Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet review

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What is?

The only soft top Volkswagen you can buy. Now that the Golf Cabrio and Beetle Cabrio are dead and the Eos is a distant memory, the only new VW convertible for sale is this two-door, four-seat T-Roc droptop.

That means tackling the convertible SUV concept again. Recent examples include the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, which never went on sale in the UK and was never replaced by Nissan. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible was offered for sale in Britain and people bought it, but not in the numbers needed for Land Rover to revive it for a second generation. Do you detect a trend?

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Undeterred, Volkswagen will sell you a soft-top T-Roc from £27,410. It costs around £6,000 more than a basic T-Roc hardtop, but the Cabrio passes the first test a roadster must do: it looks good. The styling lines around the rear wheel are pure Bentley Bentayga, if you’re into that sort of thing. The roof profile is rather square but fits neatly into a hidden rabbit hole when lowered. It certainly doesn’t feel like an afterthought. You even get a prominent ducktail spoiler on the trunk to enhance the car’s proportions in profile. Attention to detail, huh?

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Refreshingly, VW has kept the T-Roc Cabriolet range nice and simple. There are just three engine and gearbox options to navigate, and two different trim levels. Eight paint colors are your lot, and you can have the roof any color you want, as long as it’s black.

So with little time to spend on the car’s specs, that leaves more time to pontificate on the bigger question: Is a T-Roc Convertible a convertible crossover that’s actually going to be a hit? Is it a car in which you could reasonably be seen during the day? Well, we bravely did just that to bring you this review. I beg you.

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Our choice of the range.

Design 1.5 TSI 2 doors DSG

What’s the verdict?

The regular T-Roc isn’t VW’s finest hour, so putting on the roof doesn’t create a classic. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, and neither should you.
  Volkswagen T-Roc review

Read what you will about the fact that the T-Roc Cabrio really has no direct rivals. The compact crossover convertible scene has been a desolate wasteland so far. It’s either because it’s a crap idea, or because only VW has the guts, and the extra money, to try and market one, even to convertible-mad Brits. So fair game for Wolfsburg to try something a little less common. Between that, the Arteon Shooting Brake, and the ID3, Volkswagen’s lineup gets more diverse and interesting every week, and Top Gear applauds them for it. Our roads are a better place when there are more heads turning towards them.

That said, the T-Roc Cabrio has some issues. There are the physical ones, like the weight of the doors, the shudder of the steering column, its strong cornering attitude, and the tiny sub-Kia cabin.

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Then there is the more philosophical and subjective debate that only you can answer: could you be seen in one? What kind of message does it project to the world? Peacock stance or confused retiree whose wrinkled old back is no longer ready to climb in and out of a low-slung MX-5 or Z4? In some ways, the old Golf Cabrios were a pretty classless and unassuming way to drive your convertible car, and the T-Roc just isn’t. It puts you even more on a pedestal than a normal condom.

Volkswagen says only 7% of its T-Roc sales will be Cabriolets, so this is a niche that will continue to be a lesser-seen show, rather than a wait-and-see phenomenon. So at least there will be a shortage. There’s nothing worse than being seen in the same pose bag as everyone else…

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