The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.9
The Volkswagen Scirocco R builds on the coupe’s fine reputation by adding serious performance to an already compelling package.
Reasons to buy
- Superb performance
- Brilliant handling
- Surprisingly practical
At a glance
- How good does it look? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's the interior like? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How practical is it?
- What's it like to drive? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How powerful is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much will it cost me? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How reliable is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How safe is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much equipment do I get? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- Why buy? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
How good does it look?
While the Volkswagen Scirocco is getting to be a more common sight, the R is likely to remain rare on Britain’s roads and gets lots of attention. With its spoked alloy wheels filling the arches, the R looks like a life-sized Hot Wheels model. The rest of the exterior changes are subtle but add up to make the most-expensive Scirocco more aggressive. An edgy bodykit, gloss black grille and door mirrors, smoke tinted lights, drainpipe exhausts either side of the rear bumper and dark tinted rear windows make for a tasteful transformation.
What's the interior like?
The Scirocco has an excellent interior with well laid-out controls and high quality materials used throughout. However, its large price premium over other Sciroccos in the range isn’t too evident in the cabin. Distinguishing features include ‘R’ branding on the sports seats, door sills, steering wheel and dashboard, while its blue needles which race around the main gauges.
How practical is it?
While it might be a rakish coupe, the Scirocco is surprisingly practical for this type of vehicle. It is a strict four-seater though, with two rear seats fitted with three-point seatbelts for rear passengers.
What's it like to drive?
The R is fitted with VW’s Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) as standard, allowing the driver to choose between Comfort, Normal and Sport driving modes via a button in front of the gear stick. Each mode alters the dampers, the steering weight, throttle response and gear changes (with VW’s semi-automatic DSG ‘box fitted). Steering is accurate and the Scirocco feels incredibly planted around corners, hugging the road like a sports car. Mighty brakes haul the car to a stop almost too effectively, as it can be tricky to brake to a graceful halt, such is the immediacy of their bite.
How powerful is it?
The Scirocco R uses a 2-litre turbocharged petrol,with 261bhp. It can’t sprint off the line as fast as the Golf R, taking 5.8 seconds to hit 62mph (with DSG), instead of 5.5 seconds. Amazingly though, Volkswagen’s claimed figure still makes the ultimate Scirocco a tenth of a second quicker to 62mph than the Ford Focus RS. Acceleration is impressive, as is traction in the dry. In the rain the muscular power delivery can invoke wheelspin, especially if the DSG box shifts down aggressively in auto mode when a burst of speed is required.
How much will it cost me?
Considering its sports car performance, the Scirocco R is very cost effective to run. It’s emissions of 189g/km (187 for the DSG equipped car) are lower than many family cars and SUV’s, and its claimed 34.9mpg fuel consumption is respectable. Volkswagen dealerships offer competitive prices on servicing and parts and are located in most towns. Service intervals are between 10-18k miles depending on whether the owner chooses a fixed servicing schedule or long life routine where the car’s computer indicates when a service is needed.
How reliable is it?
The standard Scirocco has been on sale since 2008 and has been subject to one recallfor cars fitted with DSG built between September 1 2008 and August 31 2009, which does not affect the 2010 Scirocco R. Build quality is excellent and the engine has been tried and tested in models including the Audi S3.
How safe is it?
Like all recent Volkswagens, the Scirocco is built to the highest safety standards and received the full five-stars in EuroNCAP crash testing. It’s fitted with stability control, hydraulic brake assist, anti-lock brakes and six airbags as standard.
How much equipment do I get?
Costing just under £30k the Scirocco R is suitably well-equipped with LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights, remote locking and alarm, auto wipers, auto lights and dimming mirror, electric door mirrors, USB and iPod connection, touchscreen media system with six CD autochanger and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Volkswagen Scirocco has been a class-leading small coupe since its launch in 2008, and now the R version makes it a competitor to many serious sports cars. The fact it looks great and has an excellent image is an added bonus.