2017 Volkswagen Scirocco Review

The Volkswagen Scirocco has been the German brand’s sportiest looking model since its debut in 2008. The low-slung two-door coupe still looks good despite its advancing years, and Volkswagen offers a variety of engine and power options to suit a broad range of tastes and budgets. Its compact interior provides a 2+2 seating arrangement along with a small boot. Depending on your preference you can have your Scirocco with a frugal diesel or a more potent 280hp petrol engine.

MRP from lb21,535 – lb34,885

Did you know? The Scirocco gets its name from the Mediterranean wind, Sirocco, and was first used by Volkswagen in 1974.

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Verdict: (6.9/10)
The Scirocco has plenty of rivals that deliver far more involving and thrilling driving experiences, even from within the Volkswagen Group. The more conventional looking Volkswagen Golf R trumps it in the performance stakes, and the Scirocco lacks the heightened sense of involvement offered by the Golf GTI Clubsport. But what the Scirocco lacks in outright handling and performance it makes up for in style, still looking every bit as good today as it did when first launched. Rear passengers might not enjoy the cosy feeling in the back, but this isn’t a family car; it’s for those who want to stand out from the crowd and be noticed.
Design & Exterior
Interior & Comfort
Technology & Connectivity
Performance & Handling
Safety Features
Engine & Specs
Running Costs & Fuel Economy


We Like
Exterior styling, especially with R-Line body kit
Interior finished to a high standard
Variety of engines offered
We Don’t Like
Dated interior
Less engaging to drive than some rivals
Limited rear passenger space

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Design & Exterior: (8/10)
Even though the Scirocco has been around since 2008, it hasn’t dated too badly. Volkswagen did introduce some visual updates in 2014, but these were subtle enough that you won’t feel like you have ‘the old model’ if you go for a pre-facelift version. Its sporty image is helped by a low roofline (1,406mm), while its overall width of 2,080mm (including mirrors) give it plenty of presence, as do the pronounced rear arches.
Up front, the low nose as a slender opening making the Scirocco one of the only Volkswagens to feature its VW badge on the bonnet rather than the grille. Depending on the model, the front bumper gets a different treatment, with the range-topping Scirocco R featuring more aggressive styling to reflect its performance output. Doors with frameless windows add to the coupe’s stylish appeal, though they are long so you may want to avoid trying to squeeze into those tighter car park spaces.

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Interior & Comfort: (6/10)
The cabin design and layout feature all the standard Volkswagen fare and reflect much of the older Golf, which with the Scirocco shares much of its equipment. So even though it might not look all that spectacular inside, it is at least well put together, and the quality of the materials used are to a high standard. The instrument dials are set deep into two binnacles and feature clear, easy-to-read clocks either side of the central digital display.
While the driving position is comfortable, the visibility, in particular the rearward and over-shoulder views, is limited. That narrow rear window is hindered further by the two large rear headrests, and the thick C-pillars make it all but pointless to perform shoulder checks. The thick A-pillars can also restrict your field of vision when pulling out from a junction and on bends. Then there is the rear space, which, apart from children, most will find very tight. Limited legroom is compounded by the sloping roofline that restricts headroom in the back.
With a 312-litre capacity, the Scirocco’s boot isn’t that much smaller than most average family hatchbacks’. It can also be increased in size to 1,006 litres by folding forward the rear seats. Annoyingly, though, the rear seats don’t fold flat into the floor, and the boot also has a high load lip, so getting those bulkier flat-pack furniture items in the back might not be very easy.

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Technology & Connectivity: (5/10)
Volkswagen’s 6.5-inch Composition Media system comes as standard on all Scirocco models. It features Bluetooth telephone and audio connectivity, a CD player, DAB digital radio, USB connection, and SD card slot. The multifunction leather steering wheel is the same as that used in the MkVII Golf, and for cars equipped with the DSG transmission, it also features plastic paddle shifters.
If you want satnav, you will have to choose a GT model, which gains it as standard. This system includes preloaded European mapping, speed limit display, and a choice of 2D or 3D map views. Other technology systems are sparse; even cruise control remains an option across the entire range. Park Assist is also only available as an option, and even at that if you want the audible parking sensors they are only available on the entry-level Scirocco as it is the only version with bumpers that feature enough space to accommodate the sensors.

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Performance & Handling: (7/10)
Even though the Scirocco is built using one of Volkswagen’s old Golf platforms, it is helped by a lower centre of gravity and wide track. This setup gives the car a reassuring, planted feeling on the move, even if it is only available with front-wheel drive. The ride quality is good, and if you choose the optional Dynamic Chassis Control (standard on the Scirocco R) you can adjust the throttle responsiveness, steering weight, and suspension stiffness across Normal, Comfort, and Sport modes, although the latter is quite extreme for road use.
You don’t even have to look towards the range-topping Scirocco R model to find some healthy performance. The 125hp 1.4-litre TSI model is ideally suited for everyday driving and the occasional blast, but those seeking a bit more performance will prefer the 2.0-litre TSI unit with its 180hp and 207lb ft of torque. Both engines provide smooth power delivery and are refined. The standard six-speed manual gearbox is nice to use and has a typically Volkswagen-like solid feel to each gear change. A more powerful 220hp version of the 2.0-litre TSI unit is available exclusively in the Scirocco GTS. This forms a nice balance of performance before the step up the 280hp Scirocco R. Diesel engines might not scream performance, but with two versions of the 2.0-litre TDI offering 251- or 280lb ft of torque, it’s hard to ignore that sensation of low-down shove provided.
Recommended engine: 2.0 TSI 220 DSG
6.5 seconds
Fuel economy

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Safety Features: (7/10)
Unlike many of its rivals, advanced safety technology doesn’t feature strongly on the Scirocco. When it was tested for the Euro NCAP in 2009, it scored a full five-star result that included 87 percent for adult occupants and 73 percent for child occupants.
All models feature ESC with ASR traction control, driver and passenger airbags with front seat side-impact airbags, curtain airbags for front and rear passengers, tyre pressure warning system, and ISOFIX points in both rear seats.

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Specs & Trim Levels: (7/10)
The standard colour for the Scirocco is Urano Grey, and this is available on all seven versions. A total of 11 other colours are available in the range: Pure White, and Flash Red are non-metallic, while Reflex Silver, Aztec Gold, Dark Oak Brown, Indium Grey, Night Blue, Rising Blue, and Ultra Violet are the metallic colours. Other options include Deep Black featuring a pearl effect and Onyx White, a premium signature colour. Scirocco GTS models also feature a twin central stripe that is available on six of the available colours.
Trim Levels
In total there are seven different versions available: Scirocco, GT, GT Black Edition, R-Line, R-Line Black Edition, GTS, and R. The standard Scirocco features 17-inch ‘Long Beach’ alloy wheels, brushed aluminium instrument surrounds, ‘Scirocco’ cloth upholstery, a 6.5-inch Composition Media infotainment system including Bluetooth, manual air conditioning, electric windows, and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.
The Scirocco GT costs an additional lb1,850, but is worth it as it gets larger 18-inch ‘Interlagos’ alloy wheels, front fog lights, rear privacy glass, aluminium-look pedals, different ‘GT’ cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and the Discover Navigation infotainment system with satnav.
Spend a further lb550, and you get the GT Black Edition. As you might have guessed from the name, this adds a darker aesthetic to the car, including black door mirrors, a black roof, rear tinted glass to 90 percent, and 18-inch ‘Lisbon Black’ alloy wheels.
If looks are important, then the R-Line version may well appeal to you. This model gains 19-inch ‘Talladega’ alloy wheels, an exterior body kit made up of R-Line front and rear bumpers, radiator grille, and side skirts. Inside, the cabin gets a more premium look thanks to the Vienna leather upholstery that contains the R-Line logo embossed into the headrests, while the front seats also get electrically adjustable lumbar support. As in the GT model, Volkswagen also offers an R-Line Black Edition, with the same exterior treatment and 19-inch ‘Lugano Black’ alloy wheels.
The Scirocco’s image gets more aggressive again in the GTS model. Red brake callipers can be seen behind the 18-inch ‘Hayden’ alloy wheels, and the racy look continues with decal stripes running along the centre of the car. These can be deleted from the specification if required, though. GTS badging features on the radiator grille and rear tailgate and both front and rear bumpers are part of a sports styling pack. Inside, there are piano black inserts and a GTS logo that is also repeated on the seats.
Topping off the range is the Scirocco R. This high-performance model rides on 19-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels, gains Dynamic Chassis Control (CC) as standard, LED daytime running lights are set into the aggressively styled front bumper in place of the fog lamps, while the rear end gets a gloss black diffuser. The ‘R’ logo features inside on the seats, which are clad in black Vienna leather.
Size and Dimensions
As you would expect from a sports coupe, the Scirocco is wide, though not to the point of it being inconvenient, but with limited visibility you do need to be mindful when parking. The long doors don’t make life much easier, either.
2,080mm (including door mirrors)
Max towing weight with brake

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Running Costs & Fuel Economy: (8/10)
With the exception of the 280hp Scirocco R model, all of the coupe’s engine variants come equipped with Volkswagen’s BlueMotion Technology. Kicking off the line-up is a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, while the 180hp 2.0 TSI option promises a good balance of performance and fuel economy on paper, but you will have to be very well behaved to get close to the quoted 46.3mpg. If you’re more likely to be covering longer distances, then the 150hp 2.0 TDI with its official 67.3mpg should be kinder to the monthly fuel budget.
Reliability and Servicing
Despite the sporty exterior, the Scirocco shares much of its mechanicals with the older MkVII Volkswagen Golf, so maintaining it should be quite straightforward. As it is built on Volkswagen’s older, non-MQB platform, it does feature fewer advanced electronics, which should reduce the risk of any electrical gremlins, too.
Volkswagen offers its usual three-year/60,000-mile warranty on the Scirocco, and that also includes a three-year paintwork warranty and roadside assistance. Owners can then choose to buy an extension to this warranty to cover the car up to either four or five years and 75,000- or 90,000 miles respectively. There is also a service plan that includes the costs of servicing for the first two years at a fixed price, and this remains with the vehicle even if you sell it before the two-year period is finished.
12 months or 10,000 miles
24 months or 20,000 miles

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Pricing: (7/10)
With a starting price of lb21,535 and the range-topping 280hp R model costing lb29,155, the Scirocco is fairly priced compared to some of its rivals, but it is worth noting that many of these not only offer greater levels of performance, but also higher rates of standard specification.

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Luxury Seeker
The Scirocco R Line with its leather interior will make those long weekend drives even nicer while you test out how economical the 150hp 2.0 TDI engine can be.
Trend Setter
Skip the obvious (and highly popular) white, and go for the Dark Oak Brown in a GT Black Edition spec with the 2.0 TSI engine.
Car Enthusiast
Forget the headline grabbing Scirocco R and go for the sweeter package that is the 220hp GTS. Keep the stripes too.
Audi TT
The Audi not only looks sharper inside and out, it also benefits from a more modern chassis and offers its renowned all-wheel-drive quattro transmission.
Nissan 370Z
Not the most refined sports car, but one that is still tremendous fun to drive.
Renaultsport Megane RS
If you appreciate a well-sorted chassis and fine handling then the Megane RS won’t leave you disappointed.
Seat Leon Cupra 300
One of the fastest hot hatches on sale and comes in a choice of three- or five-door body styles and even an estate with all-wheel drive.
Volkswagen Golf R
The Golf R’s almost everyday hatchback looks are part of its discreet appeal, but this all-wheel-drive hatch delivers serious performance in a very complete package.
What others say
“The Scirocco is far from a Golf GTI in a cocktail dress.”
The Scirocco’s handling is grippy and predictable, complemented by accurate steering and an electronic stability system that allows just enough playfulness.”


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