Volkswagen has a punchy new compact crossover, the 2018 VW T-Roc, promising more style in a smaller footprint ideal for urban drivers.
Fourth of the automaker’s SUV line-up, the T-Roc manages to be far more visually interesting than its sober, sensible predecessors, while VW claims it’ll be more engaging to drive than you might expect, too. That’s no bad thing, since none of the company’s existing SUVs could really be confused as entertaining on the road.
Smaller than the Tiguan, it has a bold trapezoidal grille flanked with integrated dual headlamps. Black contrasting body-trim is there partly for style and partly for increasing bodywork ruggedness. There’s also chrome trim that runs up the A-pillar, along the roofline, and back to the C-pillar.
VW says that’s to give the T-Roc a coupe-esque look, though we’re not sure anybody will be convinced. Better is the optional bi-color finish which gives the pillars a different paint job compared to the body. LED tail lamps and daytime running lamps are standard.
Oddly, though, for all VW’s lip service to the future being electrified, it has gone entirely old-school with the T-Roc’s engines. There’ll be six in total, all turbocharged. Half will be diesel TDI’s, while the other half will be gas TSI’s; some will have front-wheel drive and manual transmissions, while others will have the dual-clutch 7-speed automatic with either FWD or 4Motion all-wheel drive options.
Inside, there’s space for up to five. The rear seats drop down to expand the 445 liter cargo space to up to 1,290 liters; they also fold in a 60/40 split, should you need to balance passengers and load. A power hatchback is also available.
As for the tech, there’s Front Assist area monitoring with emergency city braking and pedestrian monitoring as standard, along with automatic post-collision braking and lane-keeping assistance. Air conditioning, and VW’s Composition Color infotainment system, are also standard-fit. Tick the right boxes, meanwhile, and you can add adaptive cruise control, rear traffic alerts and blind-spot monitors, parking assistance, traffic jam assistance, and emergency assistance.
Adaptive chassis control and progressive steering can be added for more eager drivers, and there’s also the option of keyless entry. Two higher-level trims – Sport and Style – will add things like contrast-color interior panels and sport comfort seats.
VW says the T-Roc will go on sale in Europe from November. Pricing is expected to kick off from around 20,000 EUR (R310 000) though don’t get too excited. Right now there are no plans to bring the T-Roc to the Mzansi.