Volkswagen’s hot hatch gets an economy boost, but loses some charm

What is it?

This is the VW Scirocco 2.0 TDI. We’ve driven the excellent 2.0-litre turbo VW Scirocco and also its smaller 1.4-litre TSI sibling on British roads and come away with very favourable impressions.

Built on the same platform as the Golf but with a slightly wider stance, the VW Scirocco 2.0 TDI has retained the best bits of the VW Golf’s dynamics and is undoubtedly more fun to drive. To top this off, it looks stunning.

What’s it like?

There are two aspects of the VW Scirocco that are not as good as the comparable Golf. The ride quality has suffered, probably due to the lower stance and revised suspension set-up, although the installation of a slightly (30kg) heavier diesel engine seems to have had little further impact on the ride or handling.

The other area in which the VW Scirocco is deficient, compared with the Golf, is visibility. The barely raked windscreen means that the A-pillars can obscure quite wide objects, while the huge C-pillars reduce rear three-quarter danger-spotting to an act of clairvoyance.

The 2.0-litre common-rail turbodiesel engine produces a maximum of 138bhp and 236lb ft of torque from 1750rpm. Volkswagen claims a 0-60mph time of 9.3secs, which feels about right.

Certainly the VW Scirocco 2.0 TDI pulls well from around 1800rpm and makes an excellent long-distance cruiser. It’s also frugal. Over about a hundred miles of motorway use it averaged 50.5mpg.

All this is good news if you’re looking for a dynamically capable, economical, great-looking hatch for travelling the length of the country. But, and this is a big but, it’s not really that much fun.

The 197bhp VW Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT with a DSG ’box is about as near to being the perfect weekend car as it’s possible to get. The long-legged diesel Scirocco feels like a different car to its more powerful sibling, rather than the same car with a less powerful, more fuel-efficient engine.

On a more positive note, the touchscreen entertainment and sat-nav system was superb. The navigation section is clear, easy to use, quick to react, has a 3D setting in the map views, while the sound system provides a good, clear sound with a slightly muffled bass, speed-dependent volume control and the best iPod integration we’ve seen.

Should I buy one?

The VW Scirocco 2.0 TDI is a good car, and will undoubtedly have mass appeal, but it’s difficult to imagine how anyone would prefer it to the rorty, revvy 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol.

Join the debate

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Lozinger 9 January 2019


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hdready 13 February 2009

Re: VW Scirocco 2.0 TDI 140

I have posted elsewhere about my humble opinion on the Scirocco. The car looks like two different sized cars welded together horizontally. It is too wide at the rear,like me, and the cabin is so dark it's cave like. They only option to brighten the place up is Tan leather!! You can't see out of the rear3/4 and I question why all the journos have gone gaga over it. If there were no tax advantages in having a Diesel would they still sell as many?? No I don't think so. I have looked at one but never bothered with a test drive as I couldn't live with the looks and impractical boot. I fear the rose tinted glasses have been handed around at Haymarket.