What is it?
As tends to be the case these days the T-Roc has been designed to combine the contradictory design traits of an SUV and a small coupé, sitting tall but with a low roofline and narrow glasshouse. As the model that has effectively replaced the slow-selling Scirocco in the corporate hierarchy, it gives a clear indication of the shifting preferences of aspirational buyers.
It’s not long since a car in this segment would, given a choice of fuel type, be overwhelmingly chosen with diesel engines. But times have changed and Volkswagen reckons that just one in five of the T-Rocs sold in the UK will pack one of three available diesel engines, with that low figure driven by the fact that a whopping three quarters of T-Roc sales are likely to be made to private buyers rather than fleets.
The trio of TDI engines are all familiar from elsewhere in the Volkswagen clan, and have power outputs that exactly match those of the three petrol engines. Base spec will be a 1.6-litre engine with 113bhp, and which will be available exclusively with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. Above that Volkswagen’s long-serving 2.0-litre unit is available in both 148bhp and 187bhp states of tune. The less-powerful iteration is offered with either front- or all-wheel drive and with the choice of manual or DSG. The full-fat version comes exclusively with the part-time 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and the twin-clutch automatic 'box. Our test car was a 148bhp TDI 4Motion with the DSG and in Europe-specific Designline spec, which will be close to SE-L in the UK.
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed for diesel versions yet, but Volkswagen assures us that it will be competitive given the generous standard kit, which will include two-zone climate control, radar cruise control and a suite of active safety systems.