2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style review

Volkswagen’s refreshed T-Roc mirrors the excellent Golf hatchback in many respects, albeit in small SUV form.

2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style

“Is that the big one, or the little one?”

I’ve asked myself that a few times when looking at Volkswagen’s range of small SUVs.

Is it the small one, or the smaller one?

I guess when you’ve got long-standing and dominant names like Golf, Polo and Tiguan, getting your head around a couple of relatively new entrants from the German automotive giant – with strangely similar names no less – can take a little time.

Here is the cheat sheet: whereas the T-Cross is closer in dimensions to the smaller Polo, the T-Roc we have here is closer to the Golf in terms of both dimensions and underpinnings.

You could argue that Volkswagen was late to the party with the T-Roc since it arrived in 2020 to our local market. But with nearly 9000 examples finding a home in Australia in 2023, you have to say it has cemented a solid position in the competitive small SUV space.

The T-Roc was also Volkswagen’s most popular model last year, comfortably beating out the smaller T-Cross and Amarok four-wheel-drive ute.

And considering the close mechanical nature of the T-Roc to the (very good) Golf, you can see the appeal of the T-Roc for Australian buyers. It’s a Golf-turned-SUV, essentially.

How much does the Volkswagen T-Roc cost in Australia?

While the recently introduced T-Roc CityLife is the lowest-price option in the range, this T-Roc Style still sticks mostly to the side of pragmatism overall.

And squeezing in just below the $40,000 mark before on-road costs at $39,790, there is a nice inclusion of standard equipment for the asking price. This includes keyless entry, push-button start, a digital instrument cluster and 8.0-inch infotainment display. There’s also a dual-zone climate-control system, second-row air vents and a 60/40 split for the folding second row.

This specification gets Hill Start Assist (instead of an auto-hold function) in comparison to the R-Line model, also misses out on progressive steering, sporty seats with nappa leather and heating up front, black headlining, and a bunch of R-Line styling changes inside and out.

We would argue that unless you go the whole hog on the high-performance T-Roc R, we would say the Style grade (like what we have here) or even CityLife present the smartest choices in the range in terms of value.

However, the more powerful engine with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive of the R-Line will be appealing for those want a warmed-up (but not yet hot) urban assault vehicle.

Key details 2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style
Price $39,790 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Pyrite Silver
Options Metallic paint – $700
Price as tested $40,490 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $43,711 (Sydney)
Rivals Subaru Crosstrek | Hyundai Kona | Kia Seltos

How much space does the Volkswagen T-Roc have inside?

Since having our third kid, we now have the opportunity to test out cars by attempting to shoehorn three baby seats across the second row, with one of them being rearward-facing.

Now, I know the T-Roc probably isn’t going to be high on the consideration list for a family of five, but it’s a good way to benchmark overall seating space and suitability. Firstly, there are three easily accessible top tether points and two ISOFIX points in the T-Roc, and we were able to fit in all three seats. Although, we had to use the seatbelts (instead of ISOFIX points) to eke out the extra width.

That’s a good thing for a small SUV I reckon, and there is a decent amount of space on offer when the baby seats are removed. Seating for adults in the back is comfortable, with rear air vents and USB-C power outlets rounding out the appeal.

Up front, the T-Roc gives you an interior experience that is classic Volkswagen: quality feeling, well-executed and aesthetically pleasing. The choice and mixture of materials feels good, and your common touchpoints around the steering wheel, shifter, centre console and door cards all have an innate sense of quality.

The digital instrument cluster adds a flash of fancy, and the storage drawers underneath the front seats are thoughtful inclusions.

Air-conditioning controls are easy to use, with a physical interface for fan speed, air temperature and other basic functions.

Along with a wireless charging pad in the well-sized nook under the infotainment display (which works well for storing your random stuff), there is a 12V outlet and twin USB-C points for charging and smartphone mirroring duties.

There’s room for bottles in the doors, but don’t expect to fit much stuff in the central storage in under the armrest, however, as it is quite small.

The boot of the T-Roc presents well also, but 445 litres of quoted storage space seems generous. The floor is a two-position job, however, so you can drop it down into a lower position to access some extra cargo space. There’s a space-saving spare wheel in the boot of the T-Roc, but you could potentially fit a full-sized spare underneath with the floor raised up.

2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style
Seats Five
Boot volume 445L seats up
1290L seats folded
Length 4251mm
Width 1819mm
Height 1599mm
Wheelbase 2603mm

Does the Volkswagen T-Roc have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

There is an 8.0-inch infotainment display in the T-Roc, which is shared across the range (except for the 9.2-inch system in the range-topping T-Roc R). That’s not a huge jump in screen acreage, and it’s behind some of the latest competitors in terms of outright size.

Jones-keeping aside, the system in this T-Roc is mostly quite good. The quality of the screen is good, and processing speeds seem to be quite fast. There’s a volume dial, an extra dial that you never seem to use, as well as buttons to help with basic functions and navigation. There’s wired and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, AM/FM and native navigation all included here.

And because of the physical climate-control buttons further down, the infotainment display isn’t burdened with extracurricular responsibilities.

There’s also a digital instrument cluster in front of the driver, which does away with physical dials but can also mimic them in some display modes. Navigation can be pushed onto this screen, and you can go into a zen-mode with a stripped-back, mostly black readout.

Is the Volkswagen T-Roc a safe car?

At the time of writing, the 2024 Volkswagen T-Roc is defined as unrated. However, examples of the T-Roc built before 1st January 2024 get a five-star ANCAP safety rating, with the original hating having expired (in line with ANCAP guidelines) in December 2023.

Although the vehicle itself is unchanged, ANCAP’s evolving test criteria mean an older five-star result may not be comparable to a current one. It’s currently unclear whether the 2024 T-Roc will be retested in the future.

But for what it’s worth – and against the less stringent 2017 testing criteria – the T-Roc picked up 96 per cent for adult protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 79 per cent for pedestrian protection, and 71 per cent for safety assist systems.

2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style
ANCAP rating Unrated

What safety technology does the T-Roc have?

Safety ratings aside, the T-Roc Style is well stacked with safety equipment, one part of the major appeal of the T-Roc Style over the more rudimentary CityLife specification.

We’ve got blind-spot monitoring, side assist and rear cross-traffic alert included in this spec – something that the cheaper model doesn’t. This is on top of things like autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keep assistance and low-speed automatic braking in forward and reverse.

There’s also driver fatigue detection, and the autonomous emergency braking system detects pedestrians.

How much does the Volkswagen T-Roc cost to maintain?

Servicing costs of the T-Roc are relative high, coming in at $1592 for the first three years (averaging $530 per year), while five years averages out at $618 per year. And considering the fact that the T-Roc uses more expensive premium fuel, this little Volkswagen doesn’t bode well for overall running costs.

Buyers can opt for pre-paid Care Plan servicing at $1450 for three years or $2450 for five years to bring costs down slightly, though this then becomes part of the up-front cost at the time of purchase.

In terms of insurance, the T-Roc Style will cost $1409 per year based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

At a glance 2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style
Warranty Five years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $1592 (3 years)
$3091 (5 years)
$1450 (3 years, prepaid)
$2450 (3 years, prepaid)

Is the Volkswagen T-Roc fuel-efficient?

A 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine bodes well for fuel consumption, especially when it only has to worry about turning the front wheels. And against a claim of 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, we came reasonably close to matching this frugal claim.

In our testing, we saw around 6.5L/100km on a longer highway stint, a figure that hovered around the low eights in heavier urban usage, and an average of 7.4L/100km in total.

Fuel Consumption – brought to you by bp

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 6.3L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 7.4L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 50L

What is the Volkswagen T-Roc like to drive?

Those craving horsepower will likely be looking further up the ladder (or elsewhere), but the 1.4-litre engine works well as a general duties car. The 110TSI moniker refers to 110kW, which comes on at 5000rpm and is helped along by a turbocharger.

But more importantly, a stout 250Nm available from 1500–4000rpm allows for a confident – but not scintillating – sense of acceleration.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is a torque converter style unit, proved to be a well-matched companion. Along with the smaller-capacity engine, this gearbox is a major difference between the sportier dual-clutch automatic in the R-Line and R models.

And while the dual-clutch transmission (which Volkswagen calls DSG) is a good example of the technology that can give smooth driving and fast shifting characteristics, there’s nothing wrong with a smooth, set-and-forget torque converter.

Don’t forget, Volkswagen chose to reinstate a torque converter gearbox in the latest-generation Golf after three generations and about 20 years of dual-clutch transmissions. And for good reason: they work bloody well.

Another good thing about this T-Roc – in comparison to the more expensive models in the range – is the ride quality on offer. Without the sport suspension and independent rear suspension of all-wheel drive models, we’ve got a more compliant and absorbent driving experience in the 110TSI T-Roc. Rough suburban roads with sharp creases and joins are dispatched with aplomb, but the overall driving experience doesn’t feel overly wafting or loose at the same time.

While many will no doubt appreciate the sharper steering and firmer ride of other models, the comfort orientation of the T-Roc in this specification hits the right notes for me.

And it’s still fun enough to punt through the odd corner here and there – when circumstances allow – for a bit of driving enjoyment.

This all comes from the bones underneath, and the most MQB platform from Volkswagen that underpins this model (along with many others). If feels well sorted, well engineered and fit for purpose.

Key details 2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style
Engine 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 110kW @ 5000rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1500–4000rpm
Drive type Front-wheel drive
Transmission 8-speed torque converter automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 81.6W/t
Weight (tare) 1348kg
Spare tyre type Space-saver
Tow rating 1500kg braked
690kg unbraked
Turning circle 11.1m

Should I buy a Volkswagen T-Roc?

Considering the quality of the bones underneath the T-Roc, which are used in a huge variety of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles, it’s not surprising that this small SUV feels enjoyable and so well sorted in many respects. It’s of a size and footprint that should be in the Goldilocks zone for many buyers (not too big, not too small).

There is sharper value available in some competitive models (but perhaps not the same level of polish), though buyers should also be aware of the higher running costs in this car. For example, the Hyundai Kona Hybrid Premium can be a big bump in more equipment for the extra spend, but will also be cheaper to run and service.

The extra safety equipment of the Style makes a compelling argument over the cheaper CityLife specification, and the additional comfort and efficiency make sense against the core values and needs of a small SUV in comparison to the more expensive R-Line and R models.

However, modern life dictates that having two cars is an extravagance, and those who want to combine a more thrilling drive experience will be lured towards the two more expensive variants.

How do I buy a VW T-Roc – next steps?

This T-Roc Style does feel like something of a sweet spot in the range, but those with smaller and larger budgets will likely be swayed by the CityLife spec (on the cheaper side) and R-Line (on the spendier side).

The good news for those wanting a T-Roc of any kind is that supply levels from the factory in Palmela, Portugal are described as strong and with a good forecast into 2024.

Indeed, using the stock searching function on the Volkswagen Australia website shows up plenty of example vehicles across the country. So your next step would be to find your nearest Volkswagen dealer via this link. You can also search new and used T-Rocs for sale at Drive.com.au/cars-for-sale.

However, we would recommend test-driving the T-Roc against some other good examples in the segment like the Honda HR-V, Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Kona and Skoda Kamiq.

If you want to stay updated with everything that’s happened to this car since our review, you’ll find all the latest news here.

The post 2024 Volkswagen T-Roc 110TSI Style review appeared first on Drive.

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