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Volkswagen T-Roc R 2024 long-term review


The feisty T-Roc R sports SUV is the new entry-point to the full-fat R range – but is it worthy of the famous badge?

Good points

  • Strong performance on-boost
  • Gearbox tune in ‘S’ mode
  • Sharp, zealous handling
  • Liveable ride quality

Needs work

  • Lethargic auto in ‘D’ mode
  • Cramped driving position
  • Cost-trimming materials
  • Less powerful than Golf R

There’s a certain allure to Volkswagen’s R products: while their hallmark Lapiz Blue paintwork is distinctive, these performance models are otherwise velvet daggers, with relatively subtle styling belying serious shove.

While the Golf R has been the archetypal offering of Volkswagen’s skunkworks for generations, the family has included other models in the past – and the R lineup is once again expanding.

There’s a flagship Touareg R plug-in hybrid V6 petrol on the horizon, while the Tiguan R provides thrills for the whole brood – but we’ve opted to test the most affordable offering for a longer period. Enter the 2024 T-Roc R.

Month 1: Taking delivery of our new T-Roc R

What is it? We’ve added a new 2024 Volkswagen T-Roc R to the Chasing Cars long-term testing garage. It’ll be with us until after winter.

What’s a T-Roc R? Volkswagen sources tell us the T-Roc is, in many ways, the new Golf. You can still buy a Golf – what’s meant by the comment is that as a mainstream small SUV, the T-Roc is now the small VW best-aligned to Australian tastes. 

It makes sense, then, that a true ‘R’ version of the T-Roc has been developed to be the entry-point to the R line.

How much is it? Considerably cheaper than a Golf R. The T-Roc R is now a single grade in Australia with a price of $63,490 before on-road costs. 

At the time of delivery, it was on offer for $69,000 driveaway nationwide – about $7400 less than the Golf R. Volkswagen did sell, for a while, an even more affordable T-Roc R Grid Edition for $54,300 before on-roads (roughly, $59,000) in limited numbers.

What’s the spec of our car? Our T-Roc R is sans options. While it’s painted R-spec Lapiz blue, premium paint is included for the R version of the T-Roc. Beats premium audio was recently added to the standard features list and our tester has this feature. 

Nappa leather is standard, as are 19-inch wheels. The only option is a panoramic sunroof ($2000) which we don’t have – ours is the slick top.

How long is it sticking around for? The best part of 10,000km.

What are we going to do with it? Live with it, mainly. The best part of Volkswagen’s R-rated models is that they are flexible. You can daily them (easily) but they promise genuine thrills on the right road or track. As a result, we’ll throw everything we can at the T-Roc R. 

Initial performance figures? Like all our long-termers, we do induction testing to measure performance at the start of the loan. With 1000km on the clock, our T-Roc R recorded a 4.55 sec 0-100km/h time and a 35.13 metre 100-0km/h emergency stop – both being the best of three runs.

Approximate on‑road price Including registration and government charges

Key specs (as tested)

1984 cc
221kW at 5300rpm
400Nm at 2000rpm
Power to weight ratio
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
55 litres
8L/100km (claimed)
Average Range
687km (claimed)
All Wheel Drive
4236 mm
1819 mm
1575 mm
Unoccupied weight
1519 kg

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