Volkswagen T-Cross vs. T-Roc: What’s the difference?

Volkswagen offers two SUVs in the medium SUV segment, but how do they differ?

Reuben Van Niekerk
VW T-Cross
VW T-Roc

The small and medium SUV segments are by far the most popular categories in the passenger car market today. So, it is no wonder that Volkswagen have not one, but two contenders competing in this segment. But how do the T-Cross and T-Roc differ from each other?


With such similar styling and the fact that they are both medium-sized crossover vehicles, it is easy to get confused between Volkswagen’s T-Cross and T-Roc models.


A first glance both vehicles appear quite similar in design, but a closer look reveals that the T-Roc certainly boasts more aggressive and sporty styling that gives it a wider stance. When viewed from the side a sloping roofline creates a coupe impression.


Based on the same compact MQB platform as the Polo, the T-Cross measures 4.2 metres in length, making it 11 centimetres shorter than the T-Roc.


The T-Roc fits into the range above the T-Cross and below the Tiguan. Despite only differing by 11 centimetres, the T-Rocs design and styling along with larger alloy wheel options mean that it does appear quite a bit larger. Whens stepping inside the fact that the T-Roc is based on the same larger MQB platform as the Golf becomes evident. It is larger than the T-Cross inside and also offers a variety of cutting edge technology that is not available for T-Cross shoppers.


However, the biggest difference between the T-Cross and T-Roc is in the engine and drivetrain department with the T-Roc offering considerably more powerful engines as well as the option of four-wheel drive.


The T-Cross range offers buyers a choice of a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an output of either 70 or 85kW. While the range topping 1.5-litre TSI turbocharged petrol boasts 110kW. Gearbox choices are either a five-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG. All engines drive the front-wheels


The T-Roc can be ordered with a choice of two efficient petrol engines. Customers can choose between a 1.4 TSI engine paired with an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox, boasting 110kW and 250Nm or a 2.0 TSI engine with seven-speed DSG and 4Motion, which delivers 140kW and 320Nm.


While both the T-Cross and T-Roc models offer increased ground clearance compared to the hatchbacks with which they share underpinnings, the 4Motion system employed in the T-Roc really makes it a real contender for adventure motoring that very often means travelling on rough gravel roads where traction can be tricky.


You pay for what you get

Although the T-Cross and T-Roc may appear similar at a glance, the slightly larger dimensions of the T-Roc along with its extensive technology suite, more powerful engines and the option of 4Motion four-wheel drive does mean that it comes with a heftier price tag.


T-Cross models range in price from R345 700 to R458 00 while the entry level T-Roc costs R489 400 and the top of the range 2.0 TSI R-Line retails for R593 600.


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