Much Cheaper Than A Golf R (Volkswagen T-Roc R 2023 Review)

We test the new Volkswagen T-Roc R, which feels like it evokes the spirit and value of the old Mk 7 Golf R hot hatch, but in an SUV body.

The car behind me is one to be a little bit excited about not only because it’s the first time the t-roc r has been sold in australia but also because it’s the most affordable our product in volkswagen’s range it’s about six and a half thousand dollars cheaper than the golf r hatch at 59 300 before on-road costs for the vehicle behind me now that seems on the

Face of it like cracking value especially when it packs a very similar 2-liter turbo petrol engine all-wheel drive grip and plenty of everyday practicality now it’s not going to be as focused as the market golf r and that’s roughly down to the fact that it doesn’t have that trick limited slip rear differential which uses clutches to send power to each rear wheel

To overdrive and really generate oversteer in the golf instead the t-roc r actually channels the ethos of the mark 7 and 7.5 golfers being quick practical grippy perhaps not as outright engaging as the new golf r but i think this might be the perfect r product for a small growing family especially one that lives in an urban environment so that’s what i’m going

To be talking about in today’s video of course i’d love to hear your thoughts about the t-rock are in the comment section down below so leave them down there and let’s get cracking t-rock our debuts in australia at the same time as the facelift of this small suv now you may have caught my review of the regular 140 tsi airline last week the r can be told apart by

A couple of things a slightly different grille with this linking led feature between the two headlights as standard you also get matrix led headlights on this r model as well which is a great touch for safety and night time drivability they really do kick ass in the dark moving down the side we get these 19-inch diamond cut and black sort of contrast alloy wheels

As standard they can option a black pack for about two thousand dollars now this car is fitted with adapted dampers as standard unlike the 140 tsi r line so that black pack just means you get black 19-inch pretoria alloy wheels which i know a lot of people really love you can let me know your thoughts on them down below you also get black mirror caps as well but

I happen to think the r specification when teamed with all the bright work the chrome the silver roof rails actually looks really handsome on this lapis blue hero color of the t-roc r the handsomeness continues back here with the revamped t-rock’s rear end you’ve got these lovely little led tail light features and you can tell this is the r because you’ve got

This nice little very dainty r badge which i think is exactly what you need not too shouty not too loud it does feel like an audi rs product but just more affordable and that’s kind of what the r brand is all about popping the power tailgate which is standard fitment on this full fat t-roc r but doesn’t come fitted to the t-rock r grid edition that’s going to be

Coming along very shortly that’s about five grand less than this personally i don’t think you need that on a small suv but it is a nice feature to have it’s also got a kick to open function just like the 140 tsi airline boot space is also identical to the 140 tsi r line at 392 litres if you want the most practical volkswagen t-rock you can get you’re going to need

To go for the base model style with its more rudimentary torsion beam suspension which allows better packaging but you still have a spare tire underneath the boot floor of this vehicle it is a space over spare and in the center of it is a subwoofer to match the 750 beats premium audio system that we’re going to check out now i said at the top of this review that

The t-roc r might be the best value you can get from the volkswagen r badge now that i still think is true but this particular example is specked up with a couple of options that do bring the price up to 60 to 250 before on-road costs those include a 2 000 panoramic sunroof 750 dollars worth of beats premium audio 380 watt but only six speakers the sound system

Is pretty decent and you also get these blue inserts lapis blue volkswagen says to match the exterior of this car though of course there’s sort of a satin sheen in here so they don’t match the bright colors outside but at least that means you’re not going to get so much glare in the cabin that does add a little bit of extra luxury kind of feeling ambience to the

Interior of the t-rock r and it definitely differentiates it a bit from the 140 tsi sport line because otherwise the interiors are very similar especially because they both now have a soft touch dashboard which makes a much bigger difference than you would imagine on a hot sunny day like this the dashboard doesn’t cast any glare onto the windscreen and it just makes

Visibility that little bit easier here in australia plus it seems to dampen a little bit of the road noise in the cabin of the t-roc anyway back to the rest of the t-roc r package it has a really nice 9.2 inch touchscreen up here not as big as the volkswagen golf’s infotainment system but it does actually respond to touch inputs very intuitively unlike that vehicle

System we do also have wireless apple carplay and android auto in this t-roc r combined with wireless charging and two usb-c fast charging ports you’ve also got volkswagen’s pretty much signature now 10 and a quarter inch digital drivers display in which you can show a full map because this car has navigation satellite navigation as standard and that just means

You can sort of read the road ahead on a road that you don’t know that well you can sort of predict what corners are coming it makes you feel like a little bit of a driving god in front of that is this gorgeous r steering wheel now as i’ve said before the haptic touch buttons aren’t exactly my bag but with the r vehicles you do get this little r button here for a

Shortcut to the drive mode changing and it’s such a nice size to hold not quite as fat as a bmw m steering wheel but it’s fat enough that it feels right in the hands and you’ve also got this perforated bit here where you actually hold and it now has the marquette golf r’s same flappy paddles which are much more generous than you used to get in previous r volkswagens

And add a bit of a sense of occasion the same can be said for these seats which are leather appointed nappa leather appointed three stage heated i have memory and electric adjustment for me in the driver the passenger only gets manual adjust but still they’re very comfortable supportive seats on a long journey now as i get to the seats i’m going to tell you about

The grid edition because you will be able to get a t rocker that’s down specked with manual tombstone cloth appointed seats and for me that is exactly what i do although i love leather seats they do get hot in the australian sun and personally i don’t have grotty kids to look after so i don’t have to worry about easy clean seats of course that’s going to be one of

The major advantages of leather over cloth but i think the fabric that volkswagen uses is really high quality i should also add that interacting with this interior is made easier by the fact that the hvac controls down here are touch capacitive you do have more menus in the infotainment system to access but it’s just so easy to be able to change your temperature

Fan speed recycle on a whim right down here ahead of the full-size gear stick which i find a bit more satisfying than the golf’s little stubby shifter and then for practicalities we have two and a half cup holders here in the center console really nice decently sized door bins from one liter bottle and this adjustable armrest which hides a little bit more covered

Storage below it the t-rox backseat is actually pretty generous i’m six foot two and even under the optional panoramic sunroof i have a little bit of extra headroom behind my driving position i am just comfortable in terms of knee space and toe room is really generous owing to the fact that these seats are set a little bit higher than they would be in something like

A golf the appointments back here continue with nappa leather the bench is really comfortable and supportive and the squab is really decently comfortable you’ve also got this fold down armrest that has adjustably sized cup holders which is a really neat little touch and a ski port for when you take this car to the snow and go skiing and when you’re not skiing in

The snow you also have these air vents to keep rear seat passengers nice and cool and comfortable as well as two usb-c fast charging ports to keep their devices charged now just like the front seat and just like the models below the t-rocker does get nasty scratchy hard plastic door cards or i should say door toppers because the actual place where you rest your arm

Does have a little bit of soft leather at padding so that does help a little bit but still it feels a little bit cheap but i suppose on the whole the t-roc r is quite cheap when compared to something like a hyundai kona n which is only about six grand less than this car and has actually worse material quality so yeah i guess you do kind of get what you pay for i’m

Not sure you can let me know your thoughts down below as the old adage goes when power goes up fuel consumption must get worse this tune of volkswagen’s 2 litre turbo petrol engine in this t-roc r is rated at 8.3 litres per hundred kilometers in the adr combined cycle our real world testing showed 10.2 liters per 100k which is pretty decent considering the amount

Of performance on offer the other thing you’ll need to do with this t-roc r is fuel it with at least 98 ron premium unleaded petrol i say at least but that is the most expensive petrol you can buy in australia and that’s because this vehicle is fitted with a petrol particulate filter as for servicing it’s due every 12 months or 15 000 kilometers and volkswagen

Will sell you a pretty decent value care plan for five years and 75 000 ks it’ll cost two thousand eight hundred dollars for this flagship r grade as for insurance the medium budget direct customer over the last 12 months paid 984 dollars to comprehensively insure their new volkswagen t-rock your premium may vary based on things that insurers take into account

Such as where you live your driving history your age and whether or not you garage the car let’s talk about how the volkswagen t-rock r is to drive out on the road now i’m not going to say that this thing is a golf r rival because it’s not it’s it’s about 130 millimeters taller overall than a volkswagen golf this t-rock and it definitely feels like that when you

Drive it on the road there’s that little bit more of a roll characteristic and compared to the new ultra sharp rear biased well not totally rear biased but with the ability to throttle steer mark 8 golf r it doesn’t really hold a candle to it when you’re going 10 tenths but what this t-rock r does provide is a car that’s half a step down from the market golf

R and i really think there’s a space for that in the australian market it takes over from where the mark 7 gold fire left off as a little bit more comfortable and perhaps a little bit more usable every day as a performance vehicle you can drop your kids off at school drive around the suburbs and not have to worry about overly firm suspension or a too rude engine

Tune for example because this two liter turbo petrol engine is actually really quite refined now unfortunately you can’t get the akrapovic exhaust that you can get in other markets including in new zealand and also in australia on the cupra ateca vzx it’s about a six grand option on that vehicle so the volkswagen t-rock r is always going to be fairly subdued and

I kind of like that the outputs don’t exactly reflect that either because they’re pretty high certainly higher than the previous gen golf r so 221 kilowatts of power and 400 newton meters of torque that 400 newton meter of torque is spread across a really broad rev range as well from 2000 rpm right up to 5300 rpm so the demeanor of this engine is a muscular one

It’s got plenty of grunt in the mid range all the way up to sort of three quarters of the way up to the red line peak power is made at 6 600 rpm oh that’s where it stops being made i should say and that’s pretty much where the red line is the engine itself is hooked up to a 7-speed wet clutch dual clutch transmission which is an excellent gearbox volkswagen has

Really nailed the shift logic for this gearbox and how slick and smooth it is and how usable is is around town it’s come a long way since its first generation which was used way back in the mid 2000s in i think the mark v volkswagen golf or perhaps a mark iv golf r 32 i’m not entirely sure it’s one of those two vehicles it was basically it’s been around for a while

And now it is excellent so slick so smooth and the shift logic in normal or comfort suits city driving really well and when you want to come out onto a good back road and get stuck into the t-rock r a little bit more simply either pressing this drive mode button down here or the r button on the steering wheel brings up a selection of drive modes five in total for

On-road drive modes with eco comfort normal race which i’m in now and then there’s individual on top of that now putting into race mode really does engage the sound a little bit more it gets a little bit throatier it seems a little artificial in this car but it still sounds pretty fruity not quite as fruity as the golf version and i think that petrol particulate

Filter does rob a little bit of sound however you do still get the occasional pop and crackle on the over run now speaking of the modes they’re tied to the adaptive suspension settings there are three stages not the 15 that you’d get in a more advanced mqb evo product but those three settings are actually pretty usable comfort is great for around town it irons

Out the bumps pretty nicely the fairly large 19-inch alloys fitted with 235 40 series continental conde sport 5 contact tyres do pick up the occasional sharp edge bump but it is a sort of performance car so you kind of expect that from a vehicle such as the t-roc r putting it into normal tightens up the suspension a little bit restricts body movement and i think

Normal is the best compromise for pretty much all australian roads because sport that i’m in now or rather race is just a little bit too firm perhaps that rebound dampening is wound up a little too much for the average australian b road but we do have extremely bumpy roads if you happen to be lucky enough to live near smooth tarmac then that mode will actually be

Usable unlike in some vehicles for example the golf r which it is just a little bit too firm when you’ve got it wound all the way up but yeah sport is a pretty usable mode luckily there’s an individual mode which i have set to everything in race except for the suspension which is in normal that i think suits pretty quick back road driving and it’s actually really

Fun to do in the t-roc r it sort of stands up on its tippy-toes a little bit more than the golf so there’s a bit more off throttle adjustability the sound is pretty good and crucially the steering response is really nice and sharp no there’s not really any feel but you can trust this car with its variable ratio steering rack you can lean on it and yeah although

It doesn’t do any on throttle antics this is still a fun satisfying and very neat suv to drive finally we come to the safety features which on the whole t-rock range now in australia are really generous you get the full set of adaptive cruise control with highway assist lane trace assist that works really excellently and things such as front aeb with pedestrian and

Cyclist detection as well as reverse aeb now on the full fat volkswagen t-roc r you also get blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as standard however on the grid variant that will be coming along very soon you do lose those two features so if you want all the safety you can get in a volkswagen t-roc r then you’ll need to go for the full fat example as

We are in right now in isolation the t-roc r is a fantastic everyday performance vehicle it’s quick it’s comfortable and i happen to think it looks pretty cool the problem for this vehicle is that there are so many other choices in this space and especially from the volkswagen group in the between 50 to 65 000 you can get yourself a golf gti a golf r hatch a golf

R wagon a skoda octavia and there’s even two new competitors from volkswagen’s sexiest spanish cousin the attacker and fomenta the marketplace is stuffed with volkswagen group products and you’ve also got to consider the hyundai kona m so why on earth would you go for the t rock car well it happens to strike a really good balance between speed comfort and everyday

Usability and as i said at the start it really to me channels the ethos of that mark 7 golf r an everyday performance vehicle that may not be one you want to take to the track or thrash to 10 tenths on the road but does everything so bloody well it really gets under your skin and it’s just so easy to live with of course i’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments

Section down below especially about the promised grid version that should be here a little bit later this year starting from five grand less than this car which i happen to think is probably the bargain of the year again let me know your thoughts and while you’re there why not hit subscribe to chasing cars if you haven’t done so already and as always thank you very much for watching

Transcribed from video
Much Cheaper Than A Golf R! (Volkswagen T-Roc R 2023 Review) By Chasing Cars