Third on the car bestseller list: VW T-Roc - on the road as if with a magic cloak

The VW T-Roc is hardly seen on our streets - but actually only felt.

Third on the car bestseller list: VW T-Roc - on the road as if with a magic cloak

The VW T-Roc is hardly seen on our streets - but actually only felt. Because it is actually a real bestseller: third place among the best-selling vehicles in Germany in 2022. However, despite some strengths, it also has quite a few weaknesses. A test report.

Do you know the best-selling vehicles of the past year in Germany? The Golf is still in first place (84,000 units), albeit badly plucked compared to its best times. There are many reasons for this, but it is also due to the models in second and third place, the SUVs Tiguan and T-Roc from the same company, of which around 59,000 were sold each and which encouraged some former Golf drivers with back problems to switch like to have.

Wait a minute, the T-Roc in third place? You hardly ever see him. That's not entirely true, it's overlooked. Because the vehicle moves so unobtrusively in traffic that the "T" in the name could also stand for "magic cloak". Especially since not only do its drivers like to dress in the wide range of colors between stone and mouse gray, but also like to treat their vehicle to exciting paint finishes in black, dark blue or even grey.

The design of the T-Roc is quite successful. What is striking when you take a second look at the five-seater, which has been in production since the end of 2017 but was thoroughly revised at the end of 2021, is, for example, its beefy front with elegant cross braces, the striking wheel arches or the harmonious side line with the roof sloping slightly backwards and the wide, conspicuously sloping standing C-pillar. The positive impression may also be due to the fact that the Wolfsburg-based company only delivers its crossover in the 2.0 TSI version we drove with the sporty R-Line equipment, which includes the beautiful 17-inch aluminum alloy, the sports suspension and progressive steering.

At 4.25 meters, the T-Roc is almost exactly at Golf level and since it is of course also based on the so-called modular transverse matrix (MQB), you could also see it as a kind of jacked-up Golf. Surprisingly, the rear seats are relatively narrow. And the trunk, which is a bit smaller here than in the less powerful versions due to the standard all-wheel drive anyway, at 392 liters it is just almost 20 liters larger than in the bestseller, the maximum value with the rear seat folded down is even identical at 1237 liters. You would expect a little more from a vehicle of this length with SUV claims.

But at least the front is very generous, the driver and passenger have plenty of space and also sit on excellent chairs. As is unfortunately usual at Volkswagen these days, operation is no longer self-explanatory. After all, since the big facelift, there are now soft-touch surfaces instead of hard plastic and the analogue instrument cluster has been replaced by a digital one. Finally, LED headlights are always on board, as well as the latest assistance systems, for which, however, surcharges are sometimes required.

Speaking of the price: At 40,780 euros, the T-Roc in this version is an expensive pleasure, especially since 50,000 euros and more quickly become due with a little more sensible equipment. But it is also cheaper, for example in the basic version as a 1.0-liter TSI for 24,345 euros with sparse equipment.

Fortunately, Volkswagen still offers a fairly wide range of engines, ranging from petrol engines with 110, 150, 190 and 300 hp to diesels with 116 and 150 hp. The 2.0 TSI in the more civil variant we drove has 140 kW/190 hp and a torque of 320 Newton meters. For the sake of completeness, the driving performance should also be mentioned here: The T-Roc accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and the maximum speed is 218 km/h.

The engine does its job excellently. In front of all the tested e-cars and plug-in hybrids, you almost forgot how much fun such a powerful petrol engine can be. The two-liter is good on the gas and makes the almost 1.7 ton all-wheel drive felt light-footed brother. That all-wheel drive also ensures that the T-Roc, with its very comfortable sports chassis, can be moved through curves as if on rails. Unfortunately, the dual-clutch transmission doesn't keep up and shows its well-known weaknesses, which include a lack of comfort when starting, driving slowly and reversing. The seven-course is obviously no longer up-to-date.

As much fun as the drive is, the performance takes its toll. Despite a predominantly moderate driving style, we added over one and a half liters to the 7.4 liters promised by the manufacturer, so that in the end we had a less than convincing test consumption of 9.1 liters per 100 kilometers. At that point at the latest, we would have actually wished for a magic cloak at the gas station.

VW T-Roc 2.0 TSI - technical data