Fun truth: Australia is among the largest markets for Volkswagen R merchandise exterior of Europe.

So it’s no shock the model has fought laborious to convey nearly each flagship efficiency product out there within the international portfolio to Australia. It began with the Golf R, adopted by the Tiguan R, and now the T-Roc R.

The Volkswagen T-Roc R really isn’t all that new, because it’s been round for a variety of years in Europe earlier than the nameplate’s mid-life refresh. But hey, higher late than by no means proper?

It serves as the brand new entry level into Volkswagen Australia’s now sprawling R line-up, which is able to quickly additionally embody the flagship Touareg R plug-in hybrid (PHEV) either late in 2022 or early 2023.

Priced from just below $60,000 earlier than on-road prices, the T-Roc R dips again right into a value bracket as soon as the realm of the Mk7 and Mk7.5 Golf R, and blends the Golf R’s oily bits with the in-vogue crossover physique fashion.

On paper, it ought to be successful. Could this be the model’s new fan favorite?

How a lot does the Volkswagen T-Roc R value?

The T-Roc R is priced from $59,300 earlier than on-road prices and choices.

It’s almost $10,000 inexpensive than the bigger Tiguan R (from $68,990), regardless of being faster to 100km/h and providing related ranges of options and specification, and it’s greater than $5000 cheaper than the Mk8 Golf R Hatch (from $65,990).

Want one thing even cheaper? For the 2023 model-year Volkswagen Australia is bringing the T-Roc R Grid Edition with a streamlined spec sheet for $5000 much less – learn extra concerning the limited-edition mannequin here.

2023 Volkswagen T-Roc pricing:

  • Volkswagen T-Roc Style: $36,600
  • Volkswagen T-Roc R-Line: $44,700
  • Volkswagen T-Roc R Grid Edition: $54,300
  • Volkswagen T-Roc R: $59,300

Key rivals embody:

All costs exclude on-road prices

What is the Volkswagen T-Roc R like on the within?

The T-Roc R builds on the up to date inside of the core vary, decking out the cabin in Nappa leather-based as commonplace and providing non-obligatory Lapiz Blue trim inserts – an additional $250.

R variations of the T-Roc additionally decide up the bigger 9.2-inch touchscreen unavailable decrease down within the vary, which is a pleasant level of distinction as properly.

The R steering wheel isn’t overly completely different to the tiller within the R-Line, although it will get blue inserts and the plastic paddle shifters are enlarged and really feel extra substantial.

Up entrance you’re sat in snug Sport entrance seats with blue R embroidery, trimmed in Nappa leather-based as commonplace – it’s just about the identical seat that’s an possibility within the R-Line.

Drivers get electrical adjustment with reminiscence presets, and as famous in our review of the usual T-Roc, these seats provide a variety of adjustment and are very snug and supportive.

While we didn’t have it on take a look at, the T-Roc R Grid Edition may have the identical seats trimmed in a sports activities material and suede mixture upholstery, and the electrical adjustment for the driving force is eliminated.

Being primarily an an identical cabin to decrease grades means construct high quality is stable although some supplies are nonetheless slightly questionable given the R’s beginning value. The new soft-touch dashboard is a welcome improve, although the laborious door tops and lower-tier plastics remind you of the T-Roc’s extra budget-friendly origins.

Ahead of the driving force is the ten.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro digital instrument binnacle, widespread to a slew of present VW merchandise from the Polo hatchback by means of to the Tiguan SUV. It’s fast and clear, and presents a variety of views to point out no matter data you need – i.e. mapping, journey laptop and efficiency information.

Unlike different platform-sharing fashions inside the Volkswagen Group – just like the SQ2 and Karoq Sportline – there’s no sportier possibility within the digital cluster for a central tacho dial to additional differentiate the R from core fashions.

The 9.2-inch touchscreen sitting atop the dashboard is often Volkswagen in that it’s straightforward to make use of, is properly featured, and presents good graphics and cargo instances. It’s hooked as much as an non-obligatory 300W six-speaker Beats premium audio system which presents fairly punchy sound high quality – although we reckon it ought to be commonplace.

Wireless Apple CarPlay labored seamlessly throughout our time with the T-Roc R, bolstered by the grippy, rubberised wi-fi smartphone charging pad beneath the centre stack.

Despite its compact dimensions (4236mm lengthy, 1819mm huge, 2595mm wheelbase), the T-Roc’s second row is surprisingly accommodating.

At 6’1 I can comfortably match behind my very own driving place, and there’s ample facilities for teenagers and adults alike driving within the rear.

Directional air vents, rear map pockets, a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, and twin USB-C ports imply the T-Roc’s second row is properly featured for the category, whereas ISOFIX and top-tether factors imply your little ones are catered for too.

The T-Roc R quotes 392 litres of bags capability in five-seat configuration, which expands to 1237 litres with the rear seats folded.

Like the T-Roc R-Line, the R loses some capability to the front-wheel drive T-Roc Style (445L/1290L) as a result of added all-wheel drive {hardware} on the rear.

Under the boot ground is a space-saver spare wheel.

What’s beneath the bonnet?

Power within the T-Roc R comes from a model of Volkswagen’s ubiquitous EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, tuned to ship 221kW (5300-6600rpm) and 400Nm (2000-5300rpm) on this utility – just like the Audi SQ2 and Cupra Ateca.

Drive is distributed to a 4Motion variable all-wheel drive system through a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch computerized transmission. Volkswagen quotes a 0-100 time of 4.9 seconds.

The T-Roc R is fitted with a petroleum particulate filter (PPF), which means Australia will get the full-fat European drivetrain. As a consequence, 98 RON premium unleaded gasoline is the required octane score, to keep away from pricey injury to the exhaust therapy system attributable to Australia’s lower-grade sulphurous gasoline.

Speaking of gasoline, the T-Roc R makes use of a claimed 8.3L/100km on the mixed cycle. The gasoline tank measures 55 litres.

How does the Volkswagen T-Roc R drive?

Push the beginning button and the T-Roc fires to life with a muted growl, very like different Volkswagen merchandise with this engine.

This efficiency drivetrain breathes new life into the T-Roc, which has at all times felt prefer it’s able to dealing with extra grunt than the earlier 140kW flagship.

Very rapidly you’ll discover the added muscle from low down within the rev vary – 400Nm from 2000rpm is nothing to sneeze at, particularly in a automobile weighing 1519kg (tare). It’s solely 18kg heavier than the Mk8 Golf R.

In regular driving there’s easy shove, and the racy additions of the R bundle haven’t essentially compromised consolation. The engine and exhaust observe are properly subdued in Comfort and Normal settings, and the Adaptive Chassis Control (damping) presents good compliance in stated modes.

The T-Roc R is clearly tuned on the firmer aspect, however like different R merchandise it’s completely serviceable as a every day driver.

Crank up the dial slightly bit, and there’s a brand new dimension to the T-Roc’s driving expertise courtesy of the Golf R {hardware} beneath.

Sink your boot in and the little crossover shoots in direction of the horizon, and there’s a pleasant raspy observe to the drivetrain, augmented by some software program trickery by means of the automobile’s audio system.

On upshifts the T-Roc R will fart or pop relying on the depth of throttle utility and drive mode, however regardless this factor is a hoot to drive on the town and up a winding B-road. If solely the Akrapovic titanium exhaust provided abroad was out there domestically, as a result of it could solely improve the expertise additional.

On the subject of winding B-roads, the outskirts of Canberra had a beautiful mixture of high-speed nation roads that basically allowed the T-Roc R to stretch its legs and showcase its dynamic abilities.

While the driving place is slightly excessive – very like the Tiguan R – the T-Roc goes laborious each in a straight line and within the bends. It actually does really feel like a raised Golf R.

There’s a lot grunt throughout the rev band, with snappy shifts from the DSG transmission and large grip courtesy of the 235/40 R19 Continental ContiSport Contact efficiency tyres and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

It’s a stack of enjoyable to punt this factor by means of a collection of corners whatever the velocity, and I couldn’t assist however smile at how the T-Roc R performed itself. I felt foolish driving as aggressively as I might whereas perched excessive on this compact automobile.

Like decrease grades of the T-Roc, the R comes decked out with the newest lively security techniques, together with the nifty Travel Assist which mixes adaptive cruise and lane-centring for semi-autonomous freeway driving as much as 210km/h. Further, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts are useful to have given the T-Roc’s thick C-pillars.

While the majority of the drive expertise is sort of optimistic, the T-Roc R isn’t with out its setbacks.

The massive wheels and sports activities suspension tune imply that even in Normal mode the journey could be a little busy over pimpled tarmac, and could be a little terse over sharper hits – although that’s to be anticipated.

There’s additionally a little bit of street noise over something however clean bitumen. Like the T-Roc R-Line with its low-profile Bridgestone Potenza rubber, the T-Roc R’s Continental tyres transmit a little bit of roar into the cabin on the freeway, notably over the rougher stuff.

What do you get?

T-Roc R highlights:

  • 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels
  • Adaptive Chassis Control with Race mode
  • Progressive steering
  • R exterior and inside styling
  • IQ.Light Matrix LED headlights
  • Dynamic Light Assist (adaptive high-beam)
  • Premium LED tail lights with dynamic indicators
  • Exterior ambient lighting
  • Electric tailgate with Easy Open and Close
  • Premium metallic paint
  • 9.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Voice and Gesture management
  • Satellite navigation
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Wireless telephone charging
  • Dual-zone local weather management
  • Nappa leather-appointed upholstery
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Electrically-adjustable driver’s seat with reminiscence

Options

Black Style bundle: $1200

  • Black door mirrors
  • Black roof line physique strip
  • Black roof rails
  • Black distinction roof end
  • Film in carbon-look, C-pillars
  • Black inside accents for vents and infotainment

Premium audio: $750

  • 600W 6-speaker Beats audio system
  • Subwoofer
  • 8-channel amplifier

Panoramic glass sunroof: $2000
Lapiz Blue matte inlays: $250

Is the Volkswagen T-Roc R secure?

While the T-Roc vary wears a five-star ANCAP security score based mostly on assessments performed by Euro NCAP in 2017, the T-Roc R just isn’t lined by this score.

It acquired an grownup occupant safety rating of 96 per cent, a baby occupant safety rating of 87 per cent, a pedestrian safety rating of 79 per cent, and a security help rating of 71 per cent.

Standard security options embody:

  • 6 airbags
  • AEB with pedestrian detection
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane preserve help
  • Travel Assist
    • Adaptive cruise management
    • Active lane centring
  • Side Assist (blind-spot monitoring)*
  • Rear cross-traffic alert*
  • Proactive occupant safety system*
  • Park Assist (bay and parallel)
  • Parking sensors entrance, rear
  • Reversing digicam

*Side Assist, Rear Traffic Alert and Proactive Occupant Protection are unavailable for MY23 T-Roc Style, R-Line and R Grid Edition fashions

How a lot does the Volkswagen T-Roc R value to run?

The T-Roc, like all new Volkswagen fashions, is roofed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.

Volkswagen presents three- and five-year Care Plans for all variations of the T-Roc, costing $1600 and $2800 respectively for the R, averaging between $530 and $560 each year.

CarExpert’s Take on the Volkswagen T-Roc R

I received’t mince phrases – the T-Roc R is a bloody hoot.

Volkswagen’s newest addition to the R portfolio balances efficiency with enjoyable, practicality and relative worth in at present’s market. In truth it’s properly cheaper than a brand new Golf R regardless of genetic hyperlinks.

For me it’s the Mk7 Golf R reincarnated to go well with trendy tastes, and fills the void left by the previous-generation Golf R from a value perspective, given the brand new Mk8 R is over $70,000 on the street.

The solely actual risk to the T-Roc R comes from inside Volkswagen’s personal steady, with the newer MQB Evo-based Cupra Formentor VZx priced equally however providing more room and a better-appointed cabin. Audi’s mechanically related however arguably extra premium SQ2 additionally looms, asking for not way more than a fully-optioned T-Roc R.

But that’s what the Volkswagen Group achieve this properly, providing a variety of comparable merchandise all completely different sufficient to enchantment to completely different tastes and value factors.

And the T-Roc R will little doubt be successful amongst present T-Roc house owners on the lookout for extra punch, in addition to followers of the Golf R and different sizzling hatches that need the upper hip level and perceived practicality positive aspects of an SUV.

The incoming Grid Edition can be an attention-grabbing proposition, priced round $2000 than a high-spec Hyundai Kona N however providing extra grunt and all-wheel drive traction. Performance SUVs are pretty laborious to come back by at this finish of the market, so there’s not a lot else to match the VW to.

I’ve already began seeing T-Roc Rs driving round in Melbourne, and I’ve little doubt they’ll quickly develop into as widespread a sight on Australian roads because the Mk7 and seven.5 Golf R.

Click the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: Everything Volkswagen T-Roc

. .