Review

Volkswagen Scirocco Coupe

Price  £20,735 - £29,875

Volkswagen Scirocco Coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Sophisticated design
  • Excellent range of engines
  • Decent boot for a coupe
Cons
  • Could be more fun to drive
  • Too conservative for some
  • Strict four-seater

At a glance

The greenest
GT 2.0 TDI 150 PS BMT 3dr £25,305
The cheapest
1.4 TSI 125PS BMT 3dr £20,735
The fastest
GT 2.0 TSI 220 BMT 3dr £26,125
Top of the range
R Line 2.0 TDI 184 PS BMT DSG 3dr £29,875

"It's not as fun to drive as some rivals, but the Volkswagen Scirocco is a well built and practical coupe with a strong range of engines and stylish looks." 

The Volkswagen Scirocco is a coupe that rivals models such as the Renaultsport Megane, Audi TT, Peugeot RCZ, BMW 2 Series and Vauxhall Astra GTC. For 2014, the Scirocco has been given a facelift, with fresh headlights, bright LED rear lights and revised bumpers. Inside, the car is largely unchanged, bar additional dials on top of the dashboard that pay tribute to the old Scirocco.

Volkswagen hasn't given the Scirocco eye-catching looks like some of the competition, but it's still smartly styled 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 a basic 1.4-litre TSI petrol to the top-of-the-range 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol 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.

There are 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, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and air-conditioning.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.0 / 5

Basic Sciroccos are 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-engined coupe. The next model up is the 2.0-litre TSI petrol, which can achieve fuel economy of 47.1mpg, while its CO2 emissions of 139g/km translate to road tax of £130 a year.

The Scirocco can be fitted with a choice of two diesel engines, with 148bhp or 182bhp. Road tax for the lower-powered version costs just £20 annually, or £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 emits 115g/km of CO2 for £30 annual road tax.

Volkswagen offers fixed-price service plans, so you can spread the cost of your car’s scheduled maintenances. They start from £16 per month for two years' or 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. 

Engines, drive & performance

4.0 / 5

Scirocco engines offer power and efficiency

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's supposed to be sporty. The 178bhp 2.0-litre TSI drops that time to 7.4 seconds, while the 217bhp version lowers it again to 6.5 seconds. 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 just 5.5 seconds.

Diesels make up 75 per cent of the Scirocco’s sales, though, and both 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. The latter is our pick of the range and at times it feels like a petrol engine.

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 well and feels stable at speed. For maximum enjoyment, you should add the optional Dynamic Chassis Control system, which costs £810.

Interior & comfort

3.5 / 5

High-quality interior and comfortable suspension

Excellent build quality is a trait the Volkswagen Scirocco shares with the 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 in and out as well as up and down. 

The Scirocco is a comfortable car and even R-Line models with huge 19-inch alloy wheels have comfortable suspension. Choosing Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control allows the driver to set up the car to their taste using three settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport. In Sport mode, the car’s suspension is stiffer and its steering is heavier, for more composed fast cornering.

Practicality & boot space

2.8 / 5

The Volkswagen Scirocco is a practical coupe

The Scirocco is one of the most spacious coupes you can buy. Although the back seat is strictly for two people, it's nowhere near as cramped the back of a Peugeot RCZ. Getting comfortable in the front seats should be just as easy as in the VW Golf. 

Boot space is 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. The seats also split in half so you can carry extra luggage, plus a second passenger. And there's also an external boot handle - there wasn't one when the car launched in 2008. On the downside, a high boot lip makes loading heavy items tricky.

and the boot 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 cup-holders and large door bins.

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

Scirocco is reliable and safe

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 poor practicality. 

The Volkswagen Scirroco got a five-star rating when it was crash-tested for safety by Euro NCAP. It has side and curtain as well as driver and passenger airbags, along with electronic stability control. Buyers can also choose options such as a rear-view camera (£185), front and rear parking sensors (£385) and a driver alertness sensor (£70), which warns the driver to take a break when needed.

Price, value for money & options

3.1 / 5

Scirocco has decent equipment levels and strong residuals

Volkswagen has given every Scirocco plenty of equipment, so even the basic version comes with air-conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, a multifunction steering wheel and a sporty roof spoiler. Upgrading to the GT model adds 18-inch alloy wheels, climate control, front foglights, front and rear parking sensors, touchscreen sat nav and tinted rear windows.

R-line models get nicer interior trim, leather seats and 19-inch alloy wheels, while the sporty R version has 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 trim), 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 is expected to retain nearly 50 per cent of its original price after three years and 36,000 miles. A diesel Peugeot RCZ is expected 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 Scirocco, too.

What the others say

3 / 5
based on 1 review
3.0 / 5
"To drive it's fairly unexciting, and its definitely not cheap, but it still looks great - and to most buyers in this sector that's all that matters, otherwise you’d buy a Golf."
Last updated 
31 Jul 2014

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