It’s no surprise that the VW brand has worked hard to bring nearly every iconic performance product in the worldwide portfolio to Australia. It began with the Golf R, then the Tiguan R, and now the T-Roc R. The Volkswagen T-Roc R isn’t all that new, having been available in Europe for several years before the nameplate’s mid-life facelift.
It is the latest addition to Volkswagen Australia’s now-extensive R lineup, which will shortly feature the flagship Touareg R plug-in hybrid (PHEV) either late in 2022 or early in 2023. The T-Roc R, which starts at just under $60,000 before on-road costs, falls back into the pricing range of the Mk7 and Mk7.5 Golf R and combines the Golf R’s oily parts with the popular crossover body design. On paper, it appears to be a success. Is this the brand’s new fan favourite?
Interior of T- Roc R
- The T-Roc R expands on the revised inside of the core line, with Nappa leather as standard and Lapiz Blue trim inserts available for an additional $250.
- The bigger 9.2-inch touchscreen, which is unavailable lower in the range, is also available on R variants of the T-Roc, which is a good point of differentiation.
- The R steering wheel is similar to the R-Line tiller, except it has blue inlays and the plastic paddle shifters are larger and more robust.
- Front seats are comfy Sport front seats with blue R embroidery, covered in Nappa leather as standard – it’s the same seat that’s available as an option in the R-Line.
- Drivers receive electric adjustability with memory settings, and as we mentioned in our evaluation of the regular T-Roc, these seats are exceptionally pleasant and supportive.
- While we didn’t get a chance to try it, the T-Roc R Grid Edition will feature identical seats but with a sports cloth and suede combo upholstery and no electronic driver adjustability.
- Because the cabin is virtually comparable to lower classes, construction quality is excellent, however, some materials are nonetheless dubious considering the R’s beginning price. The brand-new soft-touch dashboard is a pleasant advance, but the harsh door tops and lower-tier plastics remind you of the T-less Roc’s expensive beginnings. Ahead of the driver is the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro virtual instrument binnacle, which is used on a variety of current VW models ranging from the Polo hatchback to the Tiguan SUV. It’s quick and easy to use, and it provides a variety of displays to display any information you desire, such as mapping, trip computers, and performance data.
- Unlike previous Volkswagen Group platform-sharing cars like the SQ2 and Karoq Sportline, there is no sporty option in the virtual cluster for a central tacho dial to further separate the R from core models. The 9.2-inch touchscreen above the dashboard is typical for Volkswagen in that it is simple to operate, well-equipped, and provides decent visuals and load times. It’s connected to a 300W six-speaker Beats premium audio system, which provides strong sound quality – however, we think it should be standard.
- Wireless During our time with the T-Roc R, Apple CarPlay functioned well, helped by the gripping, rubberized wireless smartphone charging station behind the centre stack.
- The T-Roc R has a baggage capacity of 392 litres in a five-seat configuration, which increases to 1237 litres when the rear seats are folded.
- Due to the addition of all-wheel drive hardware in the back, the R, like the T-Roc R-Line, loses some capacity to the front-wheel drive T-Roc Style (445L/1290L).
- A space-saving spare wheel is located beneath the boot floor.
The Engine of T-Roc R
- The T-Roc R is powered by a variant of Volkswagen’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, tweaked to produce 221kW (5300-6600rpm) and 400Nm (2000-5300rpm) in this application, similar to the Audi SQ2 and Cupra Ateca.
- A seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox sends power to a 4Motion variable all-wheel drive system. VW claims a 0-100 time of 4.9 seconds.
- The T-Roc R has a petrol particulate filter (PPF), thus Australia gets the full European powertrain. As a result, to avoid costly damage to the exhaust treatment system caused by Australia’s lower-grade sulphurous gasoline, 98 RON premium unleaded petrol is the needed octane level.
- In terms of fuel consumption, the T-Roc R claims 8.3L/100km on the combined cycle. The fuel tank capacity is 55 litres.
Key Highlights of the T-Roc R
- Adaptive Chassis Control with Race mode, 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels
- R appearance and interior style with progressive steering
- LED headlights with IQ.Light Matrix
- Dynamic Lighting Assistance (adaptive high-beam)
- High-quality LED tail lights with dynamic indications
- Ambient lighting on the outside
- Easy open and close electric tailgate
- Metallic paint of superior quality
- Infotainment system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen
- Gesture and voice control
- Navigation using satellite
- Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Charging your phone wirelessly
- Climate control in two zones
- Upholstery made of Nappa leather
- Front chairs that are heated
- Memory-enabled electrically adjustable driver’s seat
Premium Packages on T-Roc R
$1200 for the Black Style bundle
- Door mirrors in black
- body strip with a black roofline
- Roof railings in black
- Roof finish with a black contrast
- C-pillars, carbon-look film
- Interior black accents for vents and infotainment
Premium Audio worth $750 includes:
- Beats audio system with six 600W speakers
- Amplifier with eight channels
$2000 for a panoramic glass sunroof.
$250 for Lapiz Blue matte inlays
Safety of T-Roc R
While the T-Roc series has a five-star ANCAP safety certification based on Euro NCAP tests done in 2017, the T-Roc R does not. It got a 96 per cent adult occupant protection score, an 87% child occupant protection score, a 79% pedestrian protection score, and a 71% safety assist score.
Among the standard safety features are:
- Six airbags
- AEB that detects pedestrians
- Stop/go adaptive cruise control
- Lane departure alert
- Assist with lane keeping
- Travel Assistance
- Cruise control with adaptive settings
- Centring the active lane
- Blind-spot monitoring (Side Assist)*
- *Alert for rear cross-traffic
- System of proactive occupant protection*
- Parking Assist (bay and parallel)
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Camera for reverse parking
*Proactive Occupant Protection, Side Assist, and Rear Traffic Alert in MY23 T-Roc Style, R-Line, and R Grid Edition models are not available.
Pricing of T-Roc R
The T-Roc R starts at $59,300 before taxes and options. Despite being faster to 100km/h and delivering equal levels of amenities and specification, it costs about $10,000 less than the bigger Tiguan R (from $68,990), while it costs more than $5000 less than the Mk8 Golf R Hatch (from $65,990).
Want something even less expensive? Volkswagen Australia is delivering the T-Roc R Grid Edition with a simplified spec sheet for $5000 less for the 2023 model year – learn more about the limited-edition variant here.
Pricing for the 2023 Volkswagen T-Roc:
- $36,600 for a Volkswagen T-Roc Style
- T-Roc R-Line Volkswagen: $44,700
- $54,300 for the Volkswagen T-Roc R Grid Edition
- $59,300 for a Volkswagen T-Roc R