SUVs are more popular than ever, especially when it comes to the smaller sizes. We’ve mentioned this many times before and we’ll repeat it again: subcompact crossovers are hot right now. Volkswagen is the latest carmaker to jump into the bandwagon.
The T-Roc was first previewed as a funky concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It had a three-door body style and a removable two-piece targa-style top. It looked like a cross between a hot hatch, a coupe, and an SUV—which of course was cool but maybe not very practical.
The production T-Roc has just been unveiled in Italy, and we’re glad it looks attractive even in its five-door guise. It will be positioned below the compact Tiguan. Thanks to its more unique styling, it carries a more youthful vibe than its bigger sibling. Up front it carries the new VW corporate face with its large grille flanked by slim headlights.
Below it on the bumper are signature LED daytime running lights combined with turn signals. It has prominent wheel arches, the rear ones forming distinct hips giving the vehicle a muscular look. Its chrome trim flows from the window frames to the rear windshield, acting as a divider for the contrasting roof color which begins from the A-pillar base. Slim LED taillights and a roof-mounted spoiler give it that sporty touch.
Inside the dashboard styling reflects the exterior. Its angular design reminds you this is a tough little CUV. It comes with a nicely integrated infotainment screen at the center of the dash, while a reconfigurable digital Active Info Display instrument cluster is available. In terms of versatility, luggage space is 445L with the rear seats up and 1,290L with the rear seats folded.
It rides on VW’s modular MQB platform which underpins most of the German carmaker’s current models. This platform offers good interior packaging and reduced weight, which should deliver excellent driving dynamics and fuel economy, as well as safety.
It will be offered with three gasoline TSI engines and three TDI oil-burners. The most powerful motor produces an impressive 188hp. There are two transmission choices: a manual gearbox or a 7-speed dual-clutch DSG. Front-wheel drive is of course standard, and VW’s 4-Motion all-wheel drive system will also be available.
The T-Roc production has already begun at Volkswagen’s plant. It will hit European showrooms in November this year, and it will also be offered in China at a later date. VW’s small CUV will start at €20,000 (P1.2 million).
Will it reach our shores? Volkswagen hasn’t announced the T-Roc’s other export markets yet, but seeing how popular SUVs and CUVs are, they might want to send this one over. This more affordable Audi Q2 alternative could be a hit for VW.