It’s been a while since we drove the VW Scirocco but it has always been a favourite. We liked its looks and the way it drove all the while forgiving the foibles like dreadful rear view and limited rear legroom. But frankly who cares about what is going on in the back seat if you’re in the front seat right?
The facelift gets new LED-featured front and rear lights which are sensational. I’d expect nothing less from the Volkswagen Group with stunners like Audi’s S5 Convertible with its commanding elegant stance. VW brands include Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Skoda and once upon a time, Rolls Royce. Rolls was cleverly whisked from VW’s trembling hands because some Gen X missed the fine print. You see, the Rolls Royce trademark was owned by a company other than that scooped up by VW, OOPS. That fact was not missed by BMW, and the rest is history.
But, back to Scirocco.
Scirocco’s bumpers got a minor once over too which make the outside look cutting edge despite her advancing years. Remember, this generation of Scirocco was released in 2008 and 7 years in auto terms is like 100 gay years! The interior gets some smart new dials complete with an auxiliary cluster on top of the dash. It all feels a bit last week though.
Now standard is the fixed rear headrests, which while safer for rear passengers, all but blocks the driver’s view backward. I took to laying the rear seats down to be able to see properly through the rear window, only putting them up when someone was going to occupy them. There is a rear camera as standard which helps hugely because even with the seats down, the back window is the size of a dolly’s dinner plate.
The looks are fab and the interior is comfy but is built on the old MK VI platform. There is nothing wrong with this platform but we have moved on and I can’t help but feel the MK VII Golf GTi feels better to drive even though it has 162KW VS Scirocco’s 188KW.
So it sounds as though I’m saying that because of the aging engine and transmission and platform, I’m going to pooh-pooh Scirocco. You’ll be glad to know that’s not the case, no no no. Scirocco is still more than the sum of her parts and she looks damned sexy, and when you turn that key, your loins feel instantly girded and your fingers feel a little twitchy.
She now has adjustable suspension so most drivers will find a Goldilocks ride to match just the right warm bowl of handling. Part of that is a fancy system that uses sensors to tell the system if she is about to cock a rear wheel and applies a dab of brake to the opposite front wheel to sort it out. You’re never conscious of it but that’s the genius of it. You feel ready for battle.
Combine this with the throaty exhaust and there is something mesmerizing about the Scirocco, and the way it makes you feel. It does it in a way that a 5 door hatch can’t no matter how fabulously it performs. I love the way Scirocco looks fast and I love the way people look at it. You can tell there are thinking they’ve seen it before but they are not sure where. That is because the Scirocco is fairly exclusive. The boy racers with their jaunty caps buy GTi, and the grandmas in their Osti frocks buy Golf diesel. The family types buy Golf Station wagon, or if they are feeling super-daring, a Tiguan. The well healed homo will buy Audi and the careful penny-pinching queen buys a Skoda. Someone who wants something different buys Scirocco.
I often wonder if I’d feel the lure of a new GTi or MK VII Golf R after buying a Scirocco, but when push comes to shove the achingly beautiful Scirocco does something to your hardly reached inner sanctum. You want to touch it, I mean the Scirocco, not your inner sanctum of course. That’s just NASTY NASTY NASTY.
Look, it isn’t the latest in some ways but it has a rear camera, Satnav, 19” Cadiz wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, and adaptive chassis control as standard for a smidge over $51,000 (on-road in NSW). No, it isn’t cheap but every now and then something comes along which makes a mockery of attempts to price it. It makes you want to buy it just because.
Scirocco makes a first class sports car, and you can easily gobble up hundreds of kilometres without turning a hair like any good GT car should. At a pinch you can have a couple of freeloaders in the back seats to do the odd airport run. Mostly you just want to throw her into ever tighter corners for the joy of being spat out the other side like a bullet.
Would I buy one? Yup, I still would. 219 Sciroccos have been sold this year to the end of June so I am not alone.
From time to time I might feel I’d made a mistake not buying the GTi, but had I bought the GTi I’d feel the loss of the Scirocco like I would if suddenly I was no longer allowed to shop.
Price: $51,257 (drive away NSW)
Engine: 2.0L 4 cyl turbo direct injection, 188kw/330Nm,
Trans: 6sp manual/or DSG
0-100: 6.2 man/6.0 DSG
Econ: 8.1 man/8.0 DSG
Weight: 1365 man/1381 DSG