This smooth-steering European SUV is a must-have for potential buyers who like to drive, but not everything is up to par.
Small SUVs are all the rage, they are as suitable for the city as a hatchback but benefit from an increased ride height and better forward vision.
We take a look at VW’s soon to be refreshed T-Roc 140TSI.
The two-level Volkswagen T-Roc range starts at around $40,000 drive-away for the 110TSI model and tops out at around $48,000 for the sporty-flavored 140TSI version tested here. The 140TSI is sold out before an updated version arrives in August, so you might get a deal.
The extra money gets you a powerful gasoline turbo engine, all-wheel drive and a sporty dual-clutch automatic transmission.
It’s a steep price to enter the T-Roc range, but the 140TSI is on par with a similarly equipped Mazda CX-30. You’ll find cheaper top-ends with Kia and Hyundai badges, though.
Aimed at urban riders, the T-Roc combines funky styling with a decent level of support kit.
It has desirable elements such as LED lighting, red ambient interior lighting and 18-inch alloy wheels.
A central eight-inch touchscreen is compatible with wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and there’s a 10.25-inch digital display in front of the driver.
Both rows are served by multiple USB-C charging points, but the lack of a wireless device charger is disappointing.
VW covers its vehicles with the industry standard of five years/unlimited km. Maintenance costs $3367 for five years, but prepay at time of purchase and it will cost $2600 for five services.
Passengers inside are greeted by firm cloth seats with manual adjustments. Our test car was equipped with the $3,500 Luxury package that includes heated leather sport seats, a panoramic sunroof and a power liftgate for easy trunk access.
A leather-wrapped, three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel and shifter with red contrast stitching are a nice touch.
The cabin is disappointing by VW standards, however, as there’s a lot of cheap, hard plastics. It regains some points with rear-seat air vents and soft-touch seatbacks.
The increased ride height makes it easier for older passengers to get on and off and improves forward vision.
There’s a fair amount of tire roar on shoddy road surfaces. The firm suspension makes steering the SUV smoother, but you’ll feel bumps and bumps more.
The T-Roc has active safety aids. The car will automatically apply the brakes if it senses a potential collision, steer you back into your lane if you wander, and let you know if another car is in your blind spot. It will also sound an alarm if a car approaches from the side when backing up.
Front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera help in tight spaces, while six airbags add greater peace of mind.
The powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine puts out an impressive 140kW and 320Nm of power. This torque occurs early in the rev range, delivering plenty of punch off the mark.
It’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that appeals to the car’s sporty nature, but can be a bit snappy at lower gears.
Precise and quick steering combined with all-wheel drive makes it easy to work on a winding country road.
The suspension borders on the firm side on pockmarked city streets, but offers excellent body control in the corners.
VW claims a fuel consumption of 7.2L/100km and requires more expensive premium gasoline.
Sporty SUV with a punchy engine but a less than inspiring cabin takes away some of the shine.
KIA SELTOS GT-LINE, FROM $45,290
Can’t compete with VW’s driving experience, but has a longer seven-year warranty.
MAZDA CX-30 ASTINA AWD, STARTING AT APPROXIMATELY $49,000
Nicely styled with a list of healthy equipment. Older, thirsty non-turbo engine.
HYUNDAI KONA N, FROM APPROXIMATELY $52,500
Massive increase in performance and capacity for little extra expense. Not so easy to live with on a daily basis.
VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC 140TSI SPORT VITALS
THE PRICE From around $48,000 by car
ENGINE 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo petrol, 140 kW and 320 Nm
WARRANTY/SERVICE Five years/unlimited km, $3,367 over five years or $2,600 (prepaid)
SECURITY Automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control
THE THIRST 7.2L/100km
SPARE PART space saver
LUGGAGE 392 liters
Originally published as 2022 Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI Sport Review