The Volkswagen T-Roc has finally been unveiled following a lengthy teaser campaign, ready to take its place beneath the Tiguan. The T-Roc is an important model for the carmaker, as it is looking to tap into the compact SUV/crossover segment, which experts claim will double in size over the next ten years.

First previewed by the similarly-named concept from the Geneva Motor Show more than three years ago, the T-Roc’s design remains pretty faithful to that of the show car, albeit with some revisions. At the front, the Volkswagen grille is slightly different from that on current models (almost Ford Ranger-like), and is sandwiched by slim headlights that extend into the fenders.

Below them is where you’ll find the LED daytime running lights, which also double as indicators when you use the turn signals. The lower section of the bumper contains another intake, the fog lamps as well as a silver-coloured skid plate.

The dynamic appearance also features a sculpted bonnet and muscular wheel arches, where the latter creates prominent lines that better define the T-Roc’s shoulder line. Also apparent is the chrome trim that starts from the base of the A-pillar and progresses over the entire side of the roof, before finally ending at the base of the C-pillar.

To emphasis the compact crossover’s “go anywhere” ambitions, plastic cladding has also been applied to the body. As an option, a two-tone paint scheme can be specified, where the roof, A-pillars and side mirrors are painted in a contrasting colour to the body.

At the rear, the T-Roc sports a steeply-raked rear window, tailgate-mounted spoiler and modern graphics within the two-piece taillights. Those silver surrounds in the lower area aren’t exhausts if you have to ask, and those “outlets” merely accommodate the reverse sensors.

The T-Roc rides on Volkswagen’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) architecture, which is also found on the Tiguan, Atlas and Teramont. In terms of dimensions, the T-Roc measures 4,234 mm long (252 mm shorter than the Tiguan), 1,819 mm wide (without exterior mirrors), 1,573 mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2,603 mm.

The increased body height compared to the Golf (1,452 mm) allows the front seats to be mounted 572 mm above the road, while the rear seats are set at a height of 618 mm. This offers the coveted SUV-like seating position that customers in this segment are looking for.

Inside, the T-Roc is fitted with a dashboard that is similar in design to the one found in the Golf Sportsvan, although it has been livened up with lots of body coloured trim and snazzy seats. Most of the switchgear is lifted from recent Volkswagen models, so they should be pretty familiar to operate.

High-tech features include Volkswagen’s 11.7-inch Active Info Display, inductive charging for smartphones, Beats-tuned 300-watt sound system, Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, Volkswagen Car-Net connected services and a variety of infotainment systems.

On that last bit, a Composition Colour unit with a 6.5-inch touchscreen comes as standard on all T-Rocs. The next level up is the glass-encased 8.0-inch Composition Media system with CD player, and beyond that is the Discover Media system (also an 8-inch touchscreen) with navigation function.

Other bits of equipment include a powered liftgate, keyless entry and start, heating and ventilation for the seats, two-zone Climatronic system and an optional two-part panoramic sunroof that measures 870 mm wide and 1,364 mm long – claimed to be the largest in the segment.

Volkswagen claims the five-seat T-Roc has plenty to offer in terms of practicality, offering up to 445 litres of cargo space when all the seats are in their default positions. Folding the 60:40-split rear seats, cargo capacity is then increased to 1,290 litres, which is class-leading according to the carmaker.

The T-Roc comes equipped with a pretty comprehensive list of safety and driver assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian monitoring), Adaptive Cruise Control (active up to 210 km/h), blind spot monitor, Park Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Assist and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, among others.

Volkswagen is offering six turbocharged engines (no mild hybrid here) for the T-Roc, including three petrol (TSI) and three diesel (TDI) units, with outputs ranging from 115 PS to 190 PS, like the Tiguan. A six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG are the available transmission options, depending on the engine selected. Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive is also available with certain powertrains, which includes 4Motion Active Control as standard.

The 4Motion Active Control is controlled via a switch located on the centre console behind the gear knob. It allows drivers to cycle through four different driving modes – Street, Snow, Offroad and Offroad Individual – depending on the situation.

“The T-Roc sets a new benchmark in the booming SUV segment. With its functionality, dynamic handling and technology, the T-Roc embodies all good Volkswagen qualities. It marks a milestone in our SUV offensive,” said Herbert Diess, chairman of the Volkswagen brand board of management. Volkswagen will launch the T-Roc in the 20,000 euro class (German market) beginning in November in Europe, with pre-sales opening as early as September.

For the truly curious, the ‘T’ in T-Roc refers to the Tiguan and Touareg, “whose SUV DNA and strengths have been transferred to the new model.” Meanwhile, the ‘Roc’ is derived from the common word ‘rock’, which symbolises the positioning of the vehicle that is “dominant yet agile,” allowing it to “rock the segment.”