Volkswagen Scirocco coupe
Volkswagen Scirocco coupe
Price £20,455 - £29,520
- Stylish design
- Good to drive
- Practical interior
- Bland interior design
- Boot is tricky to access
- Rear seats aren't very comfortable
At a glance
"Good to look at and great to drive, the Volkswagen Scirocco offers an appealing blend of performance, practicality and style."
The Volkswagen Scirocco is a coupe that rivals models such as the Renaultsport Megane, Audi TT, Peugeot RCZ, BMW 2 Series coupe, and the Vauxhall Astra GTC VXR. For 2014, the Scirocco has been given a facelift and it gets fresh headlights, bright LED rear lights, and revised bumpers. Inside, the car is largely unchanged bar the additional dials on top of the dashboard pay tribute to the original Scirocco.
Volkswagen may not have given the Scirocco the eye-catching looks of some of the competition, but it is still smart and its conventional body shape allows for a more practical interior.
With access to Volkswagen's excellent range of engines, the Scirocco can be fitted with everything from the basic 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine to the top-of-the-range 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine in the Scirocco R, which we’ve reviewed separately.
Offering the best balance of performance and economy is the 181bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel. Buyers can also choose between a six-speed manual and Volkswagen's six-speed DSG automatic gearbox.
You can choose from three trim levels – the basic Scirocco, plus GT, R-Line and R models. The standard car has equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a touchscreen display, auto dimming rear view mirror, and air-conditioning.
MPG, running costs & CO2
All models apart from the top-spec VW Scirocco R are relatively cheap to run
Fuel economy of 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 125g/km for road tax of £100 mean that the entry-level Scirocco is quite cheap to run for a sporty petrol. The next model up is the 2.0-litre TSI petrol, which can achieve fuel economy of 47.1mpg, while CO2 emissions of 139g/km translate into road tax of £130 annually.
The Scirocco can be fitted with a choice of two diesel engines, with 148bhp or 182bhp. The lower-powered version road tax costs just £20 annually (£30 if you choose to fit the DSG gearbox). Fuel economy ranges from 67.3mpg in the manual to 62.8mpg in the automatic. The 182bhp model can return a maximum of 54.2mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 115g/km for £30 annual road tax.
Volkswagen offers fixed-price service plans, meaning you can spread the cost of your car’s servicing. They start from £16 per month for two-years/20,000-miles worth of servicing. Insurance runs from group 20 for the 1.4-litre petrol, up to group 42 for the Scirocco R.
Interior & comfort
Ride is never uncomfortable or harsh thanks to decent suspension
Excellent build quality is a trait the Volkswagen Scirocco shares with the conventional Golf, but buyers will be happy to see some sporty influences too. The transmission tunnel is taller to give a cockpit-like feel, while the additional dials on top of the dashboard are another sporty touch. Getting comfortable is easy too, thanks to a steering wheel that adjusts for rake and reach.
The Scirocco is a comfortable car and even R-Line models with huge 19-inch alloy wheel have comfortable suspension. Choosing Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control allows the driver to set up the car to their tastes from three settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport. In Sport mode the car’s suspension is stiffer, and its steering heavier, for more composed fast cornering.
Practicality & boot space
You need the keys to access the awkwardly shaped boot
The Scirocco is one of the most spacious coupes of its kind. Although the back seat is strictly for two people, it is nowhere near as cramped as you’ll find in a Peugeot RCZ. Getting comfortable in the front seats should be just as easy as in the VW Golf.
Boot space might be down on the Golf’s 380 litres, but 292 litres isn’t too bad for a coupe and that expands to 1,200 litres with the rear seats folded down. They split in half so you can carry extra luggage, plus a third passenger. Counting against the Scirocco, in terms of practicality, is a high boot lip and a boot that can only be opened with the key fob or a button on the inside of the car.
Inside, the Scirocco has plenty of storage spaces including a good-sized glovebox, a storage area in the centre console, twin cupholders, and large door bins.
Reliability & safety
Tried and tested parts are also used in the previous-generation VW Golf
The Scirocco has been a consistent performer in our Driver Power owner satisfaction survey and this year the VW climbed one place to finish 59th out of 150 cars. Owners liked its handling and performance, and also praised its comfortable suspension, but it was marked down heavily for practicality.
The Volkswagen Scirocco got a five-star rating when it was crash tested for safety by Euro NCAP. It gets equipment such as side and curtain airbags, as well as driver and passenger airbags, and electronic stability control. Buyers can also choose to fit options such as a rear view camera (£185), parking sensors front and rear (£385), and a driver alert system (£70), which warns the driver to take a break when needed.
Engines, drive & performance
Fun on winding roads but avoid top-spec R, which is firm and uncomfortable
The 1.4-litre petrol TSI engine is cheap to run, but its 0-62mph time of 9.3 seconds isn’t particularly quick for a car that is supposed to be sporty. The 178bhp 2.0-litre TSI drops that time down to 7.4 seconds, while the 217bhp version lowers it again to 6.5 seconds. The fastest model of all is the Scirocco R, which gets a 276bhp 2.0-litre engine that can take the car from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds.
Diesel models make up 75 per cent of the Scirocco sales, though, and both engine options are strong. Even the 148bhp version gets from 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds, while the 182bhp engine does it in 7.5 seconds. It’s the latter that’s our pick of the range.
In terms of driver enjoyment, the basic Volkswagen Scirocco falls behind some of its rivals and it even lacks polish compared to the normal Golf. However, it corners flat and feels solid. For maximum enjoyment, we would opt for the Dynamic Chassis Control that is an £810 option.
Price, value for money & options
Decent value compared to rivals but some way behind the VW Golf
Volkswagen has given the Scirocco good levels of standard mequipment so that even the basic version comes with air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, a multi function steering wheel, and a sporty roof spoiler. Upgrading to the GT model brings 18-inch alloy wheels, climate control, front foglights, front and rear parking sensors, touchscreen sat-nav and tinted rear windows. R-line models get upgraded interior trim, leather seats, and 19-inch alloy wheels, while sporty R models have Dynamic Chassis Control as standard, a unique R styling pack and an electronic differential for quicker cornering.
Useful options include electrically adjustable front seats (£270, but only available with leather seats), the £150 Winter Pack, which includes a heated windscreen, and electrically folding door mirrors (£150).
The Scirocco’s popularity means that second-hand values are high and the 148bhp diesel model can expect to hold nearly 50 per cent of its original price after three-years or 36,000 miles. A diesel Peugeot RCZ can expect to be worth just 45 per cent of its original value after the same period. Volkswagen is currently offering up to £1,500 off the price of the car.
What the others say
As with its rival, the Scirocco’s cabin can’t match the sense of occasion generated by the exterior. The dashboard is borrowed from the firm’s Eos drop-top, while the switchgear and dials will be familiar to Golf owners.
Slightly chunkier 17in alloys and heavier-looking tyres – visually that’s all that distinguishes the 1.4-litre Scirocco TSI from the full-strength 197bhp 2-litre. And for £387 of the £2K you’ve saved you can upgrade to 18s to complete the illusion.
While the 197bhp 2.0T engine might be broadly the same as the GTI's, the torque arrives earlier, making it seem quicker (though it hits 62mph in 7.2s, the same as the Golf). It's a bit inert when you really start to go mental, but you still come away with the sense that if you had to have a car that spans a multitude of situations, the Scirocco would be it.
So the Scirocco (named after a north African wind) is like a breath of fresh air. The last two were both based on the Mk 1 Golf. This one's underpinnings come from next year's Golf Mk VI. And it certainly brings back the excitement of the wonderful 190PS Corrado VR6.