VW releases new T-Roc – will it be a success? [w/ poll]

After many, many spyshots, followed by what seems like even more teasers, VW has finally pulled the wraps off the new T-Roc. 

It looks surprisingly good for a VW, doesn’t it?

Yes, indeed it does. VW does not exactly have great form in producing great-looking crossovers, but the T-Roc is a surprisingly adventurous and cohesive effort. For starters, like most cars built on the MQB matrix, its stance benefits greatly from the car’s width, aided further by a roofline that’s exactly halfway between that of the Golf and the Tiguan. Further, it features an enlarged, “rugged-ized” version of the new VW grille that combines seamlessly with a narrow pair of lights, which together give the car a nicely butch stare at the front. And then there is the detailing: there are neat LED lights up front, prominent wheelarch flares on the side, a stubby rear with attractively-designed faux air- and exhaust-outlets, and a contrasting roof option that, for once, seems to compliment the car. But let’s be honest – I think we’re all happy that the company did not botch the design of the T-Roc as they had with its twin, Audi Q2…

Hey, that’s a good point – how exactly does the T-Roc fit in the VW range if it’s based on the smaller Q2?

Well, for starters, despite sharing a digit with the much-missed A2 mini and sitting between the A3 and A1 in the current range, the Q2 is in fact as long as the Audi A3. Got that? Good, because it gets more complicated from here. The T-Roc is pretty much a twin to the Q2, adding a few centimeters here and there, and just like that car is based on the slightly-shorter wheelbase of the 3-door Audi A3 (but not, confusingly, the 3-door VW Golf, whose wheelbase is as long as that of the 5-door model). As a result, the T-Roc is roughly as long as the Golf, about 25cm shorter than the standard Tiguan, and almost 50cm shorter than the LWB Tiguan. If you were thinking that VW was covering each niche of the crossover market you’d be right – next on the horizon is the new Toureg, the Polo-sized T-Breeze (which will hopefully be renamed), plus there is always the possibility VW will actually build the cute little Up-based Taigun.

Seems like the T-Roc has the ingredients to succeed then, no? 

It sure does! By directly targeting the segment-leading Nissan Qashquai (known as the Rogue Sport in the US) the T-Roc is going for the jugular in the European Compact Crossover segment. Plus, if VW decides to bring it to the US (and it really needs to), it should give the grand a useful cashe boost, something it really needs to climb out of its recent funk.

But, we’re really interested in knowing what you think about the T-Roc’s market prospects:

How well will the T-Roc do in the European market?

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About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. Successful it will be.

    Three large markets tend to embrace all cars VW releases: China, Germany, UK.
    Add to that all countries surrounding Germany and you’ll see annual sales of at at least 500.000.

    500k is likely a conservative number. The Teramont started in China with 9k in July, the Tiguan 25k.
    If the T-Roc sells 250k units p/a in China alone, 500k is a breezer.

    The Golf will definitely feel the heat.

    In comparison, EU’s #1 segment leader Captur/Kaptur/QM3 reaches 275.000 a year.
    But Renault doesn’t benefit from the sales volume China generates.

  2. Losange says:

    Disappointing. It took them more than three years to break down the sort of dynamic T-Roc Concept. Result: a cheaper looking Audi Q2 with a roof line from Opel. Apart from the front, it doesn’t look coherent. And those interior colours can’t hide the dullness as a whole. To me, they just emphasise it negatively.

    Although I don’t see any reason not buying the larger Skoda Karoq instead, it’ll be successful. As RickM states, some markets breathe VW. They can fool the entire world and still sell their cars (artificially). All media make it possible as well. That’s why this latecomer gets a special article a day after its introduction.

  3. Qashqai is definitely not a contender for the T-Roc… It’s a mid-size SUV, so the Tiguan is more the equivalent of the Nissan.

    T-Roc’s rivals include Captur, 2008 and Juke.

  4. Just to clarify some things, this car is not a direct competitor to the B segment cars, like the Captur and Juke. It’s kind of an inbetweener, with the Tiguan taking the higher end of the C segment and the upcoming ( confirmed for next year ) T-Cross, which will be slightly smaller and go head to head with the B CUVs ( and basically be a Seat Arona clone, smaller engines, no AWD ). I also get the feeling that the T-Cross will be more of a ” serious ” car, more like a mini Tiguan than a Scirocco replacement ( that is, to me, what the T-Roc is )

    The T-Breeze hasn’t been confirmed yet, but if it comes to market it will be even smaller and probably based on the Up! and not the more expensive MQB.

    It’s kinda strange, but this will allow them to have something for everyones needs ( if you need a CUV 🙂 )

    And it will sell like hotcakes ( at least untill the T-Cross arrives )

  5. Polo segment -> T-Cross
    Golf segment -> T-Roc
    Passat segment -> T-Iguan
    E segment -> T-Ouareg

  6. Up! segment -> T-Track

  7. Considering it is manufactured in Portugal, I hope the T-Roc is a resounding success.

    • Me too Pedro, and I’m sure it will. According to the news, entry-level versions will cost roughly the same or even a little bit less than the equivalent Golf. If we look at the competition, the T-Roc will the sit at the higher end of the market in terms of price, almost on par with some models of the next segment:
      – Peugeot 2008 1.2 110cv: 22.790 €
      – Toyota C-HR 1.2 116cv: 23.710 €
      – VW Golf 1.0 110cv: 24.530 €
      – Honda HR-V 1.5 130cv: 24.790 €
      – Nissan Qashqai 1.2 115cv: 25.950 €
      – Seat Ateca 1.2 115cv: 26.226 €

      These prices are for the base petrol models in the Portuguese market and without money give-aways (currently Peugeot has 3.000 € off a new 2008 and Nissan 2.000 € off the Qashqai). With pricing like this, VW can still extend the T-range for a sub-20.000€ model and even a sub-15.000€ one.

  8. David davies says:

    Look just the same as the SEAT version which looks just the same as the v unispired SKODA version.itll just be the most expensive version of an uninspiringly styled trio.
    Yawmnnnnnnn

  9. It looks good for VW, after seeing Arteon and this you do ask yourself what happend with VW and it started doing cool cars.
    What is not so cool is hard plastic on the interior of the car.

  10. Now here’s a risk. a potential visual fail.
    The past years VW applies sharp geometric lines.

    This T-Roc is designed in similar fashion, expect there’s a “kinky”, ‘sexy’ wheel arch at the rear.
    Image this TRoc in a more sober version. with smaller wheels etc, then this wheel arch design might look uneven. Weird.

  11. It will sell ok, but Golf sales are gonna take a huge hit…
    It looks alright for a VW, but i find some details overexaggereted – kind of untypical for VW.
    I find that VW has missed the chance with this segment, this car is couple of years too late…

  12. Sorry guys but I don’t agree. T-Roc is definitely B-SUV (B+ if you wish). It is 16cm shorter than Qashqai (C-SUV) an has typical B-segment wheelbase (same as Captur, Cactus, 2008, Mokka etc). More to say, even at carsalesbase.com Tiguan is C-SUV along with mentioned Qashqai, Kadjar, CH-R etc 😉

    Even in official marketing materials they compare it to Juke, Captur etc.

    • @ToJa Can you give links to where in VWs marketing materials they are comparing it to the Captur and Juke please? In their official press release they call it a compact crossover, and they did the same in the official presentation, even going as far as saying ” a compact crossover, like the Tiguan “.
      And the Tiguan is definitely a C-segment SUV… which doesn’t mean that the T-Cross doesn’t compete with those cars also. Like one of the cars that you mentioned, the Toyota CH-R ( and THAT car is definitely and officially targeted at the Juke ), it kinda occupies both.
      IMO very few people will cross shop the Tiguan with a T-Cross, because they have very different personalities and are targeted at different people, BUT, they can co exist in the same segment ( more or less ). Like, say a Opel Mokka and a Crossland X ( in the B segment )

      • Losange says:

        First, although the Toyota C-HR resembles the Nissan Juke, it competes with the Qashqai based on pricing and size.

        VAG confuses customers with their model range, but this is how I think the T-Roc can be positioned. It has almost the same size (and design features) as the Audi Q2 which can be considered a luxury B segment crossover (Q3 = C segment, Q5 = D segment, Q7 = E segment). Others have said it before, VW seems to position the T-Roc between B and C segments looking at the smaller Seat Arona (B) and larger Seat Ateca/Skoda Karoq (C). The standard VW Tiguan belongs to the C segment, the Tiguan XL and Skoda Kodiaq are D segment crossovers. This automatically makes the Touareg/Atlas their E/F segment offer respectively. Of course the average European sees the Touareq and related Q7 as the largest possible SUVs, but I included American standards with the Atlas.

  13. NaBUru38 says:

    It looks too sharp for me, I prefer more curves. Anway, it will surely do better in Europe than the Ford Ecosport…

    It’s the same size as the Mokka / Trax. And bigger than the first-generation Renault Scénic…

  14. It will bomb. There is just too many small SUVs.

  15. It’s a B-segment SUV if you go by dimensions. No matter what they say.
    Look at its dimensions compared to the 500X:

    T-Roc dimensions:
    Length: 4,234mm
    Width: 1,819mm
    Height: 1,573mm
    Wheelbase: 2,595mm

    500X:
    Length: 4.273mm
    Width: 1.796mm
    Height: 1.608mm
    Wheelbase: 2.57mm

    It’s shorter than the 500X and less tall. Even in width, it’s only 2.5 cm wider.
    It has a big boot, although now I want to see independent measurements.

  16. Thanks for the clarification, tuga.

    I think there is a confusion in the comments as SUV segments have considerably changed over the years. When the 2007 Tiguan was launched, it was a “compact SUV”. The new gen is a lot bigger, and there is a LWB for markets such as the US or China, because the car was too small and customers demands changed.

    If you look at the RAV4, the change is even more obvious. Qashqai grew in size a lot as well with its second gen. Now if you look at newer entries such as the CH-R, it fits in between the subcompact and compact SUV segments. This T-Roc seems to follow the same path. I suspect that considering the success of the CH-R in Europe, this size will become the new standard for “sub-compact” SUVs.

    I think it is likely that next-gen 2008 and Captur will follow up, opening the path to another subcompact SUV level.

    As for the Up-based SUV, there is already a Cross-up in the lineup. I wonder if it really makes sense to have another “SUV” in that segment.

  17. I expect a big success of the T-Roc and some cannibalization of the Golf as we can see already now with Audi Q2 und A3. The question is, if the Golf will be able to stay on top of the european modelcharts. May be it will, but not as obvious as now.

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

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