Volkswagen Scirocco Review logo

Volkswagen Scirocco Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2008
      Body type
      Coupe
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Stylish, classy Golf-based Coupe

Best bits

  • Looks great inside and out
  • Enjoyable and comfortable to drive
  • More practical than you might think

Not so great

  • Limited safety kit by modern standards
  • Not particularly cheap to run
  • Rear seats tricky to get in to

Read by

Volkswagen Scirocco Front View

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Scirocco Driver's Seat

On the inside

Volkswagen Scirocco Overhead Front View

Driving

Volkswagen Scirocco Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Scirocco Rear View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"None of us are getting any younger, but despite our ever-advancing years, we all like to think we’ve still got something to offer the world. Besides, it’s not nice to think we’ll be headed straight for the knacker’s yard the very instant a wrinkle or a grey hair appears."

Volkswagen Scirocco Front View

But while age comes to us all (if we’re lucky, that is), some of us wear age better than others. Just look at the Volkswagen Scirocco. Having been released in 2008, this car is a proper old-timer in car terms. And yet, this Golf-based coupe has grown old incredibly gracefully. 


Even today, it still looks the part, with its slinky lines and its swish details, and although the slightly dated cabin design is a small indicator of the car’s age, the interior is still hugely impressive in terms of its quality and solidity. It may be old, but it’s still very desirable. Think of a grey-haired George Clooney in one of those coffee adverts, and you’re about there.


It’s still pretty light on its feet for an old boy, too. The suspension provides a good blend of comfort and control, meaning the car can keep up with most young whippersnappers in the bends, but not at the expense of a ride that’s bone-shaking enough to dislodge a hip. The engines haven’t lost it, either, with plenty of performance from most of them, along with really impressive refinement.


The Scirocco is still reasonably useful from a practicality perspective, too. It only has four seats, but the ones in the back have a surprisingly generous amount of space, and the boot is a very useful size. Sure, it’s not as roomy or as versatile as a conventional hatchback, but if you were that worried, you’d just buy a Golf instead.


Granted, there are one or two areas in which the Scirocco can’t conceal its age. The steering is a little slow by modern standards, fuel economy is no great shakes and some of the cleverer safety kit that’s now widely available on far more affordable models - things like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning - is not offered at all. 


A rather dated infotainment with no Apple Carplay or Android Auto stops the Scirocco from being totally ‘down with the kids’, too. Otherwise, though, there’s no doubt that the Scirocco has still got it, and if you’re after glamour and fun at a reasonable price, there’s a lot to like.


Is the Volkswagen Scirocco right for you?

For some people, the form of things is more important than the function, and it’s for those people that the Volkswagen Scirocco was designed. Yes, it’s not as practical or as versatile as the Golf Hatchback on which it’s based, but it’s a sight more glamorous, it’s even more desirable, yet it still has four seats capable of seating adults, and a big boot. 


Like the Golf, it’s also really impressive on build quality, and it’s also fun-yet-comfortable on the road, albeit with a slightly sportier edge. Yes, there are various premium coupe rivals that deliver a similar blend of fun, style and desirability, but few combine these factors with practicality and civility as well as the Scirocco does. A very solid choice for buyers who want a glamorous all-rounder.


What's the best Volkswagen Scirocco model/engine to choose?

The entry-level 1.4 petrol engine is flexible enough, but we reckon most buyers will want to upgrade to the more powerful 160PS version of the same engine because it gives considerably stronger performance but keeps costs reasonable. That said, we wouldn’t blame you for upgrading to the mid-range 2.0-litre petrol, which had 200PS, 210PS or 220PS depending on when it was built. This has some proper fizz and gives genuine hot hatch performance.


Trim-wise, the entry-level trim provided you with most of what you want, but the upgrade to GT trim was worth it just for the all-round parking sensors, two-zone climate control and swankier upholstery. Particularly style-conscious buyers, meanwhile, might well want the R-Line for its racier looks, not to mention its powered leather seats. 


What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Scirocco?

As a premium-badged coupe based on the all-conquering Volkswagen Golf, the Scirocco had a variety of rivals ranging from genuine bespoke coupes to jumped-up three-door hatchbacks. Sitting in the former category would be cars such as the Audi TT and Alfa Romeo while sitting in the latter would be rivals such as the Vauxhall Astra GTC and BMW 1 Series Coupe (this last one looks more like a saloon than a hatchback, but you get the picture). You could also put the Hyundai Veloster and Peugeot RCZ in there.


Learn more

Volkswagen Scirocco Driver's Seat

On the inside

Volkswagen Scirocco Overhead Front View

Driving

Volkswagen Scirocco Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Scirocco Rear View

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Volkswagen Scirocco reliable?

As with the Golf, the Scirocco has an excellent reputation for interior build quality that stands the test of time, and the engines are reliable. The DSG auto gearbox has an early version of dual-clutch technology though, and is expensive to fix if it goes wrong.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What is the difference between this car and the Scirocco R and GTS models?

The Scirocco R was the fastest version of this car available, with a powerful petrol engine and a 0-62mph time of just 5.5 seconds. The GTS was introduced in the last few years it was on sale, and had less power than the R, but cool extras like unique alloys and stripes.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Does Volkswagen still produce the Scirocco?

Sadly not. Despite being very popular with buyers in some countries, global sales were too slow to justify replacing it. However the badge might make a comeback as an electric car.

Russ Campbell

Answered by

Russ Campbell

What is DCC and should I get it?

This acronym stands for ‘Dynamic Chassis Control’ which is just a fancy way of saying that the Scirocco has suspension that you can make softer or firmer by pushing a button. It was an optional extra on most cars but standard on R Models, and well worth getting if you can.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

How many different body styles were there?

Unlike many of its rivals (and even Volkswagen’s own Beetle) the Scirocco was only ever offered as a three-door, with no roomier five-door or glamorous convertibles ever produced.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

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