Smart T-Roc works hard to overwhelm its competitors


I think you’ll be wondering why I’m starting this review by commenting on the boot. I don’t usually start immediately with the merits or demerits of the deep cutouts in the transom. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done that.

But the size and depth of the latest Volkswagen T-Roc crossover is such that I think it deserves a mention. I don’t know why I didn’t notice this before, honestly because I’ve ridden several versions over the years.

It’s massive considering the dimensions of the car itself. But – and I say this quite often – there is a price to pay and that is that you don’t get a spare tire. But even allowing for a slim spare, I’d still leave an impressive spot.

Sure, the T-Roc is about a lot more than just boot space, but it’s a start – and a good one at that.

I think there’s another price to pay as well, although it’s less dramatic. You don’t get as much rear seat space as might have been had the designers not asserted themselves and taken extra care to carve a nice-looking SUV shape along the flanks.

The lack of a few more inches for the more powerful among us in the rear remains one of the main criticisms. Still, it’s probably one of the few real downsides to the popular mid-range crossover. However, I am also often reminded that it is most likely used by smaller frames – like younger children and adults. So it’s not really a big deal.

Apparently it hasn’t done any harm to the public’s perception of the car, which has made quite a name for itself since its launch a few years ago.

And there’s a chance the car wouldn’t have looked as good if they shortened the rear flanks. (The funny thing is that the smaller T-Cross has more rear seat space: those are the vagaries of car design.)

Anyway, the car I tested was the R-Line Plus version. It should embody a bit of sportiness inside and out and is equipped accordingly.

It’s got a decent cabin with clean lines, plenty of space all around (even with the downside of the rear seat); There are comfortable seats, the odd touch of design flair, but it’s very light Volkswagen in the way it’s laid out.

The slider buttons for ventilation, for example, are similar to those on the Golf, but didn’t seem quite as awkward and difficult to reach and operate. The infotainment system worked well and wasn’t finicky.

So, in typical Volkswagen fashion, there’s nothing out of the ordinary, no nasty surprises and everything is pretty much where you’d expect it to be in a car of this size from the German giant.

However, when I checked the prices, I was surprised that this trial version costs 37,725 euros.

A shocking amount of money for a car that is by no means great, regardless of how well equipped it is or how good it looks.

Add another €1,000 for delivery and you nudge €40,000 for it.

The thing is really that the market can accept such a price because there is a huge demand, firstly for a new car and secondly for a stylish upright family crossover.

However, I am criticized for driving cars that are out of reach for most people.

Most of the criticism relates to reviews of high-flying electric Mercs, Beemers or Audis, but anything over the €30,000 mark is also considered unattainable by many.

Too bad you can’t get a lot of car for the money. In its own way, that says a lot about the earning power of the rich and rich in our society.

So many cars cost between 45,000 and 55,000 euros that there is a lot of focus on the cheaper ones.

Back to the road test. My test car had a 6-speed manual transmission that worked well with the excellent little 3-cylinder 1-litre petrol engine. It’s been a success from the day it was launched and is used under the hood of so many Volkswagen Group cars.

It matched the T-Roc to the ground with plenty of mid-gear pull around town and a nice foot action on the open roads, although some ripple effect came through on some roads.

All in all a lively, smart number that is worth the money: because it has SUV looks, but drives particularly well.

It has to, considering it has Audi Q2, Mercedes GLA and BMW X2 among its competitors.

would i buy it Yes for the solid sporty style and the large trunk. But it is expensive.

fact file

Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line plus 1 liter TSi 110hp, 999cc, 6-speed manual. Starting price €37,725, delivery €950.

Standard equipment: R-Line sport comfort seats with lumbar support, wireless app, 8-inch display of the infotainment system, parking assistant, reversing camera, sensors front and rear, Digital Cockpit Pro, two USB-C ports front and rear, panoramic sunroof, voice control, adaptive cruise control, sports suspension, sports dynamic steering, driving modes, spread of driver and safety assistants. Smart T-Roc works hard to overwhelm its competitors

Fry Electronics Team

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