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The T-ROC slips into contention.

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By: Charles Molefe

The SUV segment is growing at a steady pace, it is littered with a plethora of the best in the motoring game, featuring the likes of, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Hyundai, KIA, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi and this is just a snippet of the manufacturers who are leaders in their various segments. The following review is aimed at highlighting the Volkswagen T-ROC and how it is setting the path for some of the contenders to the throne. The T-ROC is unmistakably Volkswagen, it hosts several design cues from its Golf brethren and somehow manages to be a tad more attractive. It is filled to the brim with familiar technology and it symbolises the path that Volkswagen and many of the competition will take.

Aesthetics and Entertainment.

I was fortunate to have been provided with a highly attractive iteration of the T-ROC, it was the R-Line spec that was just short of having all the readily available options boxes ticked. The interior is where the magic happens, the heated two-tone sport seats are, comfortable and highly functional. They supply great contrast and have an element of function over form.

The interior is certainly made up of high-quality materials, there was not even an instance where I doubted the workmanship of the Volkswagen product engineers. To further add, the Composition media system is easily becoming one of my favourites. The 8-inch touch-sensitive system has a plethora of functional options via its intuitive App-Connect function.

  • Bluetooth telephony
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Mirrorlink
  • 2X USB- Type C
  • Inductive Charging Pad

The above is a snippet of how many options you are presented with to connect your mobile device. The rear passengers will be keen to know that they have not been neglected, they have access to two USB charging points and a douse of air vents for their climatic requirements.

I often mention how sound systems are not equal, and this is one of the candidates I will easily nominate for best in class. The optional Beats by Dre audio system is furnished with 6 powerful speakers a subwoofer and an eight-channel amplifier that provides a total output of 400 watts. Loud audio systems are easily the most popular amongst the consumer, however, some systems produce a piercing sound that often damages the eardrums. The time spent by Volkswagen to perfect a ‘concert-like” experience needs to be acknowledged, Bravo, Volkswagen, your partnerships and engineering continuously prove to be the benchmark.

The optional panoramic roof is and will always be the deal breaker on the aesthetic point, not only is it a “look at me” feature, but it’s also functional and it creates a feeling of being roomy and airy in the cabin.

Technology and safety systems.

The T-ROC is not shortchanged in this section, the I.Q Drive technologies are arguably trendsetters, features such as ACC are just a marvel to experience, that fact that a vehicle less than 1 million rands can autonomously come to a halt and then accelerate off without human intervention is often unheard of, these technologies are mostly reserved for the upper echelons of the motoring fraternity and this is why Volkswagen manages to do so well in sales, they are a company that manages to cover every sphere without exorbitant pricing.

The T-ROC I had on test was certainly one of the most highly specified vehicles I have ever had, the autonomous braking paired with park assist are features that are a must, the ease of how the vehicle parks itself is still a feature that excites the mind, Volkswagen has also continued to perfect this system, engagement is simple, a quick tap of park assist, an indication of the desired parking spot and a little roll forward is all you need to ensure that you are parked dead centre of the designated parking spot.

Economy and Performance

Volkswagen makes a bold claim of 7.2L/ 100 km for the combined fuel cycle, however, this claimed figure is far from what I achieved, to give you an idea of my daily commute, it comprises mainly of long stretches of freeway and a tad of residential tarmac. I would have thought that my conservative stints on the freeway would have dropped the figure to something more reasonable, but I failed. After a generous dose of testing, I managed to achieve a figure of 10.L /100 km over 800km of testing.

The R-Line T-Roc is powered by a 2.0L TSI engine that produces 140kW and 320Nm of torque between 1500 – 4400rpm. The availability of power so low down is a good recipe for the multitudes of fun that can be experienced. But as we know, power is nothing without control, however, paired with the 4Motion drivetrain the above statement gladly takes a backseat. The T-ROC handled like a dream, you could point, aim and squirt with the utmost confidence, irrespective of the terrain or the elements.

0-100 km/h is dispatched in a claimed 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 216 km/h. Performance is available in bucket loads irrespective of the gear or speed, however, you are also able to travel around the highways and byways without bother.

Summary

The MQB platform continues to show its prowess in the various segments it has been implemented in, whether it be the Golf, Polo or the new T-ROC, it is a marvel and I have put to bed any questions of why these vehicles are so popular.

If you are looking for a vehicle that will provide you with a superior driving feel, ample space and daily driveability, you’d be hard-pressed not to consider the T-ROC, it ticks all the relevant boxes and holds the added benefit of a raised suspension and a plethora of customising options. It sits in between the T-CROSS and Tiguan and is aimed at consumers who are looking for something a little more spacious than the Golf but not as “cumbersome” as the Tiguan, the dimensions are perfect to haul around a decent amount of luggage and comfortably seat 4 passengers without breaching an individuals personal space

If I had a choice of upgrading my current car, this would certainly be one of the considerations, but the clincher would be the full fat T-ROC R which highlights the performance capabilities of the ever loved MQB platform.

Model

2.0 TSI 140kW R-Line 4MOTION® 7-speed DSG®

Pricing

From: R593 600

Standard Features

  • Side-mirror housings and door handles in body colour.
  • Front fog lights and cornering lamp.
  • Ambient lighting.
  • Multi-function display “Premium” with multi-coloured display.
  • Active Info Display.
  • 3-spoke leather Multi-Function “Sport” steering wheel with decorative aluminium inserts and shifting paddles.

Optional Extra’s

  • High beam control “Light Assist”.
  • IQ. DRIVE Big Pack: Multi-Functional Sensor, Exterior mirrors electric folding and heated, Blind Spot Monitor “Plus”, Rear Traffic Alert, incl. Lane Keeping System Lane Assist.
  • Keyless Entry: Access, locking and starting system
  • Tilt and sliding panoramic sunroof

Guarantees

  • 3-year / 120,000 km warranty
  • 12-year anti-corrosion warranty
  • 15,000 km service intervals
  • 5-year / 90,000 km Service Plan

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