- Published: Friday, 25 August 2017 21:00
Funky, customisable and compact Volkswagen T-Roc is smaller than a Tiguan
Volkswagen is looking to rock the small crossover market with its new compact SUV (sports utility vehicle), the T-Roc.
If Audi’s codeword for SUVs is ‘Q’, then ‘T’ has become VW’s, after the Touareg and Tiguan. While the Touareg was the last VW SUV to have a name that made immediate sense, the ‘Roc’ part of ‘T-Roc’ is reflects exactly what VW wants to do with the compact crosser market. It’s also a tie to the successful Scirocco, whose 2006 Paris Motor Show concept was named the Iroc.
Not surprisingly, the T-Roc uses VW’s small car MQB architecture. Definitive specs haven’t been revealed, but the car should be almost the same size as the Audi Q2, which is 4.2 metres long, 1.8-metres wide and 1.5-metres tall, and already proved a great success as a less-expensive offering for the luxury brand.
Given the success of the Scirocco and Q2 in Singapore, we think the T-Roc is a certainty for Singapore, although given the time frame of its reveal, it'll probably only debut in the second quarter of 2018. VW Singapore is still in early discussions to bring the vehicle for sale.
VW is quoting 445-litres of boot space though, significantly more than the VW Golf’s 380-litres and the Q2’s 405-litres, so the T-Roc might actually be even more spacious than either inside. That makes sense as while the car is definitely smaller than the Tiguan, the T-Roc’s bigger brother, that car has grown up, out and more premium in its most recent iteration. Given the Tiguan's, and the Q2's, pricing, a sub-$130k with COE price tag for the T-Roc would be needed for it to sell well here.
The car nails the small crossover look, with the front end seeing VW’s signature one-piece lights-into-grille styling, a silver-coloured bash plate and all-important LED signatures. Large wheels, strong figure lines and contrast lower bumpers are another tick on the SUV-look list, while the rear end looks uncannily like the Q2, sans the contrast ‘blade’. The T-Roc, VW confirms, will rock its individuality another way, through a variety of contrast roof colour options.
Wolfsburg is also aiming at throwing in a lot of tech for the car as standard too, with the international model including Front Assist with City Emergency Braking (now including Pedestrian Monitoring), Automatic Post Collision Braking System and lane-keeping too.
On the inside, colour coordinated trim panels dominate, with VW’s typical slew of infotainment system choices, as well as a smaller 11.6-inch active display instrument panel being another highlight.
There are three petrol and three diesel engines offered - all are turbocharged. The former include the 1.0-litre triple, as found on the Q2, making the same 115hp. Above that is the new 1.5-litre 150hp engine also found in the soon-to-be-in-Singapore Mk7.5 Golf. The range-topper is the 2.0-litre, 190hp, as seen in the Tiguan, and like the 1.5 it will come with 4Motion all-wheel drive. All gearboxes are seven-speed dual-clutch automatics.
The T-Roc looks destined to be a healthy seller for VW, the only chink in its granite-like facade is that it’s late to the small SUV party, since literally everyone else has an offering already (Toyota CH-R, Honda HR-V, Audi Q2, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA). But the SUV craze shows no sign of dying down and if there’s a next big auto fashion trend, it hasn’t appeared on the horizon yet.