Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Volkswagen T-Roc 2021 review: 140 TSI Sport

The new T Roc looks just like a small SUV should - compact and stylish.

Volkswagen has gone from having no small SUVs, to having two in its line-up. This one is the T-Roc. It’s a small SUV but slightly larger and more fancy than the Polo based T-Cross which is its other offering. 

There is but one model in the range for now, which costs $40,490, before on road costs and extras, so it’s up there in terms of price. But there is a new T-Roc landing at some point, with a smaller engine that costs less, if that’s what you’re after. 

This one competes with cars like the Skoda Karoq and Subaru XV and I drove it over seven days for this week’s family review.

ShowHide all sections

✅ What does it look like?

It looks like a fun car to get around in with a modern SUV shape that perfectly encompasses what this car is about. All kinds of effervescence with a dash of sophistication. Like the car version of Rebel Wilson. You just want to drive around in this.

Inside is nicely styled without being overwhelming and keeps the fun theme going throughout, with two tone seats covered in a mesh fabric which makes them feel smooth to touch, and then a cream leather trim. It looks good and sets the tone for the car. 

It looks like a fun car to get around in with a modern SUV shape. It looks like a fun car to get around in with a modern SUV shape.

The steering wheel is covered in leather and has that coveted flat-ish bottomed shape, so it feels good. 

There’s a streamlined centre console area with high gloss accents and alloy trims. The foot pedals are also finished in that same aluminium which looks cool. 

If you want to take it up a notch you can opt for the extra cost luxury package, which will give you things like leather seats and a sunroof. 

✅ How easy is it to use everyday?

The front seats are manually adjustable, there is keyless entry, and the boot will unlock with a button on the key. 

You’ll get two cupholders in the front, a centre storage bin and a spot for keys and a phone with a driver’s storage bin under the seat and bottle holders in the doors. 

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and also directional air vents. Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and also directional air vents.

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the centre armrest and also directional air vents which you don’t normally get in a car this size, plus bottle holders in the doors.

✅ How spacious is it?

There’s a good amount of space in the T-Roc, even though it’s not huge, it’s still larger than a fair few small SUVs. Even the tall people in my family had no complaints about the leg or head space, they fit quite comfortably. There’s room in between the passenger and driver as well.

There’s a good amount of space in the T-Roc, even though it’s not a huge SUV. There’s a good amount of space in the T-Roc, even though it’s not a huge SUV.

My kids fit nicely into the back seat, they’re aged six and eight and they have enough space to fit their backpacks into the seat with them. I wouldn’t try and put a third child seat in there. I tried and it was super tight. 

The good news is that adults can fit into the rear, I’m 161cm (5'3") and can sit with enough room in front of my knees that taller adults or teenagers should be okay. Again, it’s not enormous, but it is plenty roomy for a small SUV. 

The boot is a decent 392L, which is not huge but not small, either. Some small SUVs don’t fit a pram but the T Roc will easily fit one, or it will take two decent size suitcases, or sporting equipment.

Some small SUVs don’t fit a pram but the T Roc will easily fit one. Some small SUVs don’t fit a pram but the T Roc will easily fit one.

✅ How does it drive? 

And the driving is really nice. I was pleasantly surprised by the agility of the T-Roc and it cruises nicely along highways as well. 

There’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine and that’s plenty of power to get this car swiftly up hills or overtake other cars with confidence. It handles nicely and you feel quite good driving it. 

There is another T-Roc on the way that has a smaller engine with less power that’s a lot less expensive, so that might suit those with a smaller budget in mind. 

There’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine. There’s a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine.

Parking the T-Roc is great because of the compact size and there’s also a hi-res reverse parking camera which helps a lot, and there’s park assist which will park the car for you if you really can’t face it. 

✅ How safe is it? 

The safety is super comprehensive, there’s adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane assist and a driver fatigue warning system, amongst other things. 

Airbags cover driver and front passenger with side curtain airbags that go to the back row. You’ll get two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for kids car seats. 

The T-Roc scores a maximum five ANCAP stars, against 2018 criteria (when it was tested for the New Zealand market).

The safety is super comprehensive in the T-Roc. The safety is super comprehensive in the T-Roc.

✅ What’s the tech like? 

The 8.0-inch multimedia screen fits neatly into the dash which looks great and keeps things sleek. 

It’s got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in case you want to plug in for instant access to your phone’s main apps. It’s just easy technology and with the same interface that you’re used to for navigation and streaming. 

The 8.0-inch multimedia screen fits neatly into the dash which looks great and keeps things sleek. The 8.0-inch multimedia screen fits neatly into the dash which looks great and keeps things sleek.

There’s also Bluetooth connectivity with sat nav and six speakers throughout the car. 


The Wrap

The Volkswagen T-Roc suits if you don’t want a fully grown SUV, and are happy in smaller, more fun-focused SUV that still has all the stuff you’re after for a family. It has enough space for a family of four with a big boot for this category and it looks great, too. 

I gave it a family rating of 7.7 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same. They were really happy with the two tone seats. 

Likes

Design
Interior space
Good safety

Dislikes

On the pricey side

Scores

Nedahl:

3.9

The Kids:

3.9

$40,490

Based on new car retail price