A more affordable alternative to the Range Rover Evoque Convertible

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The 2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet is a drop-top version of the company’s subcompact crossover. Launches two years after the coupe regular version, the 2020 T-Roc Cabriolet isn’t just a T-Roc with a soft-top, it also features only two doors instead of four. What’s more, the soft-top has a sleeker design, so the Cabriolet looks sportier than its standard sibling. Inspired by the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, the 2020 T-Roc Cabriolet is Volkswagen’s only small convertible to date after the discontinuation of the Beetle.

The soft-top and the revised shape of the roof are the only features that set the 2020 T-Roc Cabriolet apart from its standard sibling. The bodywork and the interior are similar, as is the technology package. They’re identical under the hood as well, although the 2020 T-Roc Cabriolet doesn’t yet feature the more powerful gas engines. Volkswagen doesn’t offer diesel mills for this model either. Let’s find out more about this bold convertible in the review below.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible Exterior Styling

  • Identical to T-Roc below the waist
  • Lower windscreen
  • Lower side windows
  • Sleeker roof
  • Soft-top design similar to Golf
  • Has a small decklid
  • Highly customizable
  • Available R-Line package
  • Two-door only
  • Slightly longer than coupe
  • Bold design overall
2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Exterior
- image 883515

The T-Roc Cabriolet is essentially identical to the regular T-Roc below the waist.

There is a big difference though, the T-Roc Cabriolet is a two-door vehicle, whereas the standard crossover is a five-door model.

Yes, I know, a two-door T-Roc and a four-door Cabriolet would be cool as well, but we can’t have these versions. Volkswagen stuck to a two-door convertible only, and this is a good decision in the big picture, as four-door drop-tops aren’t common or popular.

But is the Cabriolet any different from the coupe as far as size goes? Surprisingly enough, the drop-top is actually a bit longer. While convertibles are usually just as long and sometimes shorter, the Cabriolet is a few inches longer. Specifically, the regular T-Roc measures 4,234 mm (166.7 inches), while the Cabriolet comes in at 4,268 mm (168 inches). That’s an extra 34 mm (1.3 inches) for the drop-top. The same goes for the wheelbase. The Cabriolet’s measures 2,630 mm (103.5 inches), while the coupe’s is 2,596 mm (102.2 inches). That’s an extra 34 mm (1.3 inches) for the convertible, so this is where the extra length goes. The vehicles are just as wide, but the Cabriolet sits a bit lower. While the regular SUV is 1,573 mm (61.9 inches) tall, the Cabriolet comes in at 1,522 mm (59.9), or 51 mm (two inches) lower.

left right

The lower profile of the T-Roc Cabriolet is quite common for convertibles. That’s because drop-top vehicles have lowered windscreens. This is mostly a design feature (as to not look weird with a bubbly soft-top), but it also helps with aerodynamics while the top is down. The waistline remains similar to the coupe, but there are no B- and C-pillars.

The soft-top is pretty standard and seems similar to that of the old Golf Cabriolet When in place, it changes the T-Roc’s stance dramatically.

Not only the windscreen is smaller, but the roof sits lower where the top of the B-pillar should be.

Likewise, the rear section is also lower while the rear window is slanted heavily toward the deck lid. All told, the T-Roc Cabriolet looks sleeker and sportier with the top up and downright sexy with the soft-top folded in the trunk.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Exterior
- image 883484

The soft-top opens and closes in only nine seconds, which means quick operation for a modern vehicle. You can also operate it at speeds of up to 30 km/h (19 mph). You can operate the soft-top by either using the switch on the center console or via the remote control key from outside the vehicle. The top is fully automated, while the locking and unlocking system is electromechanical.

Just like the regular T-Roc, the Cabriolet is available with a variety of options and packages, so it's just as customizable.

Go with the Style specification, and you’ll get extras focused on design. The standard 17-inch wheels are replaced with more stylish Mayfield rollers, but you can also opt for 19-inch rims. Go with the R-Line specification, and Volkswagen adds sportier bumpers and standard foglamps.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible Interior Design

  • Identical to T-Roc
  • Hard plastic throughout on lower trims
  • Digital dials improve ambiance
  • Has seating for four
  • Infinite headroom
  • Roof opens in just nine seconds
  • Remove roof operation
  • Eight-inch infotainment screen
  • Digital instrument cluster
2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Interior
- image 883486
The interior of the T-Roc Cabriolet is also identical to the coupe.

It features the same sporty dashboard that’s slightly angled toward the driver, the infotainment display neatly integrated into the center stack, and the cool center console that becomes narrower toward the rear. The instrument cluster looks just as cool sunk deep into the hood behind the steering wheel, especially if you select a brightly colored dashboard face and upper door panel trim. The base infotainment screen isn’t very big at 6.5 inches, but there’s an eight-inch display available if you want something bigger. The optional instrument cluster is actually impressive at 11.7 inches, and it looks very upscale for this segment.

Tech-wise, it comes with App-Connect, MirrorLink, Appley CarPlay, Android Auto, and everything you need to stay connected. Inductive charging, an increasingly popular features in modern cars, is available as an option.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Interior
- image 883510
While the base model isn't of the premium variety, the more expensive trims add all sorts of cool features.

You can pick from four trim accent colors, you benefit from more comfortable seats, reading lights, and ambient lighting. The sportier R-Line trim adds aluminum pedals red ambient lighting, sports seats, and chrome door trim. Interior color options include, depending on trim of course, hues like Caribou Grey, Black Oak Brown, Ravenna Blue, Energetic Orange Metallic, and Curcuma Yellow Metallic.

Of course, the cool thing about the T-Roc Cabriolet is that you benefit from infinite headroom when the top is down.

The crossover also features enhanced roll-over protection thanks to a roll-cage-like element that springs upward in the area of rear headrests. There’s no specific info about legroom, but since it has a longer wheelbase, rear-seat passengers should be at least as comfortable as in the coupe version. On the flip side, there’s the minor inconvenience of having to squeeze in the rear seats through the front door. Granted, the longer door provides decent access, but it’s not as comfortable as having proper rear doors.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Interior
- image 883488

The bad news is that the foldable soft-top affects trunk space in a dramatic fashion. Not only that but because there’s no tall roof and tailgate in the rear, you can’t load luggage to the roof, as you would do in the coupe. All told, luggage space is rated at 284 liters (10 cubic feet), a little more than half of the standard T-Roc’s capacity. The latter is rated at 445 liters (15.7 cubic feet). This means you’re losing 161 liters (5.7 cubic feet) in the convertible. Due to the soft-top system, you also lose the option to load stuff up to the front seats. The standard T-Roc offers a whopping 1,290 liters (45.5 cubic feet) of space with the rear seats folded flat. Say goodbye to vast room for long vacations if you want a Cabriolet.

Volkswagen T-Roc Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible
Cargo room seats up 15.7 10
Cargo room seats folded 45.5 NA

You should also keep in mind that the 284 liters of space are available when the soft-top is up. When the roof is folded down, the trunk becomes notably smaller at 123 liters (4.3 cubic feet).

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet
- image 883491

But how does the T-Roc Cabriolet compare to its sole competitor, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible? Well, the British drop-top offers 251 liters (8.9 cubic feet) of storage room, 33 liters (1.1 cubic feet) less than the T-Roc. I guess we can say that the German SUV offers segment-leading trunk space.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible Drivetrain And Performance

  • Engines from T-Roc coupe
  • Gasoline only
  • Diesels could follow
  • R model possible?
  • Up to 148 horsepower
  • Up to 184 pound-feet of torque
  • Standard six-speed manual
  • Optional seven-speed DSG
  • No AWD yet
2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Exterior
- image 883475

The T-Roc Cabriolet draws juice from the two turbocharged small-displacement engines; both shared with the standard T-Roc. First up is the 1.0-liter three-cylinder unit rated at 113 horsepower and 200 Nm (148 pound-feet) of torque. This engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission, with no option for an automatic. Models equipped with this engine aren’t exactly quick to 62 mph, as they need around 10.3 seconds to get there, but it will do given the output. Top speed is likely limited to around 185 km/h (115 mph).

The second engine is the 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Also turbocharged, it cranks out 148 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) of torque. This version sprint to 62 mph in around 8.6 seconds, while top speed is a bit higher at around 204 km/h (127 mph). The six-speed manual comes standard with this engine as well, but Volkswagen also offers a seven-speed DSG automatic.

Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible 1.0 Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible 1.5
Engine 1.0-liter three-cylinder 1.5-liter four-cylinder
Horsepower 113 HP 148 HP
Torque 148 LB-FT 184 LB-FT
0 to 62 mph 10.3 seconds 8.6 seconds
Top Speed 185 km/h (115 mph) 204 km/h (127 mph)

Sadly, Volkswagen had nothing to say about the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, an engine that generates 187 horsepower and 320 Nm (236 pound-feet) of twist in the regular T-Roc.

The Germans will probably offer this mill as well at some point, but as of this writing the Cabriolet is limited to the gas options above.

No word on an R version, either. The T-Roc R also comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, but this engine cranks out an impressive 296 horsepower and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque. It hits 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and charges toward a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Needless to say, an R variant of the T-Roc Cabriolet would be really cool.

On top of these powerful gas engines, the regular T-Roc is also available with a couple of diesels. There’s a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 113 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) of torque and a 2.0-liter four-pot that generates 148 horses and 320 Nm (236 pound-feet) of twist. Again, these engines could be offered later on for the Cabriolet as well, but Volkswagen has yet to make any statements about it.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Exterior
- image 883499
All existing variants of the T-Roc Cabriolet are front-wheel-driven, as 4Motion AWD is only offered with the range-topping gas and diesel engines that are not yet available for the drop-top.

Without diesels and the more powerful gas engines, the T-Roc Cabriolet falls behind the Range Rover Evoque Convertible in the performance department. That’s because the British drop-top comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline mill that generates 238 horsepower. That’s 90 horses more than the most powerful gas mill in the T-Roc. The Evoque also features a 2.0-liter diesel rated at 178 horsepower.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible Prices

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Exterior
- image 883490

Pricing for the T-Roc Cabriolet is not yet available, but it should cost a bit more than the standard model. The coupe version retails €21,435, so the Cabriolet could start from around €25,000. While that’s a significant increase over the coupe, it’s a decent price tag for a vehicle in this niche, especially when compared to the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

However, there’s a catch here. The Evoque is actually a premium vehicle, so this comparison isn’t exactly fair as far as markets go. Second, the Evoque was redesigned for the 2019 model year, and Land Rover has yet to launch a new Convertible model. So technically speaking, the T-Roc Cabriolet doesn’t have a competitor as of October 2019. The new Range Rover Evoque retails from €38,100, so the Convertible version will probably cost in excess of €40,000. That’s an extra of at least €15,000 over the T-Roc Cabriolet.

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Convertible Competition

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Convertible High Resolution Exterior
- image 654601

Land Rover launched a new, second-generation variant of the Evoque for the 2019 model year. The SUV is available as a coupe only as of late 2019, but a Convertible should arrive in 2020. The redesign is rather mild on the outside, as the Evoque remained familiar. It features the same slim headlamps, angular, coupe-style roof, and slender taillights. But it now comes with a more modern interior packed with Land Rover’s latest technology and new four-cylinder engines with 48-volt mild-hybrid systems. Two gas drivetrains are available, rated at 200 horsepower and 251 pound-feet and 300 horses and 295 pound-feet, respectively. The diesel range starts with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 150 horses and 280 pound-feet of twist. This is the only mill that doesn’t feature a 48-volt system. The second option, a mild hybrid, generates 180 horsepower and 317 pound-feet, while the range-topping oil-burner cranks out 240 horses and a solid 369 pound-feet of twist. A revised all-wheel-drive system makes the Evoque more stable in all weather conditions and somewhat capable off the beaten path. Pricing starts from €38,100 in Europe. And unlike the T-Roc, the Evoque is available in the U.S., where it retails from $42,650 before options.

Read our full story on the Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Final Thoughts

2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet Exterior
- image 883498

The Volkswagen T-Roc is already a solid competitor on the small SUV market. It has the looks, it’s very customizable compared to other competitors, and it comes with lots of technology. It’s fun to drive as well, and it’s available with all-wheel drive. Sure, the cabin is somewhat plasticky, and the top models are expensive, but the overall package is pretty solid. The Cabriolet is basically an exotic addition to the lineup. In a market where drop-top models are as rare as they get, with only the Range Rover Evoque and Nissan Murano launched with convertible models in the last decade, Volkswagen decided to go wild. It remains to be seen whether if this model will last or not, but I have a feeling Volkswagen is trying to make out for the fact that it discontinued three compact convertibles in recent years. Both the Eos and the Golf Cabrio are long gone, while the Beetle is no longer available for 2020. Sure, it picked a strange market for a drop-top, but the T-Roc is small enough to attract buyers that would usually go for cars. This T-Roc still needs a diesel and a more powerful gasoline version, though.

  • Leave it
    • Will it last on the market?
    • Not coming to the U.S.
    • Could get expensive with options
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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