0 - 62 mph4.9s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2196 g/km

Performance-minded compact SUVs are getting progressively more credible. Here's a case in point, the Volkswagen T-Roc R. A crossover's never going to be the perfect starting point for a shopping rocket but this one's been very thoroughly engineered to deliver most of the driving enjoyment of its similarly engineered Golf R counterpart: 300PS, 4MOTION 4WD, a throaty exhaust, a 445-litre boot and quite a lot of streetside presence. What's not to like?


Volkswagen's T-Roc gets serious in top 300PS R form. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Performance-minded compact SUVs are getting progressively more credible. Here's a case in point, the Volkswagen T-Roc R. A crossover's never going to be the perfect starting point for a shopping rocket but this one's been very thoroughly engineered to deliver most of the driving enjoyment of its similarly engineered Golf R counterpart: 300PS, 4MOTION 4WD, a throaty exhaust, a 445-litre boot and quite a lot of streetside presence. What's not to like?


When the Golf R first arrived back in 2009, we imagined it might pave the way to a whole series of 'R'-branded fast Volkswagens. In the event, it took a decade for the 'R' range to be expanded beyond the Golf line-up - with this car, the T-Roc R. Where once, Volkswagen would have added the R performance tinsel to conventional models like the Polo or the Passat, it says much for the current state of the market that beyond the Golf range (and possibly the ID.3 EV), it's limiting the tuning scope of Jost Capito's R tuning division to its SUVs. A Touareg R can be had if you have to buy the fastest Volkswagen SUV possible. In the real world though, this T-Roc R would probably be quicker point-to-point. But how close can it get to replicating the Golf R experience?

Driving Experience

Volkswagen R boss Jost Capito and his team started off with the usual Wolfsburg recipe for compact performance models. Namely, the award-winning EA888 version of the 2.0-litre TSI petrol turbo engine in 300PS form. Plus 4MOTION 4WD and a DSG 7-speed paddleshift auto gearbox. Pretty much what you'll find in a Golf R. And exactly as you'll find it with this car's two Volkswagen Group cousins, the Audi SQ 2 and the CUPRA Ateca. Or perhaps not quite exactly. Capito's engineers had to put quite a lot of specific effort in to make this formula really work for the T-Roc. An aluminium subframe (borrowed from the old Golf GTI) has been fitted at the front for lower weight and extra stiffness. There's a 20mm drop in ride height over a standard T-Roc and the springs are 20% stiffer. The brakes are borrowed from the old Golf GTI Performance Pack model, with bigger pads. And there are shorter gear ratios and specific damping settings, plus the option of Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive damping (which you can't have on an Audi SQ 2 and which is really a must-have addition if you're to be able to experience everything the dynamics of this car can offer). A fatter rear spoiler improves downforce at high speed. And there's a standard Drive Mode system with a rorty 'Race' setting, which really comes alive if you pay a ludicrous amount extra for the throaty Akrapovic exhaust. 62mph from rest takes just 4.8 seconds en route to an actual (not limited) top speed of 155mph.

Design and Build

Volkswagen has done its best to make this T-Roc R stand out from its humbler showroom stablemates. The front gets a more distinctive radiator grille bearing the 'R' logo and in place of the usual front fog lights, LED daytime running lights are set into the front bumper. From the side, you might notice that widened wheel arches surround the 19-inch 'Pretoria' alloy wheels and complement the black brake callipers complete with 'R' logo. There's also matt-chrome effect covers for the door mirrors and lowered 'R' sports suspension. The rear gains a black diffuser with twin chrome exhaust tailpipes left and right. Inside, the cabin features a smattering of 'R' logos - on the door sill protectors, front seat backrests and leather trimmed multifunction sports steering wheel. Plus there's ambient lighting, 'Gloss Black' decor, stainless steel pedals and grey contrast stitching for the carpet mats. Otherwise, it's much as in any other T-Roc, which means there's rather too much hard plastic trimming about for a car of this price. As in the standard model, there's comfortable space for a couple of adults on the back seat (though it'd be a squash for three). And there's a decent-sized boot measuring 445-litres when loaded up to the top of the second row seat backrests. Fold the rear bench and 1,290-litres of space can be freed up.

Market and Model

The T-Roc R costs around £39,000 and comes only with a DSG 7-speed auto gearbox and only in fixed top form (the idea of a T-Roc R Cabriolet is interesting but Volkswagen says there are no plans for such a thing). The key extras here lie with adaptive damping (pretty important to have) and the optional Akrapovic exhaust (a cool £3,000 more but gloriously sonorous). To give you some perspective on the pricing here, the next sporty T-Roc model down in the range, the R-Line 2.0 TSI 4MOTION variant with 190PS and the same auto DSG 'box, costs around £35,500. So for this top 'R' variant, you're paying around £3,500 for the extra power, a bit more chassis tuning, some extra equipment and a few additional sporty bits. That's a similar pricing position to this model's identically-engineered VW Group sporty compact SUV cousins, the Audi SQ2 and the CUPRA Ateca. That's a significant outlay, so you'll be expecting plenty to come as standard, in which case you shouldn't be disappointed. We've talked about the outward embellishments in our 'Design & Build' section, so we'll focus here on the interior niceties. You might expect full-leather upholstery for this kind of money but instead, the front sports seats are trimmed in 'Race' cloth, though they do get embroidered 'R' branding - which also features on the three-spoke multi-function steering wheel. There's also a powered tailgate and a 10.3-inch Active Info Display digital instrument cluster, which works in conjunction with an 8.0-inch Discover Navigation centre-dash infotainment screen. These two monitors combine to create a digital and interactive cockpit with a wide range of online services and apps accessible via smartphone and the usual 'Volkswagen Car-Net' media connectivity system.

Cost of Ownership

As you'd expect, the T-Roc R is class-competitive in terms of running costs. WLTP CO2 emissions are rated at 197g/km and the WLTP combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at 32.5mpg. For comparison, a T-Roc R-Line 2.0 TSI 4MOTION 190PS DSG model puts out 186g/km and manages up to 34.4mpg. The BIK tax rating is up at 37%. As for servicing, well as usual with Volkswagen models, there's a choice of either 'Fixed' or 'Flexible' maintenance packages. You'll choose the 'Fixed' approach if you cover less than 10,000 miles a year and with this, the car will typically be looked at every twelve months. If your daily commute is more than 25 miles and your T-Roc will regularly be driven on longer distance journeys, you'll be able to work with a 'Flexible' regime that can see you travelling up to 18,000 miles between garage visits - or every two years, whichever is sooner. And warranties? Well the standard package is three years and 60,000 miles.


Of the three Volkswagen Group compact SUVs that share this car's 2.0-litre turbo 300PS 4MOTION formula, this T-Roc R seems at first glance the most credible option. The CUPRA Ateca feels a bit contrived, and the Audi SQ 2 can't be had with the crucial option of adaptive damping. Plus this Volkswagen seems more thoroughly engineered by a team who've managed to get closer than expected to replicating the exemplary drive dynamics of this model's Golf R cousin. They haven't quite managed it of course - an SUV is never going to be quite as agile or as confidence-inspiring as a conventional hatch. But there are compensations of extra practicality and if you stretch to the optional Akrapovic exhaust, you'll at least feel more dynamic. It's all about perception you see. The people who created this car understand that.

  • Rain sensor
  • Heated rear window
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Rear wash/wipe with intermittent wipe setting
  • Rear tinted glass from B-pillar backwards approx 65% tinted
  • Front windscreen wiper with intermittent wipe and 4 position delay

  • Volkswagen roadside assistance
  • Electronic parking brake with auto hold
  • Ventilated front and rear disc brakes
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Electronic stability control (ESC) includes ASR, EDL, EDTC and trailer stabilisation function
  • Black brake calipers with R logo

  • Front + rear carpet mats

  • Voice activation
  • Bluetooth telephone and audio connection for compatible devices
  • Wireless app connect for apple carPlay

  • Lane assist with warning text instrument cluster
  • Modified key software - reduce switch off time for key status change to Long no motion
  • Adaptive cruise control with front assist, radar sensor controlled distance monitoring, city emergency braking
  • Race mode in driving programme selection
  • Driver alert system with audible and visual fatigue detection system
  • Ultrasonic front and rear optical and audible parking sensors
  • Progressive power assisted steering

  • Dusk sensor
  • Automatic start/stop system

  • 'Lights On' Remainder warning buzzer
  • Service interval indicator
  • Multifunction computer with visual gear change recommendation for fuel consumption
  • Think blue trainer driver tips and journey analysis
  • Car information display
  • Unique R instrument cluster
  • Driver tips and journey analysis
  • Discover navigation including 8" touch screen display, streaming and internet
  • Digital Cockpit Pro

  • Auto dimming interior rear view mirror
  • Electrically foldable, adjustable and heated door mirrors with puddle lights and reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger's door mirror

  • Gloss black decorative inserts in dash, centre console and door panels

  • 4MOTION active control
  • Battery regeneration during braking

  • Premium USB cable in choice of either Apple or Android smartphone compatibility
  • Three route options - Fast, Short, Eco
  • DAB Digital radio
  • SD card slot
  • Diversity antenna for FM reception
  • USB C Port in rear
  • Storage compartment with longitudinal and height adjustable in armrest and two rear air vents
  • Front USB type C Interface 2X and USB charging socket
  • Simultaneous pairing of 2 compatible mobile devices
  • Title and cover art display
  • Music playback - MP3, WMA and AAC files
  • SMS functionality - read, compose and send SMS messages using touch-screen display

  • Unique R badging
  • Unique R design key
  • Body colour bumpers with silver metallic underbody fascia
  • Radiator grille with R Logo
  • Volkswagen roundel
  • Unique R door sill protectors
  • Body colour rear roof spoiler
  • Fully galvanised body
  • Body colour door handles
  • Black grained lower door protectors
  • Black grained wheel arches

  • Automatic hazard lights activation under emergency braking
  • LED darkened rear light clusters
  • Manual coming/automatic leaving home lighting function
  • High level 3rd brake light
  • Front fog lights with static cornering function
  • LED rear number plate lights
  • LED dipped and main beam headlights with automatic range adjustment including signature LED daytime running lights

  • Climate control - 2 zone electronic air conditioning with automatic air recirculation and allergy filter

  • Storage compartment in rear doors
  • Storage compartment in left and right luggage area
  • Storage compartments in driver and front passenger doors
  • 4 load lashing points in luggage compartment
  • Load through provision with single cup holder when folded down
  • Black roof lining and sun visors
  • Drawer under drivers seat
  • Front cupholders x 2
  • Glovebox
  • Height/reach adjust steering wheel
  • Luggage compartment cover, removable
  • Unique R gear lever knob
  • Three spoke multi function leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob including paddle shift
  • Branded points of interest
  • Stainless steel pedals with brake and accelerator

  • 2 Front and rear reading lights incorporating LED technology
  • Luggage compartment lighting
  • Ambient lighting in front footwell and light strips below trim in front doors
  • Instrument lighting, white adjustable panel illumination
  • Interior light delay

  • R styling pack - T-Roc

  • Three point height adjust front seatbelts + pretensioners
  • Drivers and front passengers airbags with passengers deactivation switch
  • Driver and front passenger safety-optimised head restraints
  • Predictive pedestrian protection
  • Tyre pressure loss indicator
  • 3 rear three point seatbelts
  • Rigid safety cell with front and rear crumple zones
  • Front seat side impact airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Drivers seatbelt reminder

  • Front seat back storage pockets
  • 3 rear head restraints
  • Height adjustable front seats
  • Isofix easy fit child seat preparation for 2 outer rear seats
  • Split folding rear seat backrests with centre armrest
  • Front seat backrest

  • Electronic engine immobiliser
  • Alarm with remote central locking and interior protection
  • Remote central locking with 2 remote folding keys

  • Four wheel drive

  • Illuminated vanity mirrors

  • 19" Pretoria alloy wheels with anti-theft wheel bolts

  • CO2 (g/km): 176
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 272
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 195
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 172
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 189
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 197
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 199
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 196
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

  • CC: 1984
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 23.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 32.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 37.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 33.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 34
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 32.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 12
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 8.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 7.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 8.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 8.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 8.7

  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • Coin Series: R
  • Coin Description: TSI
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 34E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 96
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 87
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 79
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 71
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 300
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Power - BHP: 300
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.9
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 221
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 295
  • Engine Torque - NM: 400
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.8

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 235/40 R19
  • Wheel Style: PRETORIA
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Width (including mirrors): 1992
  • Height: N
  • Height (including roof rails): 1573
  • Length: 4263
  • Width: 1790
  • Wheelbase: 2626

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1440
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2020
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 55
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1700
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 580
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 393
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.1

  • Dynamic chassis control (DCC) - variable suspension settings sport, comfort and normal: £695
  • Lowered R sport suspension: Included

  • Side assist plus with rear traffic alert: £350
  • Rear view camera: £190
  • Driving profile selection - Eco, normal, sport or individual modes with Individual mode allows for steering, drive and air conditioning settings: Included

  • Electric operated opening and closing tailgate: £340

  • Matt chrome door mirrors: Included

  • Front and rear 6 speakers: Included
  • 4 X 20 watt output: Included

  • Electric sliding/tilting panoramic glass sunroof with panoramic rear panel: £1,165
  • Silver anodised roof rails: Included
  • Removal of roof rails: £0
  • Two tone - Black roof, A pillar and mirror housing: £430
  • Special solid paint: £375
  • Metallic paint: £625
  • Pearlescent paint: £625
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Signature metallic paint: £755
  • Akrapovic titanium sport exhaust system: £3,050

  • Light assist - High beam assist ( Automatic sensing for switching between dipped and main beam: £155

  • Nappa leather upholstery including heated front sports seats with embroidered R logo and manually adjustable lumbar support: £2,185
  • Race cloth upholstery: Included
  • Rear diffuser in black with twin oval chrome exhaust tailpipes left and right: Included

  • Winter pack - T-Roc/R: £305
  • Beats sound pack - T-Roc: £430
  • Smoking pack - T-Roc: £25
  • Winter pack in conjunction with leather upholstery - T-Roc/R: £50
  • Dashpad pack in Lapiz blue when bought with cloth upholstery: £115
  • Dashpad pack in Lapiz blue when bought with leather upholstery: £115

  • Metallic - Turmeric Yellow: £625
  • Metallic - White silver: £625
  • Metallic - Indium grey: £625

  • Pearl - Deep black: £625

  • Solid - Pure white: £0

  • Special solid - Flash red: £375
  • Signature metallic - Lapiz blue: £755

  • Front sport seats with embroidered R logo: Included
  • Lumbar support for driver's and front passengers seat: Included

  • Remote tailgate unlocking using key fob: Included
  • Remote keyless entry using key fob including Start/Stop button on centre console: £400

  • Removable towbar: £755

  • Race cloth - Titan black/flint grey with grey contrast stitching: £0

  • Nappa leather - Carbon including heated front sports seats with embroidered R logo and manually adjustable lumbar support: £2,185

  • Steel space saver spare wheel including tool kit and jack: £140
  • Tyre mobility set: Included

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

Lex Autolease
Leasing Broker Federation

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