VW T-Roc Black Edition 1.5 TSi 150 PS 6spd manual

VW T-Roc 2 lr

By Tim Saunders

The Volkswagen T-Roc is a reasonable sized Sports Utility Vehicle suited to an active family. We should get on fine then.

True to VW design it is smart, sleek and clinical both inside and out; something to be proud of – the architecture of the bodywork gives much interest thanks to the lines and general boxiness. Gone are the days it seems of sweeping curves. On the school run parents repeatedly double take.

On the road it’s fun to drive, fast when required and in fact if the driver is too zealous with their right foot the front wheels can lose their grip on the road. There’s a good driving position. Its six speed manual gearbox is smooth to operate and a pleasure to use. The cruise control on the other hand is one of the more complicated to operate, so much so that it’s too awkward for me and I give up.

Inside, it’s comfortable and practical. There’s a neat drawer underneath the driver’s seat providing some useful storage. But it’s very black indeed, which seems the way these days in terms of both interiors and economic forecasts…. Not a bit of colour, unless it is the electric blue of the digital displays. But then it is the Black Edition so what do I expect? “Perhaps there’s a Green Edition,” questions Henry (5) who loves anything of this colour, especially dinosaurs. When I was growing up manufacturers like Citroen and even Vauxhall had fun with colourful fabrics, despite the dire recessionary times. Today, in VWs luxury arm Bentley there might still be delightful hand-stitched cream leather but it’s unfair that more everyday vehicles don’t benefit from such vital interior colour. The soul craves it, like music, good food and drink. These days we all need colour in our lives for our mental health; far more important than ramming technology down our throats, that frankly much of the time we don’t need. If it’s possible to add colour inside our homes without breaking the bank then it should also be possible inside the family runabout, which let’s face it is an extension of our personalities. Are we all dull and boring? I don’t think so. For me the T-Roc’s interior screams accountant or solicitor, who I am sure are the within the target market but it does not speak to those with feelings and soul. Coloured cloth or velvet fabrics in teal, purple, green would really lift this interior to another level and make for a stunning vehicle. If DFS can do it then just imagine what VW could do…. I for one would feel uplifted and far happier at the sight of such cheerful tones and shades especially on a dull day. For too long great attention has been devoted to the external aesthetics over the interior, I suppose because the interior can’t be seen from outside. What does that matter though? Occupants need to feel happy and cheerful now more than ever.

The first time I reverse the T-Roc up our driveway, which does slope up hill it rolls uncomfortably close to our dining room wall. Thankfully my reactions allow for us to make a hasty, if rather speedy exit. The auto hold function does not seem to work in such a situation no matter what I do, which is unnerving. There is an electric parking brake.

In the operating manual Volkswagen devotes a chapter to Cyber Security on page 182. Who would have thought this necessary a few years ago? It alerts the driver to the fact that when connecting a mobile phone to the vehicle’s system, if it is contaminated with malware, this could infect the car and ultimately pose a risk to driver safety and worse. That’s a bit frightening and just makes me even more opposed to the use of mobile phones anywhere near a car. A quick Google search for ‘how many mobile phones are hacked?’ shows me an article from The Independent from March 2020 with the headline “More than one billion Android phones at risk of being hacked”. Driving on our roads is tough enough as it is without adding any extra problems.

The T-Roc is a capable car, whose boot accommodates a typical weekly shop. Overall, I do like it as I do an imperfect friend. Drive it yourself and see what you think but leave that phone at home.

Facts at a glance

T-Roc Black Edition 1.5 TSi 150 PS 6spd manual
OTR price: £25,525
Price as tested: £28,340
Top speed: 127mph
0 to 60mph: 8.4secs
Engine: 1.5-litre
Power: 150bhp


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