Volkswagen T-Roc R 2020 UK review

Golf R substitute arrives in the UK with almost identical hardware but an alternative persona

There’s no question about modern Volkswagen’s ability to build an extremely desirable four-wheel-drive performance hatchback.That car has a name, of course: the Golf R. But the proposition changed last week, because the Golf R officially went off sale (don’t worry, it will be back in Mk8 form) and the T-Roc R arrived to step into its 296bhp shoes.Individual preferences being what they are, the fact that the T-Roc R is a crossover will automatically have made the notion of an ultra-quick, all-weather Volkswagen hatch less desirable to many people. And this being Autocar, you may well be one of them.Equally, many people will only now begin to consider buying an ultra-quick, all-weather Volkswagen, because they can finally get one with crossover styling and a marginally roomier interior. And in this sense, the T-Roc R is quite a rare thing: the first Volkswagen R GmbH-developed SUV since the 2008 Touareg R50, which today is a model that any product planner would be escorted from the building at gunpoint for merely suggesting; it used a 5.0-litre V10 turbodiesel.The point is that there may well be even greater demand for the T-Roc R than there was for the Golf R, and the owners will have subtly different priorities. Money will be a universal factor, however, because the T-Roc R costs more than £40,000 once you’ve ticked an option box or two – and we’ll come back to that uncomfortable fact shortly.

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