Volkswagen Scirocco review (2008 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

30 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Volkswagen Scirocco review (2008 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

Volkswagen Scirocco

review (2008 onwards)

What – Volkswagen Scirocco

Where – Lisbon, Portugal

Price – £20,940 (2.0 TSI GT)

First impressions

Volkswagen has a reputation for playing things very safe. But then the latest Golf GTI burst onto the scene and announced VW had rediscovered the mojo that made the trendsetting original such a classic. But before that first Golf we had the Scirocco. And now we have a new one.It’s a real looker too, wowing the crowds at the Geneva show this year.

And it doesn’t disappoint in the flesh, this being the most dramatic looking VW since, well, the first Scirocco. Debuted to similar fuss 34 years ago, it announced VW’s adoption of modern trends such as unitary construction and front-wheel drive.

The new Scirocco plays a similar role today, previewing a new front-end look scheduled to be rolled out across the VW range in the near future. And after years as the four-wheeled equivalent of pressed chinos and a plain shirt, VW has dug deep into the wardrobe and burst out in a dramatic new outfit. Taut, edgy and distinctly aggressive, the Scirocco is VW getting assertive.

And if that’s the case rivals had better worry, because the firm’s domination of the European car market can only grow if traditional VW virtues can be combined with the sort of dynamism and excitement the Scirocco represents.

So it looks fast and exciting. But does the new Scirocco deliver on the road? Well, there have been few complaints about the way the current Golf GTI goes so the fact the first model we get in the UK shares a variant of the Golf’s 2.0-litre, 197bhp, direct-injection turbocharged engine bodes well. Other engines will follow, including a 158bhp 1.4-litre TSI engine featuring VW’s nifty Twincharger combined turbo/supercharger installation.

Diesels will also feature, with 138bhp and 168bhp (140ps and 170ps in VW’s preferred metric units) versions of the latest 2.0-litre common-rail diesel motor launched in the Audi A4 last year.

But the 2.0 TSI will be the first to arrive when the Scirocco goes on sale at the end of August. The engine is a peach too, with a lively, punchy power delivery that delivers 206lb ft of torque all the way from 1,700-5,000rpm. It’s connected to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with DSG a £1,330 extra.Forget the whoosh-bang turbo engines of old – this motor just pulls and pulls.

That fat wedge of torque means almost diesel like low-end shove, combined with real top-end zest. 62mph comes up in 7.2 seconds, the automatic DSG transmission offering seamless acceleration even if it can be a little frustrating when manoeuvring and pulling away.

VW’s ability to milk ever further derivations from the Golf platform is nothing short of astonishing. And while the Scirocco shares much it’s a whole 97mm lower than the Golf and 51mm wider, with 59mm broader track at the rear alone. And this has a dramatic effect on the handling.The Scirocco feels more hatchback-like than, say, a TT. But the centre of gravity is much lower than the Golf and as a result it feels significantly more planted.

The wheelbase is the same but the broader track further heightens the Scirocco’s ability to carve through the turns.

There’s also a very effective three-mode adjustable damping system, badged Active Chassis Control. Unlike Audi’s magnetic ride system this uses an electronically controlled valve on each damper to adjust the damping force according to the ECU’s assessment of your speed, throttle input, steering angle and various other parameters.If the nose of the car dives into a compression, for example, by the time the rear wheels reach it the dampers will have been firmed up in readiness, the Scirocco staying resolutely flat and composed as a result. Impressively ACC will be standard on the 2.0 TSI GT cars available at launch too.

Neat, smart and well screwed together, the Eos-based cabin can’t quite match the drama of the exterior and in dark hues can feel a little claustrophobic. We’d pass on the DSG gearbox too and instead spend the cash on the ‘truffle’ coloured leather option, which both brightens things up and makes the interior feel a lot more special.It’s practical though, the two individual rear seats losing just 25mm of headroom over the front ones, with legroom enough for full-size occupants.

They’re also set slightly inboard of the front ones, reducing the sense of being lost in a black hole. There’s a big lip on the boot but 292 litres within, expandable to 775 litres with the seats down.

Direct fuel injection, forced induction and all the latest technology means VW’s engines are among the best when it comes to economy and emissions too. The 2.0 TSI manages 37.2mpg while returning 179g/km of CO2 – not bad for a highly tuned engine.

When it arrives the 1.4 Twincharger unit will do an even more impressive 43.5mpg and 154g/km.Safety is strong too, with an updated ESP system, six airbags as standard, ISOFIX baby seat mountings for the rear seats and hazard lights that flash during emergency braking all among the standard features. Meanwhile foam in the front bumper is designed to reduce leg injuries to any pedestrians that may fall in your path.

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