With the rise in popularity of the SUV shape, most mainstream manufacturers now boast some form of presence within this space. In response, larger brands like Volkswagen have started uncovering specific niches within the SUV segment.
One such target audience has been those looking for the sense of presence and adventure offered by a raised ride height and corresponding taller driving position, yet not necessarily requiring the additional interior space broadly associated with these types of vehicles.
Slotting in above the recently introduced Taigo and the ever-popular Tiguan, the T-Roc is said to offer more trendy, stand-out design cues compared with a traditional SUV package, while being a contemporary take on this segment.
VW forecasts that up to 50% of its annual sales will be made up of SUVs by 2025.
Having sold more than 4 500 units in South Africa since its late-2020 introduction, the T-Roc range was recently refreshed to include updated exterior styling and appropriate interior enhancements.
While not offering a particularly raised ride height compared with that of a traditional hatchback, the appeal of the T-Roc has rather been the fun one can have while choosing between up to 20 exterior colours, as well as the option to include a contrast-colour roof. This can be finished in either white, black or Idium. The selection of alloy wheels offered ranges in size from 17 to 19 inches.
Available in either Design or R-Line specification, the option of a Black package on each of these derivatives offers an additional sense of presence and individualisation.
As with all latest-generation VW products, the T-Roc is offered with modern technologies like the brand's IQ.Drive driver assistance package, as well as its clever IQ.Light LED Matrix headlamp systems.
The T-Roc is sold in South Africa with a choice of either a 1.4 TSI motor and automatic transmission that sends power only to the front wheels, or a 2.0 TSI turbo-petrol drivetrain that includes the brand's 4Motion all-wheel-drive setup.
While the entry-level derivative is only offered in Design trim, including standard 17-inch alloy wheels, buyers can option a Black package for added presence. This changes items like the grille, side mirrors and an upgraded 18-inch alloy wheel to a darker hue. Standard inclusion inside the Design package is a digital instrument cluster, eight-inch Composite media infotainment display, keyless entry and a leather-bound steering wheel.
The top-of-the-range R-Line package adds a more dynamic-looking exterior design including 19-inch alloy wheels. This derivative also gains a firmer sports suspension. The cabin is upgraded via Nappa-leather-covered sports seats and a more comprehensive digital instrument cluster.
Optional extras on both cars include a panoramic sunroof, an upgraded sound system, the inclusion of satellite navigation and the aforementioned IQ.Light upgrade.
It's worth repeating that the T-Roc package does sacrifice some rear passenger comfort and luggage space in favour of its contemporary design.
Volkswagen T-Roc Design 1.4 TSI
Volkswagen T-Roc Design 2.0 TSI 4Motion
Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion
The VW T-Roc Service Plan is valid for five-years/90,000 km and VWSA's three-year/120 000 km warranty. Included is also the brand's current 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals on this model are 15 000 km.
Volkswagen customers are also offered the opportunity to purchase an EasyDrive plan to either add or extend a service or maintenance plan to their purchase.
Sharing a platform with other hugely successful current VW products, the T-Roc is proving to be a compelling alternative to a traditional hatchback. The car boasts a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, including a 96% score in adult occupant protection and a 87% mark for child cushioning.
The brand prides itself in a comprehensive network of spare parts and offers countrywide roadside assistance.
Volkswagen Financial Services offers a comprehensive bouquet of insurance and financing solutions. This includes Shortfall Plus to cover any outstanding debt should your vehicle be written-off with money still owing, as well as a Customer Protection Plan to settle your account in the event of illness or death.