This convertible crossover doesn’t have any natural rivals, but does that make it a winner?
Let’s be honest, this isn’t your classic road-testing car: it’s just too easy to be cynical about a roof-less SUV. But then you look at the sales figures and it becomes clear why Volkswagen builds it.In the year to the end of July, the Cabriolet made up 6.9% of Volkswagen T-Roc sales in the UK – not a bad return, but not a patch on Germany, where the proportion was 28.8%.Before we go much further, it’s worth pointing out that the car you see in these images isn’t the Design model on test. The pictures are of a car in R-Line trim, the major differences being the badging, deeper front and rear bumpers, rear spoiler, plus some of the jazzier interior elements, like the stitching on the R-Line sports seats and body-coloured decorative dashboard and door panels.We’ve driven the 1.5-litre turbo petrol before, but this time it’s the turn of the 1.0-litre turbo petrol triple, in base trim, with just 109bhp and 148lb ft. In an era of increasing electrification, it’s fair to say that these numbers don’t represent the punchiest of potential, but for where this car is aimed (and 37% of UK buyers plump for the 1.0 TSI), they’re adequate.Accelerating from 0-62mph takes 12.3sec, it’s strictly a front-wheel drive car, despite the looks and the transversely mounted engine sits within a slightly longer wheelbase than the regular T-Roc. The Cabriolet still rides on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, but it benefits from extra strengthening around the A-pillars and windscreen, as well as reinforcement to the underbody to aid rigidity.The roof folds easily and automatically in just 15sec and drops straight into a space above the boot. There’s no need to raise or lower any dividing shelves within the boot, as the canvas just folds straight into its own compartment, separate from everything else.Inside, the interior is a generation behind the latest Volkswagen products, so there are more physical buttons for the climate control and radio. Our car came with grey-and-beige leather seats, which probably wouldn’t be my first choice, but they do at least help to lift what is otherwise quite a black, if well-made, interior.The T-Roc Cabriolet is a genuine four-seater, with enough space in the rear for two adults of average height, even if they do have to fold themselves past the front seats to get there. Unlike the regular T-Roc, it’s a three-door.