Volkswagen South Africa has announced that the T-Roc will join its SUV range before the end of the year. T-Roc was launched in Europe in 2017, so it will already be three years old when it goes on sale here. Regardless, VW SA reckons the 44% growth of the SUV segment in Mzansi between 2015 and 2019 will place the car in good stead for success. As far as positioning is concerned, it will sit between the T-Cross and the Tiguan.

T-Cross measures 4.2 metres long, 1.8m wide, 1.6m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.6m. So it is definitely larger than T-Cross but smaller than the normal Tiguan. Loading space is 445 litres when the rear seats are up, but they can be split 60/40 to reveal a total of 1 290 litres of space. The car’s kerb mass is 1 420kg which is relatively light in the segment. That bodes well for fuel consumption as well as general performance. There is a slahla T-Roc Cabriolet in some markets but with ours being what it is, this particular model will not work here and as such will not be sold.

As far as looks go the T-Roc will be one of the first cars in Mzansi to bear the new VW logo. The car’s front grille is clearly related to the Touareg’s and is split nicely, with a pair of air intakes flanking it. The side profile features a two-tone design; customers will be able to choose from 26 different exterior colours, while the roof will be available in either white, black or red. Those three colours then spill onto the side mirrors. The roofline itself takes on a coupe-like stance and VW has installed standard 17-inch alloys but buyers can go up to 19-inches. At the rear there is some lower black cladding to help protect the body. The design is also such that the exhaust tailpipes are hidden.

So far only two T-Roc derivatives have been confirmed for Mzansi, with the performance T-Roc R (221kW, 400Nm) still under consideration. At base is the 1.4-litre TSI with an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission. It produces 110kW between 5 000rpm and 6 000rpm, and 250Nm of torque. Volkswagen says it will sprint from 0 – 100km/h in 8.4 seconds, reach a top speed of 205km/h and average fuel consumption of 6.9 litres per 100km. Interestingly the European markets use a 1.5-litre instead, but get the same figures.

The second model is also petrol-powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine that delivers 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque. That one uses a 7-speed DSG transmission and adds 4Motion all-wheel-drive (AWD) to its arsenal. As such, it is claimed to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds, with a top speed of 216km/h and average fuel consumption of 8.3 litres per 100km.

Like most recent Volkswagen products, the T-Roc comes with a digital cockpit consisting of a 20.3cm infotainment touch screen and a 29.7cm Active Info Display unit at behind the steering wheel. Some of the features include two USB ports, App Connect, Wireless App Connect with the Discover Media System, and the We Connect Go app which does things like vehicle data, access to the nearest or preferred Volkswagen dealer, records for the tax log book and gamification.

Volkswagen SA has not priced the T-Roc for our market yet, citing the volatile currency as a reason. But they did say the two cars will range between R500 000 and R600 000 respectively. Full pricing is currently being finalised and will be announced in August.

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