2023 Volkswagen T-Roc R assessment



Enjoyable reality: Australia is likely one of the largest markets for Volkswagen R merchandise outdoors of Europe.

So it’s no shock the model has fought exhausting to carry nearly each flagship efficiency product obtainable within the world portfolio to Australia. It began with the Golf R, adopted by the Tiguan R, and now the T-Roc R.

The Volkswagen T-Roc R really isn’t all that new, because it’s been round for quite a few years in Europe earlier than the nameplate’s mid-life refresh. However hey, higher late than by no means proper?

It serves as the brand new entry level into Volkswagen Australia’s now sprawling R line-up, which is able to quickly additionally embody the flagship Touareg R plug-in hybrid (PHEV) either late in 2022 or early 2023.

Priced from slightly below $60,000 earlier than on-road prices, the T-Roc R dips again right into a worth bracket as soon as the realm of the Mk7 and Mk7.5 Golf R, and blends the Golf R’s oily bits with the in-vogue crossover physique type.

On paper, it must be successful. Might this be the model’s new fan favorite?

How a lot does the Volkswagen T-Roc R value?

The T-Roc R is priced from $59,300 earlier than on-road prices and choices.

It’s practically $10,000 cheaper than the bigger Tiguan R (from $68,990), regardless of being faster to 100km/h and providing comparable ranges of options and specification, and it’s greater than $5000 cheaper than the Mk8 Golf R Hatch (from $65,990).

Need one thing even cheaper? For the 2023 model-year Volkswagen Australia is bringing the T-Roc R Grid Version with a streamlined spec sheet for $5000 much less – learn extra in regards to the limited-edition mannequin here.

2023 Volkswagen T-Roc pricing:

  • Volkswagen T-Roc Fashion: $36,600
  • Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line: $44,700
  • Volkswagen T-Roc R Grid Version: $54,300
  • Volkswagen T-Roc R: $59,300

Key rivals embody:

All costs exclude on-road prices

What’s the Volkswagen T-Roc R like on the within?

The T-Roc R builds on the up to date inside of the core vary, decking out the cabin in Nappa leather-based as normal and providing elective Lapiz Blue trim inserts – an additional $250.

R variations of the T-Roc additionally decide up the bigger 9.2-inch touchscreen unavailable decrease down within the vary, which is a pleasant level of distinction as effectively.

The R steering wheel isn’t overly completely different to the tiller within the R-Line, although it will get blue inserts and the plastic paddle shifters are enlarged and really feel extra substantial.

Up entrance you’re sat in comfy Sport entrance seats with blue R embroidery, trimmed in Nappa leather-based as normal – it’s just about the identical seat that’s an possibility within the R-Line.

Drivers get electrical adjustment with reminiscence presets, and as famous in our assessment of the usual T-Roc, these seats provide a variety of adjustment and are very comfy and supportive.

Whereas we didn’t have it on take a look at, the T-Roc R Grid Version could have the identical seats trimmed in a sports activities fabric and suede mixture upholstery, and the electrical adjustment for the driving force is eliminated.

Being primarily an an identical cabin to decrease grades means construct high quality is stable although some supplies are nonetheless somewhat questionable given the R’s beginning worth. The brand new soft-touch dashboard is a welcome improve, although the exhausting door tops and lower-tier plastics remind you of the T-Roc’s extra budget-friendly origins.

Forward of the driving force is the ten.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional digital instrument binnacle, widespread to a slew of present VW merchandise from the Polo hatchback via to the Tiguan SUV. It’s fast and clear, and provides a variety of views to indicate no matter data you need – i.e. mapping, journey laptop and efficiency knowledge.

In contrast to different platform-sharing fashions inside the Volkswagen Group – just like the SQ2 and Karoq Sportline – there’s no sportier possibility within the digital cluster for a central tacho dial to additional differentiate the R from core fashions.

The 9.2-inch touchscreen sitting atop the dashboard is usually Volkswagen in that it’s simple to make use of, is effectively featured, and provides good graphics and cargo occasions. It’s hooked as much as an elective 300W six-speaker Beats premium audio system which provides fairly punchy sound high quality – although we reckon it must be normal.

Wi-fi Apple CarPlay labored seamlessly throughout our time with the T-Roc R, bolstered by the grippy, rubberised wi-fi smartphone charging pad beneath the centre stack.

Regardless of its compact dimensions (4236mm lengthy, 1819mm broad, 2595mm wheelbase), the T-Roc’s second row is surprisingly accommodating.

At 6’1 I can comfortably match behind my very own driving place, and there’s adequate facilities for youths and adults alike driving within the rear.

Directional air vents, rear map pockets, a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, and twin USB-C ports imply the T-Roc’s second row is effectively featured for the category, whereas ISOFIX and top-tether factors imply your little ones are catered for too.

The T-Roc R quotes 392 litres of bags capability in five-seat configuration, which expands to 1237 litres with the rear seats folded.

Just like the T-Roc R-Line, the R loses some capability to the front-wheel drive T-Roc Fashion (445L/1290L) because of the added all-wheel drive {hardware} on the rear.

Below the boot flooring is a space-saver spare wheel.

What’s below the bonnet?

Energy within the T-Roc R comes from a model of Volkswagen’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, tuned to ship 221kW (5300-6600rpm) and 400Nm (2000-5300rpm) on this utility – just like the Audi SQ2 and Cupra Ateca.

Drive is shipped to a 4Motion variable all-wheel drive system by way of a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automated transmission. Volkswagen quotes a 0-100 time of 4.9 seconds.

The T-Roc R is fitted with a petroleum particulate filter (PPF), which means Australia will get the full-fat European drivetrain. In consequence, 98 RON premium unleaded gas is the required octane score, to keep away from pricey injury to the exhaust remedy system brought on by Australia’s lower-grade sulphurous gas.

Talking of gas, the T-Roc R makes use of a claimed 8.3L/100km on the mixed cycle. The gas tank measures 55 litres.

How does the Volkswagen T-Roc R drive?

Push the beginning button and the T-Roc fires to life with a muted growl, very like different Volkswagen merchandise with this engine.

This efficiency drivetrain breathes new life into the T-Roc, which has at all times felt prefer it’s able to dealing with extra grunt than the earlier 140kW flagship.

In a short time you’ll discover the added muscle from low down within the rev vary – 400Nm from 2000rpm is nothing to sneeze at, particularly in a car weighing 1519kg (tare). It’s solely 18kg heavier than the Mk8 Golf R.

In regular driving there’s easy shove, and the racy additions of the R package deal haven’t essentially compromised consolation. The engine and exhaust notice are properly subdued in Consolation and Regular settings, and the Adaptive Chassis Management (damping) provides good compliance in stated modes.

The T-Roc R is clearly tuned on the firmer facet, however like different R merchandise it’s completely serviceable as a each day driver.

Crank up the dial somewhat bit, and there’s a brand new dimension to the T-Roc’s driving expertise courtesy of the Golf R {hardware} beneath.

Sink your boot in and the little crossover shoots in the direction of the horizon, and there’s a pleasant raspy notice to the drivetrain, augmented by some software program trickery via the car’s audio system.

On upshifts the T-Roc R will fart or pop relying on the depth of throttle utility and drive mode, however regardless this factor is a hoot to drive on the town and up a winding B-road. If solely the Akrapovic titanium exhaust supplied abroad was obtainable domestically, as a result of it could solely improve the expertise additional.

On the subject of winding B-roads, the outskirts of Canberra had an exquisite mixture of high-speed nation roads that basically allowed the T-Roc R to stretch its legs and exhibit its dynamic skills.

Whereas the driving place is somewhat excessive – very like the Tiguan R – the T-Roc goes exhausting each in a straight line and within the bends. It actually does really feel like a raised Golf R.

There’s a lot grunt throughout the rev band, with snappy shifts from the DSG transmission and big grip courtesy of the 235/40 R19 Continental ContiSport Contact efficiency tyres and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

It’s a stack of enjoyable to punt this factor via a sequence of corners whatever the pace, and I couldn’t assist however smile at how the T-Roc R carried out itself. I felt foolish driving as aggressively as I may whereas perched excessive on this compact car.

Like decrease grades of the T-Roc, the R comes decked out with the most recent lively security programs, together with the nifty Journey Help which mixes adaptive cruise and lane-centring for semi-autonomous freeway driving as much as 210km/h. Additional, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts are helpful to have given the T-Roc’s thick C-pillars.

Whereas the majority of the drive expertise is kind of optimistic, the T-Roc R isn’t with out its setbacks.

The massive wheels and sports activities suspension tune imply that even in Regular mode the experience is usually a little busy over pimpled tarmac, and is usually a little terse over sharper hits – although that’s to be anticipated.

There’s additionally a little bit of street noise over something however easy bitumen. Just like the T-Roc R-Line with its low-profile Bridgestone Potenza rubber, the T-Roc R’s Continental tyres transmit a little bit of roar into the cabin on the freeway, notably over the rougher stuff.

What do you get?

T-Roc R highlights:

  • 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels
  • Adaptive Chassis Management with Race mode
  • Progressive steering
  • R exterior and inside styling
  • IQ.Gentle Matrix LED headlights
  • Dynamic Gentle Help (adaptive high-beam)
  • Premium LED tail lights with dynamic indicators
  • Exterior ambient lighting
  • Electrical tailgate with Straightforward Open and Shut
  • Premium metallic paint
  • 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Voice and Gesture management
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Wi-fi cellphone charging
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Nappa leather-appointed upholstery
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Electrically-adjustable driver’s seat with reminiscence


Black Fashion package deal: $1200

  • Black door mirrors
  • Black roof line physique strip
  • Black roof rails
  • Black distinction roof end
  • Movie in carbon-look, C-pillars
  • Black inside accents for vents and infotainment

Premium audio: $750

  • 600W 6-speaker Beats audio system
  • Subwoofer
  • 8-channel amplifier

Panoramic glass sunroof: $2000
Lapiz Blue matte inlays: $250

Is the Volkswagen T-Roc R protected?

Whereas the T-Roc vary wears a five-star ANCAP security score based mostly on exams carried out by Euro NCAP in 2017, the T-Roc R will not be coated by this score.

It obtained an grownup occupant safety rating of 96 per cent, a toddler occupant safety rating of 87 per cent, a pedestrian safety rating of 79 per cent, and a security help rating of 71 per cent.

Commonplace security options embody:

  • 6 airbags
  • AEB with pedestrian detection
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane maintain help
  • Journey Help
    • Adaptive cruise management
    • Lively lane centring
  • Aspect Help (blind-spot monitoring)*
  • Rear cross-traffic alert*
  • Proactive occupant safety system*
  • Park Help (bay and parallel)
  • Parking sensors entrance, rear
  • Reversing digital camera

*Aspect Help, Rear Visitors Alert and Proactive Occupant Safety are unavailable for MY23 T-Roc Fashion, R-Line and R Grid Version fashions

How a lot does the Volkswagen T-Roc R value to run?

The T-Roc, like all new Volkswagen fashions, is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.

Volkswagen provides three- and five-year Care Plans for all variations of the T-Roc, costing $1600 and $2800 respectively for the R, averaging between $530 and $560 each year.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Volkswagen T-Roc R

I received’t mince phrases – the T-Roc R is a bloody hoot.

Volkswagen’s newest addition to the R portfolio balances efficiency with enjoyable, practicality and relative worth in right now’s market. In reality it’s effectively cheaper than a brand new Golf R regardless of genetic hyperlinks.

For me it’s the Mk7 Golf R reincarnated to swimsuit fashionable tastes, and fills the void left by the previous-generation Golf R from a worth perspective, given the brand new Mk8 R is over $70,000 on the street.

The one actual risk to the T-Roc R comes from inside Volkswagen’s personal secure, with the newer MQB Evo-based Cupra Formentor VZx priced equally however providing extra space and a better-appointed cabin. Audi’s mechanically comparable however arguably extra premium SQ2 additionally looms, asking for not far more than a fully-optioned T-Roc R.

However that’s what the Volkswagen Group accomplish that effectively, providing a variety of comparable merchandise all completely different sufficient to enchantment to completely different tastes and worth factors.

And the T-Roc R will little doubt be successful amongst present T-Roc house owners in search of extra punch, in addition to followers of the Golf R and different sizzling hatches that need the upper hip level and perceived practicality features of an SUV.

The incoming Grid Version can be an attention-grabbing proposition, priced round $2000 than a high-spec Hyundai Kona N however providing extra grunt and all-wheel drive traction. Efficiency SUVs are pretty exhausting to come back by at this finish of the market, so there’s not a lot else to check the VW to.

I’ve already began seeing T-Roc Rs driving round in Melbourne, and I’ve little doubt they’ll quickly turn out to be as widespread a sight on Australian roads because the Mk7 and seven.5 Golf R.

Click on the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: Everything Volkswagen T-Roc

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