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Old 12th October 2020, 22:15   #1
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Default Volkswagen T-Roc : Ownership Review

This is my first thread on Team-BHP. I’ve always been amazed (and still am) at the quality content and the intricate attention to detail that every post showcases. I will strive to live up to this expectation.

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Introduction: -
Our family started the hunt for a SUV/crossover around mid-2019. Our current stable consisted of a Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, a Nissan Micra Active and a Fiat Linea. The Micra was mostly used by my mom for commuting in and out of the city occasionally. The Ertiga on the other hand is heavily used by my grand-parents for visiting various temples in and around Tamil-Nadu and has an odometer reading of more than 1L Kms. Finally, the Linea is predominately used by me and my dad on occasional road tips over weekends. The Linea has always had a special place in my heart ever since we bought it 8 years ago. Though I wish we could have gone for the T-JET instead of MJD, I still love driving it and I feel special whenever I do.
One fine evening while chilling in the balcony, my dad struck up a conversation about owning an SUV. Intrigued, we both discussed further about the different types of SUVs present and quickly made up our criteria on what it should offer. We were in no rush to buy one, so we decided to wait for the right one to come along. There were a host of new SUVs launching in every segment, as manufacturers picked up on the SUV craze that had hit India.

Requirement: -

Body Type: - SUV/Crossover

Budget: - The on-road price should not exceed 25L

Fuel: - Strictly petrol

Transmission: - Automatic

Options Considered: -
1. Kia Seltos - Kia hit the ball out of the park with the launch of the Seltos. Their marketing team did a stellar job with advertising the many first-in-class features generating hype. We booked a red Seltos GT-line DCT almost immediately. After a couple of weeks, we took a trip to our local dealer to check it out in the flesh. Exploring it we were impressed with what it had to offer, the sheer number of equipment, features, and performance it possessed over its rivals almost convinced us to seal the deal, but for some reason, there was a slight hesitation from my dad, and we kept postponing the purchase. By then many Seltos of different variants started popping up on our roads and my dad had decided that the Seltos was a bit too popular for his liking (He always prefers something unique). Adding to this, the lack of interest the dealer showed us was the final blow, eventually leading us to cancel the booking.

2.Skoda Karoq- This had everything going for it, it was unique, had a classy design, and came in a single fully loaded variant with all the bells and whistles. We kept a close eye on this just like the T-Roc, but as soon as the price was announced, we eliminated it out almost instantaneously. I would have been perfectly okay if it was 2-3L more expensive over the T-Roc since it offers a more premium cabin and a few extra features but 5L was simply too much considering the fact that they both have identical engines and transmissions.

3.Hyundai Tucson- This was the most practical option that we considered as it was the biggest, had the most space, and had a decent price. Hyundai’s reliability and aftersales network is one of the best in India too. Seeing it in person, we felt that it was a size bigger than what we require and the petrol engine has only 150PS (I wish it had 185PS like the diesel model). Also, the styling was mediocre for our liking, and we wanted something that stood out a little more.

4.Jeep Compass- This option was considered only briefly and it was before the launch of the above vehicles. A close friend ours owns the petrol automatic version and has mentioned to us the poor mileage it offers. We felt the design and some of the features it had to offer was a bit outdated as well.

The Tata Harrier was not considered due to its size and lack of a proper powerful petrol engine. The MG Hector and Hyundai Creta wasn’t considered due to styling concerns. Though the Creta is excellent value for money, and its interiors are probably my favorite in the segment, I have no idea what Hyundai was thinking when they did the exterior design, it looks awful.

Selecting the Volkswagen T-Roc: -
We’ve been following T-Roc ever since the news broke that it's coming to India and it piqued our interest quite a bit. My dad and I watched the T-Roc being launched live by Stepan Knapp during the lockdown period. We watched him reveal all the exterior features, dimensions and design. Before he stepped inside to reveal the interior, I crossed my fingers that the interior panels shouldn’t be body-coloured (like in the European spec) and thankfully to my relief they weren’t. I was glad that Volkswagen didn’t go with this for the Indian CBU variant and gave us normal matt gray panels instead. Though I like the concept of body coloured panels being used in the interior, in the case of the T-Roc it was just plain over-kill. I listened with my ears wide open when he explained about how the T-Roc comes equipped with an intelligent – Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) that senses the driving pattern and accordingly activates/deactivates 2 cylinders out of 4 resulting in reduced fuel consumption, and how this switch happens faster than a blink of the eye. This combined with the automatic start-stop function ensures that the T-Roc returns back an impressive mileage when driven accordingly. Everything sounded good so far, but the main deciding factor is the price. When Volkswagen finally announced that it was 19.99L, my dad and I let out a collective sigh of relief. Considering the fact that it’s a CBU, the T-Roc is reasonably priced, and the feature list is pretty impressive as well. After the launch, we immediately logged onto the Volkswagen site and booked it. The next day we gave a call to our local Volkswagen dealer (KUN Volkswagen Madras), and asked a few queries to them. They said that they’ll let us know as soon as the T-Roc arrives in their showroom, and from that point onwards all we had to do is wait. Due to the increasing CO-VID cases and the lockdown restrictions imposed by the government, it took a whole 3 months for the dealer to follow up on our interest, and bring the car to our front door to explore.

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The Dealership Experience: -
We were extremely happy with how all the proceedings went, and the dealership experience with KUN Volkswagen Madras was exceptional! They were patient, understanding and never pestered us with any unwanted phone calls, and only checked in on us from time to time to confirm our interest. We took our own sweet time to say yes and mentioned the vehicle would be registered in Pondicherry since all the required documents for registration are from there. Our sales associate Mr. Harish @ Hariprasad deserves a special mention here, as he ensured us a seamless buying experience. He diligently listened to us, was always there when we needed him and answered all our questions promptly. After verifying everything, the dealer took the T-Roc to Pondicherry to finish the registration and also assured they’ll send a good and safe driver who is aware of the fact that the first 100-200 kilometers is crucial as the engine needs to be run in, and should be driven with utmost care. As the delivery day was getting closer, there were some anomalies with some of the payments, the dealership took full responsibility and promised it will be taken care of. Overall a memorable world class experience from KUN Volkswagen Madras.

Delivery: -
Our Ravenna Blue Volkswagen T-Roc had finally arrived on 09/10/2020 and we took delivery in our hometown, Pondicherry. Seeing our vehicle in the flesh for the first time we were fully convinced that we made the right choice. We got the insurance on our own and used the 50% NCB from another vehicle we sold. The delivery procedures were carried out smoothly and before I knew it, it was time to take the T-Roc home!

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After some fairly long drives in city roads and on the highway and a thorough exploration of the interior and exterior, here are my impressions.

- Love the classy design language - The LED lights, the perfectly sized wheels, the creases, the sloped rear-end, and the stance. It all blends together beautifully.

- It’s unique! A niche crossover for a niche audience.

- The rev happy 1.5 TSI engine that pumps out 150 Bhp and 250 Nm of torque paired with the 7-speed DSG gearbox makes the T-Roc a hoot to drive!

- Fuel Efficiency- When driven accordingly under low loads, the ACT combined with the start-stop system ensures the T-Roc returns an impressive fuel efficiency figure.

- The active info display is a breath of fresh air and fact that the infotainment system is slightly angled, makes it a driver’s delight.

- No annoying beeps/sounds/chimes at triple digit speeds. Still can’t believe it.

- Safety- 5-star Global NCAP rating, 6 airbags, ESC, TPMS, HSA, lane assist, and various other safety kit. This area has always been a priority for us.

- Reasonably priced considering the fact that it’s a CBU. A similar variant of the UK spec is more expensive.

- Yes, its small. I don’t think it deserves the Volkswagen’s “SUV(W)” status. We have strayed away from the idea that it’s an SUV, and accepted it as a crossover.

- Ingress and Egress into the rear seats might be a bit of a task for some folks, and the transmission tunnel eats away some of the foot space.

- The lack of powered front seats and cruise control. Although its exclusion doesn’t bother us too much, it should be offered considering the price. The rotary dial for adjusting the backrest is annoying to use, Volkswagen could have used a simple lever instead. I also wish it came with wireless charging for my phone.

- Would have liked map integration and more dial choices with the active info display like the Karoq.

- Some of the customization features have been disabled for the Indian CBU.

- Basic accessories such as floormats and mudflaps are ridiculously expensive (13K).

- DSG’s long term reliability concerns (it uses a DQ200 gearbox).

- Spares and the availability of parts is a question mark.

Last edited by Aditya : 16th October 2020 at 22:44. Reason: Maruti
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Old 13th October 2020, 00:39   #2
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Exterior: -

I love the styling of the Volkswagen T-roc! Those flared wheel arches, the LED headlamps, the prominent creases in the right places, and the sloped roofline all make it stand out of the crowd despite the design being a couple years old. It doesn't look butch, or imposing, but has an understated elegance. Nothing looks overdone or out of place. It's a neat, simple German design with no frills. The minimal use of chrome is also much appreciated!

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My favourite angle!
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Distinctive LED DRLs that double up as indicators.
The VW logo looks 3 dimensional here, but in fact it's completely flat. This is where the sensors for the adaptive cruise control usually sits. A feature that's sadly omitted here.
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Perfectly sized 17" Mayfield Alloy wheels with rather high-profile Bridgestone tires.
Volkswagen provide a special tool in the boot to remove the wheel nut caps so they can't be stolen.
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The ORVM are electrically foldable and heated.
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Sufficient under cladding for the engine.
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The wheel wells both front and back get a good amount of cladding. I discovered this panel in the front while clicking some pics.
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Request sensors at the back of the door handle
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Rear camera neatly tucked under the badge and safe from the elements.
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Superbly concealed rear winscreen washer.
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Last edited by Seahawk : 15th October 2020 at 08:32.
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Old 13th October 2020, 23:48   #3
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Interiors: -

Stepping inside, it's equally impressive. The design clean, straightforward, and functional, just like the exterior. Sitting in the driver’s seat everything falls into place, the chunky steering wheel, the crisp active info display, and the center console that's angled towards the driver.
Yes, there are hard scratchy plastics on top of the dash and in some other areas , soft touch materials are expected at this price, but everything is tight-fitting and feels durable. The armrests on the door pads and the central armrest have noticeability hard cushioning. I have a feeling that the materials used here i won't fade away over time.

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The Vienna leather upholstery feels premium and the colour combination goes well with the rest of the interior. The seats themselves feel supportive and snug once you find your exact configuration. All the seat controls are manual, the rotary dial used to control the backrest angle is annoying to use, and to move the seats themselves theres a tiny lever at the bottom left hand side thats hard to find. All this will take some getting used to.
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Pardon the temporary paper mats.
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Though the panoramic sunroof won't be opened frequently, its inclusion enhances the airiness of the cabin.
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The touch screen is a fingerprint magnet.
The infotainment itself simple and I was able to find and adjust everything with relative ease, though it could be a tad more responsive.
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Dual zone climate control.
Heated seats included too- a feature we'll never use in our climate.
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A tire inflation device that plugs in the 12V socket is provided free with the vehicle.
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Familiar Volkswagen steering wheel seen across the whole range.
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Active info display in action. Notice the vehicle in 2-cylinder mode, an "eco" icon pops up at the top of the display to let you know.
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After every drive however long/short you receive a useful summary about various parameters.
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Standard speakers provided here which sounds good (I'm no expert in this area). Some European varients come equipped with a beats system.
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There are enough cup holders and cubbies in the cabin to store all the knick-knacks.
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Last edited by Seahawk : 15th October 2020 at 10:33.
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Old 14th October 2020, 11:54   #4
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The T-roc is the widest in this segment, but only two people can sit here comfortably for long periods. The headliner is scooped out for some extra inches of headroom. The transmission tunnel protrudes considerably and robs a lot of foot space.
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Powered tailgate is a miss.
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Manual opening of the bootlid from the inside with the key.
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450L boot.
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Ski hatch to access the boot.
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A tube of tire sealent is included.
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Last edited by Seahawk : 15th October 2020 at 09:52.
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Old 14th October 2020, 12:31   #5
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Lighting: -

The LED headlamps offer a superb range and illuminate the road ahead beautifully.
This vehicle has a camera built into the rear-view mirror for the high beam assist which automatically dips the headlights when it detects either oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead. But for some reason Volkswagen have disabled that feature, an OBD eleven update should cure it.
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Fog lamps/cornering lamps
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I like the fact that the fog lamp are a different colour temperature. It helps distinguishing it from the main beams
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Last edited by Seahawk : 14th October 2020 at 18:23.
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Old 14th October 2020, 18:54   #6
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Driving Dynamics & Assist Systems: -

Under the hood we find VW group’s 1.5-litre TSI EVO that pumps out 150hp and 250nm of torque through the 7-speed DSG gearbox. It’s the same figures you’ll find in the Skoda Karoq, but the T-Roc weighs 50kg less. It hits a ton in under 10 seconds and for a crossover, that's some good figures. This new-gen turbo-petrol engine is captivating in the sense that it enjoys a strong mid-range, and is simultaneously free-revving. There's a noticeable difference in sport mode as it holds the gears for a longer time before upshifting. You can drop a gear with the paddles for a quick overtake, and the DSG responds instantaneously. We've been driving it with a light foot so far as the engine needs to be run in, and the T-roc adapts accordingly. This engine comes equipped with an intelligent active cylinder technology (ACT) that activates/deactivates 2 cylinders under lighter loads or when coasting. This combined with the automatic start/stop system ensures a good mileage figure.

The suspension remains unchanged from the European version so the ride quality is firm. On smooth roads it feels well planted, steady, and corners with confidence. The steering wheel weighs up reasonably well during highway speeds. Body roll is at a minimal and minor undulations are soaked up with ease. At lower speeds going over big potholes, speed bumps, and bad roads, the firmness can be felt. That's the sacrifice made for those excellent highway manners.

Coming to the assist systems, the T-roc is equipped with lane assist, frontal collision warning, and maneuver braking. For lane assist, a yellow icon appears on the display when activated and remains on standby mode. When the vehicle senses clear lane markings on the road, the yellow icon turns green and that means the assist system is ready to take over. When the system is working, you can momentarily take your hands off the steering wheel and notice minor steering corrections the vehicle makes to stay inside the lane. If you go towards the outer edges, the system gently brings you back to the center. However, this system requires constant attention as well as timely manual steering inputs and if the lane markings are faded/unclear it switches off. I've only tried this feature a couple times on big empty roads with proper markings. Next the frontal collision warning, a system that's on by default everytime you start the vehicle. According to online sources and the owner's manual, this system acts as a third eye and will give a warning if it detects an imminent collision, if ignored, the system steps in and brakes automatically. Lastly the maneuver braking, this system works under speeds 10 km/hr with the help of parking sensors and can also bring the vehicle to a standstill if it detects an obstacle.

Surprised to see no Volkswagen/TSI badging
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The lane assist/frontal collision warning can be turned on/off with a button on the indicator stalk. Maneuver braking settings are accessed in the vehicles infotainment.
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More Observations…
*The electronic parking is loud on the outside whenever it engages/disengages.

* The automatic start/stop system and the frontal collision warning indicator are on by default whenever the car is started.

* The voice assistant button on the infotainment as well as the steering doesn’t work. When pressed it says it needs to be activated by the dealer.

* There is a climatronic Air filter that supposedly filters pollen and pollutants and can be activated from Aircon settings menu.

* I feel there is an information overload on some of the menus of the virtual cockpit. Some of the displayed information isn’t necessarily important when driving.

* The door handles creak slightly when closing the door from the inside.

* The automatic start/stop system sometimes turns off the vehicle before it comes to a complete stand still.

* Audible seatbelt warning for the front passenger is present.

* The automatic headlamps are super sensitive and turns on at dusk. If you feel its too early for headlights and turn off the headlamps, the vehicle asks you to turn them on again in the display.

* It's equipped with leaving/coming home feature.

* TPMS needs to be set in advance with the proper tire pressure.

* The DSG occasionally shifts to D1 from D2 with higher revs over some bad roads. In these situations, the jerkiness can be felt.

* Many customization features have been disabled. An OBD eleven (VAG models only) device that plugs into the OBD port should bring them back but apparently map integration in the virtual cockpit can’t be brought back.

* All four windows are automatic, and the rear windows go roll down completely
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European made parts
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Last edited by Seahawk : 15th October 2020 at 12:15.
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Old 14th October 2020, 23:07   #7
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Conclusion: -

In this price segment the Volkswagen T-Roc is one of the best if not the best vehicle dynamically. This is a vehicle where you want to be behind the wheel, experiencing the amazingly well-tuned engine paired with the slick gearbox in a design that would age like a fine wine. Yes, there were some compromises made (the main one being space) but when you’re driving, that factor never pops up in your mind. In the end, as a family we’re happy that we chose a vehicle that won our hearts and we’re looking forward to cherish it in the years to come.

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Acknowledgment: -
  • A very special thanks to Bhp’ians Harneet.S, tristis2008, JOKARR, namanchaudhary, Parth Oomphy.
  • All the members who contributed valuable information and important consumer advice in the T-Roc forum. All my queries were promptly answered by fellow Bhp’ians and I’m grateful that such a platform that brings together passionate people exists.
  • KUN Volkswagen Madras and my sales associate Mr. Hariprasad for a fantastic experiance
  • I would also like to express my thanks and gratitude to all the Bhp’ians and guests who have taken time out of their day to read about our experience with the Volkswagen T-roc .

Last edited by Seahawk : 15th October 2020 at 10:23.
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Old 16th October 2020, 08:07   #8
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

For a moment there, I thought I'm reading an Official Review . Your car is going to our homepage today . Wishing you minimum 150,000 km of smiles & memories with the T-Roc.
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Old 16th October 2020, 08:28   #9
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Wonderful car in a wonderful colour!

The T-Roc is an excellent product, it has almost every feature required, is the perfect size and more importantly the 1.5L TSi is a beast of an engine in the T-Roc. No wonder the TROC is sold out!

Enjoy your car to the fullest, congratulations once again.
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Old 16th October 2020, 09:18   #10
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Congrats Seahawk on this wonderful purchase! The car looks absolutely stunning in the blue color and I wish you thousands of delightful miles ahead.
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Old 16th October 2020, 10:24   #11
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Wow, I hadn't given the T-Roc any mindspace until I saw this thread. It was lost in the barrage of SUV launches and I guess, sub-consiously, I had negated it as "just another SUV". I was wrong. Great review Seahawk!

I am not a fan of bling and hence, have disregarded the Seltos and Hector despite their commercial success. This however, looks different. It oozes of German design, consideration and quality. It may not match the tech features of it's competitors spec to spec but overall, I feel like this will be a lot more mature, confidence inspiring and driver focussed.

I 'd love to find a pre-loved version 2-3 years later and use it as a daily driver. I wonder if VW depreciation will apply to it or if it won't depreciate as much given that it's an SUV. Time will tell.

Does anyone know why the Audi Q2 is rumored to be priced much higher than the T-Roc? In the UK they are priced close to each other which makes sense given how similar they are under the skin.

Last edited by aaychat : 16th October 2020 at 10:32.
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Old 16th October 2020, 10:37   #12
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Wow! That's a looker there in this tempting shade of blue, Seahawk. Simply love the subtle and timeless styling of the T-ROC and could sense your passion for the beauty.

Wish you loads of happy miles and joyful experiences with the car. Enjoy!
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Old 16th October 2020, 10:56   #13
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Great colour and looks really stately. Especially in the last pic. Although VW is lesser on features and less aggressive in the models it provides, I like its design over Skoda. Agree with the seat heaters, giving cooling seats would be a great help for our climate. Makes it really comfortable.

I think this class of crossovers will be the next growth area for everyone including normal and premium ones. Hope we get more to choose from.

Last edited by srishiva : 16th October 2020 at 10:58.
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Old 16th October 2020, 11:28   #14
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If I did not own a Jetta, this would have been a great choice. Wonderful review and it will help many of the fence sitters make an informed choice.
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Old 16th October 2020, 11:48   #15
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5 Star review. This car does look Beautiful. I especially loved this little touch.
A tire inflation device that plugs in the 12V socket is provided free with the vehicle.
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