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How reliable is the Volkswagen T-Roc? Compare common faults, running costs and maintenance costs

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

4 min read

  • Advice
  • reliability
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WhoCanFixMyCar discusses the reliability of Volkswagen T-Roc models from 2017-2021, including common faults and the cost of ownership

The Volkswagen T-Roc is a subcompact crossover SUV that has been manufactured by VW since 2017. It sits somewhere between the larger Tiguan and smaller T-Cross, and is often considered the SUV equivalent of the seventh generation C-segment golf. 

There are nine different trim levels for the 2017-2021 T-Roc:

  • Active

  • Black edition

  • Design 

  • R-Line

  • S

  • SE

  • SEL

  • United

Currently, there are two generations of this model, the first one running from 2017-2021 and the second from 2021 to the present day. This guide will focus on the first generation since there is more data available from this period.

In 2020, the T-Roc was voted ‘best sports SUV for less than £40,000’ at the annual WhatCar? awards.

What are the main problems of a Volkswagen T-Roc?

The Volkswagen T-Roc sits close to the bottom end of the scale when it comes to reliability in the small SUV class - but that’s largely due to the fact that the class has an extremely strong reliability record overall. 


There are a few common problems reported by T-Roc owners relating to:

Volkswagen T-Roc 2017-2021 common faults and running costs

The first generation of the T-Roc boasts a coupe-like design with a distinctly sporty feel. A mid-life refresh added standard LED headlights, bigger front air intakes, and an LED bar beneath the front grill, giving the car a much bigger road presence.


At the lower end of the T-Roc price range, models easily compete with the likes of the Ford Puma, while more pricey, impressive versions keep pace with the Audi Q2.

Estimated running costs

  • The T-Roc has an estimated fuel economy of 41.5 to 43.5mpg

  • It is in insurance group 17

  • Annual road tax is £165

Vehicles in insurance group 17 are relatively cheap to insure. They tend to have excellent safety features and are fairly inexpensive to repair. This fact, combined with the T-Roc’s impressive fuel economy, makes it an affordable car to run. 

According to WhoCanFixMyCar data, the five most common jobs carried out on Volkswagen T-Roc cars are: full service, MOT, full service and MOT, oil change, and puncture repair.

JobAverage cost
Full Service£174.57
Full Service and MOT£196.82
Oil Change£80.52
Puncture Repair£20.42

Seatbelt fault

Some Volkswagen T-Roc models, particularly those built in 2021, may develop a fault relating to the retractor of the three-point automatic seatbelt on the front right seat. 

What car repair is needed?

Volkswagen has already recalled affected models, so a repair should have been carried out. 

Engine problems

Some T-Roc models ‘kangaroo’ when pulling away in cold weather, which is a well known issue with VW Group petrol engines. Despite a fix being issued by Volkswagen, many drivers are still dissatisfied.

What car repair is needed?

Volkswagen should have repaired any models affected by this issue. 

Parking brake

The electric parking brake may be released unexpectedly when disengaging the clutch pedal.

What car repair is needed?

Volkswagen recognised this issue and recalled affected models in 2020. A repair should have been carried out, so make sure you check before purchasing a used T-Roc.


The bonded joint between the upper and lower section of the rear spoiler may be faulty.

What car repair is needed?

Again, Volkswagen recalled and repaired any models that were affected by this bodywork problem.


Though rare, the brake pedals in some T-Rocs may not be properly welded, resulting in the pedal becoming detached. This happens when the brakes are applied quickly and with force.

What car repair is needed?

Volkswagen should have fixed the problem, so if you’re going to buy a second hand T-Roc it might be worth having it checked at a dealership first.

Volkswagen T-Roc recalls 2017-2021

Recall ReasonAffected Models
Information about passenger protection systems not included in owner's manual1st Nov 2017-31st Jan 2018
Electric parking brake can be unintentionally released when disengaging the clutch pedal1st Oct 2017-30th June 2018
Rear seat bench welded connection may not be correctly performed1st May 2018-31st Aug 2018
The bonded joint between the upper and lower section of the rear spoiler might be faulty29th Jan 2018-12th June 2018
Electric parking brake can be unintentionally released when disengaging the clutch pedal21st Nov 2017-23rd June 2018
The retractor of the 3 point automatic seatbelt on the front right seat may be faulty24th Feb 2021-25th Feb 2021

How much does a Volkswagen T-Roc cost to repair and maintain?

Yearly maintenance typically includes an MOT, full service or interim service and an aircon regas. In the table below, you can see the average cost of these jobs for the VW T-Roc based on data from 2021.

MaintenanceAverage Cost
Full Service£174.57
Interim Service£114.37
Aircon Regas£102.56

Below, we’ve included average repair costs based on data from 2020 and 2021.

Repair Average Cost
Electrical Fault Diagnosis£50.96
Front Pads and Discs£205.27
Key Replacement£189.00

Are Volkswagen T-Roc cars reliable?

  • In the 2021 WhatCar? Reliability Survey, the T-Roc was ranked as the second most unreliable small SUV, scoring 86.5%

  • In the same survey, Volkswagen finished in 20th place out of 30 manufacturers

  • In the latest Driver Power survey, VW finished 17th out of 29 manufacturers 

  • However, the T-Roc achieved the 24th spot on a 75-car list in the Driver Power “best cars to own” poll with a satisfaction score of 88.89%, which is pretty good


Overall, there’s no denying that the T-Roc isn’t known for having outstanding reliability, but, as you can see from the scores above, it’s by no means bad. In fact, it’s fairly average.

If you're having problems with your Volkswagen T-Roc, WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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