If the T-Roc Cabriolet were an experiment in a researcher’s laboratory or a chef’s kitchen, it wouldn’t avoid the dustbin for very long. It is, however, a car – and it’d appear to be the kind of car to strike a chord with a certain type of customer; one who, it’s probably fair to say, might not have particularly high expectations of it.

Run through a list of the compromises it represents in contrast to a more conventional lower-slung compact cabrio (its awkward looks, tepid performance, clunky ride, flawed dynamic composure at speed), then compare that list with what the car actually brings to its market segment (slightly improved four-seater practicality, convenience, ease of use and urban drivability), and it’s very hard to make a convincing, rational case for it.

It brings little worth having to the compact cabriolet niche

But then it’s equally hard to rationally explain what we might call the ‘SUV-ification’ of so many parts of today’s car market. Nevertheless, people still seem to want other high-rise ‘leisure vehicles’, from the BMW X4 to the Cupra Ateca to the Lamborghini Urus.

Fashion is fickle, of course, but if it does create a modicum of success for this car, that success will be built on very little besides.

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What Car? new car buyer marketplace - Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet