The Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet is tricky to figure out at first. The T-Roc Cabriolet is Volkswagen’s first-ever convertible crossover. According to VW, it combines the best of both the convertible and SUV world with a striking design and useful practicality.
Volkswagen’s newest T-Roc Cabriolet is riding on VW’s MQB architecture that also underpins theAudi A3sedan and hatchback, Audi TT, andVW Tiguanamong many others. It’s also based on the T-Roc compact crossover sold in Europe, but the cabriolet version receives a sedan-like body style.
The Volkswagen T-Roc convertible measures 4,268 mm long and 1,811 mm wide. It’s also 34mm longer than a standard T-Roc, which equates to a modest 284 liters of boot space to carry bags, luggage, and/or cases of your favorite brewsky. However, the vehicle is not as roomy and accessible for rear passengers as the T-Roc, as it only has two doors and a bench seat in the rear. But then again, the bench seats can fold down to offer a load-through function in the boot.
Meanwhile, the biggest talking point is the T-Roc’s electrohydraulic soft top. It folds in nine seconds at speeds up to 20 mph and closes back in around 11 seconds. This means you can drive it in any weather without fear of getting wet in a sudden rainstorm. Additional water channels on the seams of the side panels allow for a watertight seal.
In terms of styling, the VW T-Roc Cabriolet is more of a car than a crossover, and that’s a good thing. According to VW, the convertible T-Roc is the spiritual successor of the now-defunct Golf convertible with flared wheel arches and a sportier roofline with the roof up.
Safety is a primary concern in a roofless crossover, so VW installed a nifty rollover protection system behind the rear seat headrests along with a reinforced windscreen frame. It also has a double rear floor panel and rear struts between the B-pillars for added strength and rigidity.
Engine choices are limited to a pair of turbocharged gasoline-powered mills. The base model receives a 1.0-liter inline three-cylinder engine with 114 horsepower. The bigger mill is a 1.5-liter inline-four with 148 horsepower. Both engines are mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional.
History dictates convertible SUVs are oddities at best as proven by theNissan Murano CrossCabrioletandRange Rover Evoque convertible. But then again, the new VW T-Roc Cabriolet presents a different case with its sub-$30k base price (€27,495). The T-Roc Cabriolet arrives at European dealerships in the spring while the vehicle is currently on display at reopened VW showrooms in Germany. Sadly, the T-Roc won’t be coming to North America.