Volkswagen Scirocco Review

Find out more about the Volkswagen Scirocco in the latest MOTORS Review

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Out of 5


  • Unique styling
  • Remake of a classic
  • Alternative to the Golf


  • Has been called a ‘dressed-up Golf GTI’
  • Only available in three-door guise
  • Only has four seats
Latest model

The Volkswagen Scirocco, as we know it, is a sleek, three-door hatch launched in 2008 and based on the PQ35 platform of the fifth generation Golf.

However, in actual fact, this was the third generation of a model originally launched back in 1974.

This first generation Scirocco was followed by a second, which remained in production until 1992, when Volkswagen removed it from its range.

The new car was announced in 2006, and production soon began at the AutoEuropa assembly plant in Palmela, Portugal.

An R variant was added to the line-up in 2009, and a GTS in 2016. Meanwhile, the standard Scirocco underwent a facelift in 2014, and is currently available in seven models, with six different engine options.

Value for money

Despite its sporty and sleek appearance, the Scirocco can be relatively affordable. New prices start at £21,535 for the 1.4-litre TSI 123bhp engine, combined with a six-speed manual transmission.

Meanwhile, a low mileage (less than 30,000 miles) example of the same engine from 2010 will set you back in the region of £8,000.

With seven different models to choose from, there is plenty of trim options in the range.

The entry-level Scirocco boasts an impressively high trim level, with a multi-function leather steering wheel and alloy wheels as standard.

The next spec level is the GT, which adds a touch-screen satnav, followed by the GT Black Edition, R-Line and R-Line Black Edition.

Finally, the sportier Scirocco comes in the form of the GTS and R models. While the former offers 217bhp, the latter usurps that with a huge 276bhp, and unique sports suspension.

Looks and image

The Scirocco is a standout car thanks to its sleek design. Since the modern model was launched in 2008, it has only seen one facelift – in 2014.

As standard, it comes with alloy wheels, with Scirocco checked pattern upholstery. As you progress through the trim levels, further styling effects are added, such as tinted rear windows.

The GTS and R models appear significantly sportier, with unique styling kits on each. In the case of the GTS, this includes GTS badged front and rear, chrome scuff plates, stripe decals on bonnet, roof and rear tailgate, alloy wheels and visible red brake calipers and GTS badging throughout the cabin.

Meanwhile, the R is the most eye-catching option in the range. Thanks to its sports suspension set up, it is 10mm lower than its standard siblings, and specially shaped front and rear bumpers, radiator grille and side skirts further its appeal.

Video review

Space and practicality

Buyers with practicality in mind should look away now. The three-door, four-seat Scirocco may be stylish, but it is far from practical. Boot space is 312 litres, increasing to 1006 litres with the rear seats folded down. That’s significantly less than the Golf, which boasts 380-litres, and 1,270-litres behind row one. In this respect, the Scirocco sits behind competitor models including Kia’s Pro C’eed and the Seat Leon SC.

Not all hope is lost for the Scirocco, however. A relatively upright rear allows for more back seat passenger space than raked roof coupes such as the Peugeot RCZ and Audi TT.

And the two seats that there are wide, comfortable and positioned so as to allow the passengers a decent view out the windscreen. The front seats are just as roomy, while the Scirocco’s meagre boot is bolstered by a selection of capacious cubbyholes.

The 2008 model of the Scirocco received a five-star safety rating from EuroNCAP, achieving an 87 per cent score for adult occupant safety, 73 per cent for child occupant safety, 71 per cent for safety assist and finally a 53 per cent score for pedestrian safety.

A review of the car post-facelift found it to uphold the five-star rating, and today’s Scirocco comes with features including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), driver's and front passenger's safety-optimised head restraints and a full set of airbags.


The current Scirocco comes with six different engine options.

The fastest is, of course, that if the Scirocco R – the 2.0-litre TSI BlueMotion Tech R, combined with a DSG gearbox.

This 276bhp powertrain allows the hot hatch to reach 60mph in just 5.3 seconds, continuing on to 155mph.

Unsurprisingly, its efficiency isn’t great. Emitting CO2 emissions of 185g/km, it achieves just 35.8mpg. And with a price of £34,885, it certainly isn’t cheap to buy either.

If you are looking for a cheap Scirocco, look no further than the 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Tech with a six-speed manual box. Starting at £21,535 in the entry-level trim, this 123bhp petrol powertrain is surprisingly efficient, emitting 125g/km and achieving 52.3mpg. Of course, it is no where near as potent as the ‘R’, with 0 to 60mph taking 9.1 seconds, and a top speed of just 126mph.

Of course, it is no where near as potent as the ‘R’, with 0 to 60mph taking 9.1 seconds, and a top speed of just 126mph.

A cheaper option still is to shop second-hand. Refer to the Value for Money section to find out what older Sciroccos can cost.

Finally, the most eco-friendly Scirocco is the 148bhp 2.0 TDi BlueMotion Tech, emitting just 110g/km CO2 and achieving an impressive 67.3mpg. Costing from £24,255 with a six-speed manual box, it is probably the best all-rounder option, as acceleration is improved on the 1.4-litre TSi. This engine allows the coupe to accelerate to 60 from a standstill in 8.4 seconds, continuing all the way to 134mph.

Running costs

The most economical of the Scirocco family is the aforementioned 148bhp 2.0-litre TDi BlueMotion Tech, which emits just 110g/km CO2 and achieves an impressive 67.3mpg.

From April 2017, a new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) system will come into place. All cars will be subject to an annual rate of £140, with a different fee for the first year depending on how many grams of CO2 they emit. In the case of the 2.0-litre TDi, the first year’s tax would be £140, because it produces between 101 and 110 g/km.

At the other end of the scale, is the 2.0-litre TSI BlueMotion Tech R powertrain found in the Scirocco R. Achieving only 35.8mpg, with a six-speed auto transmission, it emits 185g/km CO2. Under the new VED system, it will still be subject to an annual fee of £140, but due to its high emission, for the first year the road tax will be a huge £800.

Things to look out for

While the Scirocco’s looks have proved popular since it was relaunched in 2008, a number of concerns have been raised about its reliability.

Users have reported faulty lights, unevenly wearing tyres, air conditioning and infotainment issues. However, many of these problems appear to be few and far between, and while new buyers should keep an eye out for similar problems, there has been no overriding dissatisfaction with the model.


Rivals to the Scirocco include Kia’s Pro C’eed and the Seat Leon SC. Both of these models are more spacious in the rear, and cost from significantly less.

The Pro C'eed is widely rated as lower than the Scirocco, while the Leon SC is said to be on par.

Depreciation warning

Since the third generation Scirocco was launched in 2008, its looks have stood the test of time. So well, in fact, that few changes were made when the model was updated.

Even these nine-year-old Sciroccos are still appealing and attractive vehicles, and with the premium VW badge atop the bonnet they depreciate less rapidly than their counterparts.

However, as with almost every other car on the market, the Scirocco will see significant depreciation as it ages. A new model will lose a significant amount of value as soon as it leaves the forecourt, and continue to depreciate at a high rate during its first three years. Within this time the average car – having covered around 10,000 miles a year – will have lost around 60 per cent of its value.

Trims explained

The Scirocco is available a variety of different trims, which can coupled with various engines.


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GT Black Edition

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R-Line Black Edition

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  1. Unique styling
  2. Variety of powertrains available
  3. Only available in three-door guise
  4. Not very practical
  5. Smaller boot to competitors
  6. Five-star Euro NCAP rating
  7. Remake of a classic
  8. Only has four seats
  9. Alternative to Golf
  10. Holds its value well

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