The Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI R-Line sits between the smaller T-Cross and larger Tiguan in the German car maker’s stable. It also sits between the 110TSI and R in its own model line-up. You could say it’s literally the middle child.
Does that mean it has a complex about itself? Well it sort of does, but let us explain why. A quick walk around the car itself will tell you Volkswagen has tried to put R badge anywhere they can. We understand they’re trying to demonstrate its closeness to that variant too.
It’s the “it’s almost an R” thing that comes with the R-Line specification, but it somehow detracts from the prestige of actual R vehicles, and in an odd way, also takes away from what the 140TSI has to offer, which is plenty.
The 2023 Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI R-Line is a car this writer has admired for some time, even visiting the local VW dealership to have a look at one. It embodies the Golf, yet has more practicality and the added bonus of that extra space that comes from being an SUV.
Under the hood is a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque, married to 4Motion all-wheel drive and a 7-speed DSG gearbox. Power delivery is smooth, and there’s enough get up and go as you zip around town, or down a country road.
Highway driving is solid too, especially when utilising the adaptive cruise control. Normal drive mode is more than enough power to get around town, but a quick change to Sport mode adds excellent acceleration off the mark.
It’s enough to push you back in the plush black Nappa leather seats (an optional extra), in an interior that’s essentially all the same colour, while still offering a welcoming, premium feel. There’s plenty of soft touch surfaces throughout.
You will find a lot of the less popular, fingerprint-catching piano black plastic too though. Our test vehicle was loaded with the Black Style package, which includes a Beats branded audio system, complete with a subwoofer. It sounds crisp and clear at any volume level.
The 8.0-inch infotainment system features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and while it could be a little larger, it does the job, and is simple and easy to use. A 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster is impressive too.
The latter offers access to a host of customisable information, including maps, cruise control data, or your current audio track. We’re not a fan of the haptic touch sensitive controls on the steering wheel or those utilised for the air-conditioning on the dash.
We found ourselves having to take our eyes off the road too often to use them, and we weren’t initially capable of picking the right levels as you slide along. That said, we know Volkswagen is returning to real buttons soon, so that’s a welcome change.
The rear seats have sufficient space for adults, and our passengers also gave the headrests back there a massive thumbs up for how comfortable they were. Don’t expect extensive leg room in the second row though.
Boot space is generous, with 392-litres with seats up. It’s enough to fit golf clubs in with ease, but a trip away with the family might have you yearning for a touch more. That aside, the 140TSI R-Line looks good, especially in Pyrite Silver (as tested).
That add-on package we spoke of earlier also provides a two-tone black roof, black Misano wheels, electric tailgate, faux carbon fibre trims on the rear panels and minimal chrome.
Other paint options include pure White, Indium Grey Metallic, Kings Red Premium and Lapiz Blue. All these are available as a solid colour or with the black roof if you opt for the Style package.
Safety features are plenty, and include blind spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, reverse traffic alert and braking, assisted parking with sensors, and of course a rear camera.
At $57,550 drive away, with all the options ticked except for the panoramic sunroof, the 2023 Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI R-Line is a brilliant car to drive, offering a proper middle ground choice, with plenty of performance and a hint of luxury.
Our test vehicle was supplied by Volkswagen Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Volkswagen T-Roc 140TSI R-Line, talk to your local Volkswagen dealer.