It came as a surprise when Volkswagen Singapore offered the Scirocco to me for a test drive. As the current 2015 model is Euro 5 emission standard and is no longer available for sale in Singapore, technically this blog review is not to promote sales of the car. Given that understanding, I am very grateful to VW for being supportive of bloggers like myself who have little to offer other than my opinions and my limited reach to readers out there. Thank you, readers, for making this possible.
Well, since this is not a new car model, I shall not bore you with all the technical specifications. You can download the spec sheet here, as it has been removed from the VW Singapore.
Initially, I declined the test drive, citing its size. But the PR rep assured me that the rear could actually fit a child seat, which inferred that the rear isn’t that cramp like those “real” coupe sports cars. So I accepted the offer and picked it up on my wife’s birthday. Turns out, she enjoyed the ride. And so did my daughter.
My main concern that the car was too small for my family turned out to be unfounded. Of course, the rear is not as roomy as a sedan, but at least it is not as cramp as the last row of the MPV.
The head room is certainly restricted, and the passenger windows limited. But at least the contoured seat offers adequate body support and sufficient leg room for a 1.75m like me. The front seat can be adjusted forward if needed.
The boot space is also another surprise. It is not long, but it’s deep like a bucket. It can fit one large luggage and a small one.
The rear seats can be folded to allow more storage space. Definitely enough to shop for a week’s worth of groceries. If you seriously need more boot space, perhaps you can consider removing the spare tyre.
Even though the engine specs are very similar to the Jetta (2016) I bought, an experienced driver will understand that the performance is more than just the engine. The test drive unit happens to be devoid of any advanced in-car features that I have grown familiar with on other Volkswagen models I test drove, like the Sportsvan, Touran, and Golf Variant. Basically (no pun intended), no keyless entry, no Park Assist, no navigation map, no cruise control, no Eco mode.
The plus point: I can focus on the driving experience. The sun roof can only lift up with a small gap and does not slide back, but letting the sun into the cabin lights up the interior and the mood.
I also have to get used to a really small rear view mirror with an equally constricted rear windscreen.
Without a doubt, the Scirocco is the most responsive Volkswagen 1.4 TSI I have driven so far. The car feels confident, the suspension is firm but not hard, cornering is stable. Engine sound roars with pleasure whenever I step on the pedal, and the acceleration is snappy. It is in every way better than the Jetta for a driver, with wider tracks at both front (1569mm) and rear (1575mm) compared to Jetta (1534mm and 1512mm respectively), and shorter wheelbase 2578mm vs. Jetta 2651mm.
I like that the Scirocco is capable of driving leisurely as well as delivering the sporty demands, revving over 5000rpm without hesitation. But make no mistake: it is not quite the beast, since this test drive unit is not a 2.0 which delivers double the horsepower.
But it is good enough for me.