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Volkswagen Scirocco GTS review: 3.0/5

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Volkswagen gives the Scirocco a performance makeover - and it's a diesel.

Dave Humphreys

Words: - @LordHumphreys
Pics: Shane O' Donoghue - @Shane_O_D

Published on: October 7, 2013

Words: - @LordHumphreys
Pics: Shane O' Donoghue - @Shane_O_D

Published on: October 7, 2013

Tech Specs

Model testedVolkswagen Scirocco GTS
Price as tested€38,015
Engine2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Transmissionsix-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body styletwo-door coupé
RivalsHyundai Veloster, MINI Coupé, Toyota GT86
CO2 emissions134g/km (Band B2, €280 per annum)
Combined economy53.3mpg (5.3 litres/100km)
Top speed222km/h
0-100km/h8.1 seconds
Power177hp at 4,200rpm
Torque380Nm at 1,750rpm

Good: good looks, drives well

Not so good: limited interior space, lacks any additional performance

The Scirocco has won many admirers since this generation's introduction in 2008, but the one thing it has never quite had was a bolder performance streak (expensive R model aside). Volkswagen has now introduced this new GTS version of the Scirocco. The GTS is styled with broad coloured stripes running the length of the car and eye-catching cherry red door mirrors. Polished 18-inch alloy wheels with black inserts help to complete a look that makes the Scirocco stand out that bit more on the street.

In contrast to the sporting appearance, this particular Scirocco GTS is actually powered by a 2.0-litre 177hp TDI diesel engine, although there is the option of a 2.0-litre TSI petrol version, which produces 209hp. You can also opt for the very capable DSG automatic gearbox, but the manual gearbox in this test car suits it better if you ask us.

Only when the engine is first started and cold are you reminded that you’re driving a diesel. Once on the road, the combination of decent noise insulation and a sound symposer allows a nicer engine note to resonate though the cabin. That diesel engine does pull well, especially in second and third gears, and does encourage you to run each gear all the way out before upshifting. The gear change is notch-like, but in a solid, mechanical sense.

The steering is well-weighted and although it doesn’t give you Lotus-like levels of steering feedback, you do get more than enough for everyday driving, as well as for the occasional Sunday morning blast. The ride is firm in the GTS, but it never feels overly sprung and across a variety of different road surfaces tends to feel well damped. This is certainly a suspension set-up that you could live with on a daily basis.

Despite sitting low in the cabin, the view out is good thanks to a sizeable windscreen, but rearward visibility is very limited. The rest of the interior is a fairly familiar Volkswagen affair except for some nicely finished sports seats, which are surprisingly comfortable even over a long journey. Practicality isn’t high up on the Scirocco’s list of priorities, the rear seats - of which there are strictly two - are cramped for anyone over five-foot in height while the boot is less than generous.

Some of the new styling add-ons may not be to everyone’s taste, but personally I think they give the car a good look - though I didn’t have to live with it for a prolonged period of time. It may have less practicality than most but buyers who are in the market for a car like this will easily see past such details.



Alternatives

Car Reviews | Hyundai Veloster | CompleteCar.ie
Hyundai Veloster vs. Volkswagen Scirocco GTS: quirky looks and lacks the performance of others, but is substantially cheaper to buy.

Car Reviews | MINI Coupe (pre-production) | CompleteCar.ie
MINI Coupe vs. Volkswagen Scirocco GTS: even smaller than the Scirocco and strictly a two seater, but has sporting appeal.
Car Reviews | Toyota GT86 | CompleteCar.ie
Toyota GT86 vs. Volkswagen Scirocco GTS: surpasses the Volkswagen in the style stakes, and is more fun to drive.

Tech Specs

Model testedVolkswagen Scirocco GTS
Price as tested€38,015
Engine2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Transmissionsix-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body styletwo-door coupé
RivalsHyundai Veloster, MINI Coupé, Toyota GT86
CO2 emissions134g/km (Band B2, €280 per annum)
Combined economy53.3mpg (5.3 litres/100km)
Top speed222km/h
0-100km/h8.1 seconds
Power177hp at 4,200rpm
Torque380Nm at 1,750rpm