Volkswagen’s T-Roc is a good sport

IT HAS been said that sports utility vehicles (SUV) are more popular than oxygen, and a good look at which vehicles are on the road would back up that statement.

Every manufacturer worth their salt is creating an SUV and Volkswagen is no different – you might even say they’ve got it down to a T.

The VW T-Roc follows in the tyre treads of the Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg. And just to add to the clutter, the German manufacturer has recently intro- duced the T-Cross.

The T-Roc looks as solid as you’d expect a VW to, with a wide bonnet and grille, but there are some design ourishes, too.

Large LED daytime running lights sit below the headlights and there’s a contrasting roof, along with the choice of some

bright and cheery paint colours. Black plastic cladding over the wheel arches and around the door sills also gives the T-Roc more rugged SUV-like looks.

So how does it perform? Well, in truth, it was no great shakes – and that’s important to know in a highly competitive market that means that you have to be wary when you are parting with your cash.

It got me about efficiently, but with no noticeable wow factor.

The T-Roc has a lot of class acts to follow, after all Volkswagen have given us the iconic Golf, Beetle and Polo in the past.

I don’t think the T-Roc will ever be mentioned in such exalted company, but future generations of the vehicle will see it step up. That said, it is one of the most comfortable small SUVs on the market.

It soaks up bumps better than many rivals, while still keeping its body from bouncing up and down too much along the many undulating roads that us drivers have to encounter.

The cute-looking T-Roc has precise, sweetly weighted steering that makes it a pleasant and easy car to drive smoothly.

There’s a wide range of pet- rol and diesel engines, starting with a 1.0-litre TSI petrol produc- ing 113bhp. If you want more a more powerful engine, there’s a 1.5-litre TSI with 148bhp or a range-topping 187bhp 2.0-litre TSI that has 4motion four-wheel drive and seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

Should you plan on driving lots of miles – or just prefer diesel engines – there’s a 2.0-litre TDI making 148bhp. The S, SE, Design, SEL and R-Line trim levels all offer a logical step up in luxury. Inside the cabin, the T-Roc’s standard touchscreen infotainment system is the same 8.0in unit that you’ll find in the Golf, but because it’s positioned higher here, it’s easier to keep half an eye on the road while operating it, which is also a plus.

The system is great to use, re- sponding quickly to prods and providing well-structured menus that prove easy to navigate.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring come as standard on all but entry-level S trim, where it’s a reasonably priced option.

There are generous amounts of options you can add to your vehicle, but after seven days with this latest SUV, I have to admit – with the new football season nearly upon us – that the T-Roc does not top the Premier League!

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