Roc Star

by Petrol Mum
VW T-Roc R Grid Edition Lapiz Blue

When Volkswagen add the ‘R’ to one of their vehicles the result is usually a rollicking good time for the driver of that said vehicle. And now for the first time, Volkswagen’s range of small SUVs has a stand-out range-topper with the T-Roc R.

This special edition Lapiz Blue T-Roc R is the Grid Edition, which has some aesthetic differences compared to the standard T-Roc R. The Nappa leather appointed front seats are replaced with R Sport seats with sport cloth/Microfleece upholstery in the Grid Edition. On the outside this special edition comes with 19″Alloy wheels (Pretoria), LED performance headlights with Light Assist, and Black roof rails.

Under the bonnet of the Grid Edition has the same 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine that powers the T-Roc R. The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine is capable of an impressive 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque, with the ability to complete the 0 – 100 km/h dash in a claimed 4.9 seconds. The official combined fuel consumption is 8.0L/100km and for my week I used 10.6L/100km.

Coupled with a 7-speed DSG transmission, 4MOTION all-wheel-drive technology and Adaptive Chassis Control, the T-Roc R delivers a suitably rock n roll performance that you would expect. Hit the R button on the steering wheel and you activate Race Mode, which feels like the strum of the opening chords in Back in Black by AC/DC. Grip the leather multi-function sports steering wheel, which is also heated, and use the large gearshift paddles for rapid up and down gearshifts. The only disappointing part of this experience is the paddle shifters are plastic and would feel so much nicer to touch if they were made from metal.

The T‑Roc R has lowered sports suspension and I felt this firmer suspension particularly in the zippy R mode and so I spent most of my time driving in Normal mode. The other drive modes available include Eco, Comfort, and Individual. Individual mode allows the driver to adjust the Dynamic Chassis Control, steering, drive, engine sound, adaptive cruise control, and air conditioning setting to their personal preference. For off-road driving you get Offroad Expert, Offroad Auto and Snow modes, but as the T-Roc R only comes with a space saver spare tyre I would not take it far from a solid driving surface.

The T-Roc R Grid Edition is just as impressive inside, with its boosted levels of innovative technology, digitalisation and connectivity. I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a 1970s rock ballad though with the tartan-like look of the front and rear seats, but I liked the use of material on the seats and the embroidered ‘R’ on the front seats. These seats only have manual adjustment for recline (which is very hard to rotate), forward/back, seat height and lumbar support and they are not heated, something I really missed on the cold winter’s mornings we have been having in Sydney lately.  

The technology available is very current though with the 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro that offers multiple customisable views of speedometer, tachometer, navigation, driving data, audio, telephone and driver assistance systems. This is paired with the 9.2” colour capacitive touch screen display with smartphone style graphics, gesture and voice control.

I found that the AM radio reception was scratchy on more occasions than it wasn’t, but its not rock n roll enough for most drivers of the T-Roc R so you also have FM radio, DAB+ digital radio, Bluetooth, My media and Wireless App-Connect for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The wireless charging/connection pad is located at the front of the centre console along with two USB-C ports and one 12V outlet.

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the touch control temperature adjustment and speed control for the climate control settings in the T-Roc R. The controls look lovely and sometimes they work as you think they should, but a lot of time is also spent cursing them for jumping ahead when you only wanted to move the temperature slightly, so frustrating!

I am also not a fan of the gloss black centre console, dash and door trim elements on the T-Roc R because they attract dust almost instantaneously and get fingermarks on them badly. I did like that the cup holders in the centre console had a removable rubber mat at the base of them for easy cleaning and that the drink bottle storage in the front door cubbies was suitable for large drink bottles.

The T-Roc R feels a bit like it’s party time at the front, and nose bleed class in the back though. I found that the head room for adults was adequate, but leg room is tight and there is a lot of hard plastic on the door trims. There are two ISOFIX/two rear tether child seat restraint points and the centre seat can be folded down as an arm rest with two adjustable cup holders at the front of it. The rear doors also have good sized drink bottle storage cubbies in them as well.

Rear passengers do get two central rear air vents with individual direction control and one central on/off speed adjustment dial. Below the air vents there are two USB-C ports and there is no mat over the high transmission tunnel, only mats on the rear floors.

The tailgate on the T-Roc R only has manual open/close and you use the VW logo as the handle to open the tailgate. The boot can just fit a weekly shop, but if you had a pram in the boot the groceries would have to go on top of it. If more space is required the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split fold mechanism and are manually lowered by using the lever on the shoulder of the seats. The boot space has four substantial tie down points, two hooks, one light and a temporary use space saver tyre under the boot floor.

The T-Roc range has a 5-star ANCAP (2017) safety rating with an Adult Protection Rating of 36.56 out of 38 (96%) and a Child Occupant Protection rating of 43.0 out of 49 (87%). Dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags are standard. For convenience the T-Roc R has auto lights, but not auto wipers, and comes with a standard rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors.

VW T-Roc R Grid Edition rear view camera

Volkswagen’s Q.DRIVE provides active safety aids including Adaptive Cruise Control, Side Assist with Rear Traffic Alert, Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring function, and Lane Assist, lane departure warning system. ANCAP tests of its autonomous emergency braking system showed GOOD performance in highway speed scenarios, with collisions avoided or mitigated in most test scenarios. ANCAP tests of the lane keep assist function also showed GOOD performance and overall, the Safety Assist score of the T-Roc is 71%.

All new Volkswagen vehicles come with a 5 Year Unlimited kilometre warranty and a 1-year membership to Volkswagen Roadside Assist. If you service your Volkswagen at an authorised Volkswagen Dealer, you can receive an additional 12 months Roadside Assistance. The service interval for the T-Roc R is 15,000km or 12 months, whichever occurs first. An upfront 5-Year Care Plan for the T-Roc R that covers standard service costs can be purchased for non-commercial use vehicles for $2,950 (first service free), saving $690 off the Assured Service Pricing RRP.

VW T-Roc R Grid Edition

Volkswagen Australia currently have a driveway offer on the T-Roc R Grid Edition of $58,990 and this includes the gorgeous Lapiz Blue Premium Metallic paint as a no cost option. You can Build and Price your T-Roc R Grid Edition here and visit your preferred Volkswagen dealer for more information.

Zippy engineFront seats have manual adjustment and no heating
Heated steering wheel and the R buttonPlastic paddle shifters
The look of the front seatsScratchy AM radio reception  

Photographs by Driven Women magazine.

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