you’d have to buy a hot hatch rather than a coupe.

But the Scirocco has created a new niche class of its own – and gone in straight at the top of it.

Join the debate


21 May 2008

You openly admit to not being able to give the car a proper long drive, and then state that the car is sharper that a Golf GTI. Sorry, but I can't see how you can make that sort of statement just yet.

22 May 2008

This looks like a very good car, and the pricing is very competitive too. However I am really not sure about VWs dashboard sharing scheme going on the at the moment. Whilst I appreciate that it helps to keep costs down, I would have liked a design that was a bit different to the Eos, which is in turn simply a reworked Golf dashboard. Thats not to say its not well made and stylish, its just I've seen it before and is a bit of a let down after the exterior.

22 May 2008

The revised 2.0 Turbo you mentioned being only available in the Scirocco, is in fact, available now across the VW model line - including the GTI. Besides the improvements already mentioned, it also has a timing chain instead of a belt.

22 May 2008

I find it a little odd the 'range topping' engine is only 200bhp.

Surely VW's much famed 3.2 V6 could, and should, find a place in the new scirroco?

The original scirroco VR6 with the 2.9 V6 was the one to be seen in.

A 250bhp engined coupe would place the scirroco above the Golf R32 in VW's line up.It seems odd to market as a 'Sports Coupe' but produce a more practical car that will ,in many ways, out perform it.

23 May 2008

[quote Kee Law]

surely 10 laps of the ring would suffice? in many ways driving on a track would tell you so much more than driving on the road.


To people who want to drive this car on the track! (shit this things not quite as quick as that Porsche glued to my arse). Funny I thought it was primarily designed as a road going car.

24 May 2008

[quote Mr.Pickle]

Surely VW's much famed 3.2 V6 could, and should, find a place in the new scirroco?


I agree that there should be a range topper with the Golf R32's motor, and fill a gap in the small coupe market as BMW doesn't offer a 130i coupe which leaves a yawning gap between its 125i and 135i!

One thing i am suprised at is VW has based the Scirroco on a platform that will soon be redundant when the 6th gen Golf arrives in a few months. Mind you, its not only VW who wheels out a new model/variant close to its parent platform's expiry date.

7 June 2008

The MK6 Golf will continue to use the same platform, its really only a heavy-facelift and some cost-cutting.

Back on topic the Scirroco looks excellent but surely it would makemore sense, as others have said, for it to have a true top of range engine such as the 3.2 V6 or the 2.0 TFSI out the S3.

20 June 2008

[quote Mr.Pickle]The original scirroco VR6 with the 2.9 V6 was the one to be seen in.[/quote]

Do you mean the Corrado VR6?

20 June 2008

As a former Corrado VR6 owner (11 years of bliss), I'm looking at the Scirroco with real interest. The thing is weight, the Scirroco is lighter than the similarly engined sister Golf GTI. If they decide to go for an R variant of the Scirroco they'll have to slap on the 4 wheel drive and before you know it you've got a massive heavy bloater of a Coupe! As I drive a bloater at the moment (330i Coupe 272 bhp and how heavy?) I'd rather see a lighter car that had lighter CO2 output with a better Performance \ Economy ratio. If it's light enough you can still have a good drivers car.

Looking forward to reading the full road test

20 June 2008

Matt, I found your report strange. The detail seems to suggest that the car is competent but in no way outstanding, but your conclusion praises the car highly. It feels that, like me, you love the way the car looks and want it to be great; but perhaps it's merely "fine"?


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