Better late than never: Volkswagen unveils the T-Roc compact crossover
The German giant becomes the last global player to join the burgeoning compact crossover class.
Better late than never… Perhaps, as is the case with big automotive players when reaching out for new sales territory. Unveiled in Europe recently, the T-Roc is Volkswagen’s answer for the compact SUV class sitting below the Tiguan model.
The German giant has become the last major brand to join the burgeoning compact crossover race after Toyota (another automotive titan but from the Far East) rolled out the C-HR, which is being launched around the globe (including Thailand later this year) to rival the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke.
As with many new editions introduced this year by rival brands, the T-Roc has been designed with modernity and youthfulness in mind. Note the two-tone exterior treatment and colour-matching interior, highlighting the brand’s latest digital instrument panel.
By sitting on a 2.6m wheelbase, the T-Roc promises competitive cabin space for five people and their belongings.
Is there a plug-in hybrid?
VW has announced a range of conventional TSI petrol and TDI diesel engines with outputs ranging from 115hp to 190hp. While a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive feature in cost-effective versions (like the 1.0-litre TSI), more sophisticated ones (like the 2.0-litre TDI and the 2.5-litre TSI) get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and 4Motion all-wheel drive.
It’s likely that VW will offer a plug-in hybrid at a later stage because sister brand Audi is also planning one for Q2. Speaking of the VW Group, the other two siblings of the T-Roc are the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq, both unveiled earlier this year and aiming their guns primarily in Europe at the Citroen C3 Aircross, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
But VW isn’t interested in selling it in Thailand…
In order for SUVs of this nature to sell in Thailand, they must be assembled in Asean because that’s how popular models like the HR-V manage to yield prices of less than 1 million baht.
And since this region is more of a playground for Japanese carmakers, don’t expect the T-Roc to be made around here — unless Volkswagen AG springs a surprise in Thai investment, which is again unlikely.
In fact, the Thai VW agent has recently made it clear that it will be focusing on just the Caravelle people carrier. It’s the same with Hyundai, whose breadwinning model in the country is the H1/Starex, despite its latest baby SUV called Kona.
Which is quite a pity, because from first impressions the T-Roc looks to be a promising SUV in its class in terms of styling, functionality and technology.
TOP TO BOTTO M The most potent T- Roc yet has a 190hp petrol engine.
The T-Roc sits on a competitive wheelbase of 2.6m.
A digital instrument panel adorns the fascia.