VW Scirocco 2.0-litre TSI 210 17 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    It may looks like something akin to a squashed toad, but VW's Scirocco has its own appeal

    LIKE SO MANY car manufacturers, Volkswagen has adopted a ‘Back to the Future’ approach to creating the cutting edge design and niche desirability of its latest ‘must-have’ model, the eye-catching and futuristic Scirocco.

    Named after the hot north African wind, VW’s latest creation is targeted squarely at rekindling buyers’ dreams and aspirations of owning and driving a coupe. Yes, the coupe is back, and so too the wow factor.

    The original Scirocco was launched in 1974 and as a schoolboy I remember lusting after it dreaming that one day I’d own one; I never did, though there is a Mk1 VW Golf GTi Cabrio tucked away in the garage. Anyway, back to the Scirocco. VW used the Mk1 Golf as the core of the Scirocco, but the latest model is a quantum leap in technology using the underpinnings of the latest Golf MkVI. And that means Volkswagen has created a car worthy of getting behind its wheel.

    The new Scirocco looks taut, compact and ready for a good time. Sure from certain angles it resembles a toad squat and poised to leap into action, but this really is a terrific looking car which embodies power and grace at the same time. It also begins a new design of Volkswagen nose. Look carefully and you’ll notice the narrow, horizontal grille between the headlights and — in a major departure from convention — the round ‘VW’ badge is now above the grille instead of in it.

    The Scirocco’s not small. There’s proper space in the rear for two adults — stylist Klaus Bischoff made sure it’s bigger inside than you would think and ensured he could comfortably seat his 6’ 2” frame behind himself — and a surprising amount of storage room.

    There’s something snug and very sporting about the Scirocco

    Cabin ergonomics are ace

    Open the tailgate and you can place 292-litres of baggage — that’s generally enough for four adults — or, if you fold the rear seats down, that leaps to 755-litres. Front occupants will find themselves luxuriating in the acres of space and well supported in the sculpted seats.

    The cabin’s ergonomics are as you would expect from anything in the Volkswagen stable — solid, dependable and clear — while the dashboard and centre console have been taken straight from the excellent Eos convertible. There’s something snug and very sporting about the Scirocco.

    The 2.0-litre TSI version gets VW’s familiar 208bhp turbocharged petrol engine; that’s the same turbocharged engine you’ll find in the Golf GTi. And here VW have been sensible in its pricing. Whereas the Golf costs £24,250, the Scirocco is yours for £635 less.

    You'll be smiling endlessly

    Performance, as you would expect, is brisk. It scampers from standstill to 60mph in 6.9secs, plenty quick for the vast majority of us, and cruises in a beautifully relaxed mode in sixth gear on the motorway. It really is a great engine.

    Point the Scirocco in the direction of your favourite twisty route and you’ll find yourself smiling endlessly as the car hugs and bites every apex. It actually feels like a tauter, keener, lighter Golf GTi.

    VW hasn’t limited its approach with the Scirocco. In addition to the entry-level 120bhp 1.4-litre a just £18,860 — there’s also a choice of two diesels. The 2.0TDI range starts with the £21,355 138bhp version and rises to £23,440 for the more powerful 170GT. Capable of a combined fuel figure of 55mpg, the 138bhp model will also keep environmentalists happy with its CO2 figure of 134g/km.

    Fun, green, stylish, practical and eye-catching: that’ll be the Scirocco.

    Jim McGill

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £23,615 / £24,950
    Engine / Power: 1998cc / 208bhp
    How fast?: 0-60 mph 6.9secs, Max 149mph
    How big/heavy?: H1404mm W2080mm L4256mm / 1419kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 38.2mpg / CO2 172g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 32 /
    Alternatives: Ford Focus ST, VW Golf GTi, Vauxhall Astra VXR

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