Volkswagen Scirocco R coupe
Price £32,580 - £34,080
- High-quality interior
- Strong performance
- Sporty styling
- Cheaper, faster rivals available
- Impractical boot
- High price
At a glance
"Despite much-needed updates and an even more powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, the Volkswagen Scirocco R doesn't sparkle quite like it used to, particularly compared to its newer rivals."
The Volkswagen Scirocco R is the most powerful version of the handsome coupe available, offering 276bhp from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. It possesses similar performance to the Renault Megane Reanultsport and Ford Focus RS. Retaining the standard model's front-wheel-drive layout, the Scirocco R sits lower on huge wheels and features a new spoiler and wide-set twin exhaust pipes, so it's instantly recognisable as the top-of-the-range performance model. Its front bumper features aerodynamic 'blades', while the interior boasts the excellent fit and finish we've come to expect from Volkswagen.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Not bad for a very hot hatchback
With the optional DSG automatic gearbox, CO2 emissions are 185g/km and average fuel economy is 35.7mpg. Emissions for the manual are a touch higher at 187g/km. Sadly, that small difference puts the manual version of the car in a higher road tax bracket – the DSG version costs £225 year, while the manual costs £265. Servicing costs should be reasonable.
Engines, drive & performance
Fantastic fun to drive but firm ride is hard to ignore
Under the bonnet, the Scirocco R has a tweaked version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0-litre turbocharged engine – the result is an impressive 276bhp. When fitted with the optional DSG gearbox, the car is capable of getting from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds – or 5.7 seconds with the standard manual gearbox. The Scirocco R is still based on the previous-generation VW Golf chassis, which means it can't quite match the handling of newer rivals like the SEAT Leon Cupra or Volkswagen Golf R. The new Audi TT will also outperform the Scirocco. The Scirocco R is far from poor to drive, but it's starting to show its age and cars in its class have undeniably improved since it first appeared.
Interior & comfort
The cabin is stunning, but ride is hard
Running on stiffer, 10mm lower suspension, the R is firmer than the standard Scirocco but you can adjust it to be firmer for sporty driving or softer for cruising. With specially tuned power-steering, the R has a sharper and more direct feel than the standard Scirocco coupe. Inside, there's plenty of space, with even those in the rear getting a surprising amount of head and legroom. The sports seats fitted up front are very comfortable over long distances, proving easily adjustable to suit all shapes and sizes. Solid, easy to operate controls add to a beautifully made driver-focused cabin.
Practicality & boot space
Slightly annoying boot-lip limits practicality
With a 312-litre boot, the Scirocco R isn't terribly easy to load due to an awkwardly shaped hatch and a high lip. It's a strict four seater and the rear seats fold flat to free up 1,006 litres of boot space. With the seats folded down, the rear of the car is at least as big as key rivals and almost as spacious as those offered by family hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf.
Reliability & safety
VW build quality and full marks in crash testing
Beautifully crafted inside and out, the Scirocco R has a full five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating. Owners have praised the car's build quality and braking performance, while parts and engines in the Scirocco R have been used extensively elsewhere in the range and Volkswagen reliability is generally good.
Price, value for money & options
Performance cars are rarely cheap
We'd never describe the Scirocoo R as cheap, however it does at least stand out from the standard car thanks to sportier bodywork, excellent performance and an upgraded interior. That includes special R-branded upholstery, carbon and gloss-black trim, plus stainless-steel pedals. Scirocco R models also get 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and adjustable sports suspension as standard. The problem with the cost of this car comes when you consider that the VW Golf R and SEAT Leon Cupra are both cheaper and better to drive. You'd have to be smitten with the Scirocco's coupe looks to choose it over these models. The Scirocco R should at least hold its value relatively well on the used market.