Volkswagen Scirocco: PH Buying Guide

Launched in 2008, and clearly derived from the Iroc concept shown a couple of years previously, the 3rd generation Scirocco continued the formula of its predecessors by offering a four-seat coupe based on Golf underpinnings.

In this case, it was the Golf Mk5, which was a good place to start. For this coupe, VW made the front and rear tracks a little wider, whilst leaving the standard suspension set-up much the same, so a sporty feel was guaranteed. Buyers could opt for the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) that offered a choice of Comfort, Normal and Sport settings for the suspension.

From launch, VW fitted the Scirocco with a choice of 1.4- and 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines taken from the Golf range, giving buyers power ranging from 120 to 200hp. Few bothered with the 120hp unit, but the 160hp 1.4 TSI proved popular with those who valued style over performance. For anyone who wanted more of the latter, the GTI-sourced turbo petrol was the one to have, and its power increased to 210hp at the end of 2009.

If that wasn't enough to satisfy you, Volkswagen launched the Scirocco R in 2009 with a 265hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor. An XDS electronic differential helped get that power to the road through the front wheels and there was lowered suspension too. As well as the unique body kit, the R came with DCC as standard.

Diesel power was on offer almost from the beginning of the Scirocco's life with 140- and 170hp units. If you need to cover plenty of miles, these are the ones to look at, especially the more powerful of the two for its blend of strong overtaking force and economy.

We, however, will concentrate more on the 2.0-litre turbo petrol and R models, as they hold the greatest interest for us. The 2.0-litre model offers 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds, while the R requires just 5.8. Top speed for the R is 155mph, 10mph more than its 200hp sister model.

A mild facelift in 2014 introduced a revised front bumper with aero blades on the edges, while new indicators and daytime running lights arrived at the same time. The R received new Cadiz alloy wheels, and the engine line-up was rejigged to better reflect VW's, but not much changed and Scirocco sales slowed to a trickle before the axe fell earlier this year.

Thanks to those small changes during its life, an early Scirocco still looks remarkably fresh and is a good used punt. While £4,500 will bag you an early car with high miles, we'd reckon on spending £7,000 for a late 2009-on 2.0 TSI in GT spec with around 70,000 miles. Go for an R and prices start at £11,500 and rise to £33,000 for a nearly new one from a VW dealer.

PHer's view:
"Frankly I love it, which is not to say that it's without foibles. As a driving machine in either of the two modes it enjoys - pootling or on a razz - it is quite brilliant. The look of the car is still very pretty, even though it is now an old design."
Simon Phillips


Rolling Chassis


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Comments (34) Join the discussion on the forum

  • CedricN 31 Oct 2017

    Had one as a loaner when my ibiza cupra was in the workshop. It is a pretty nice car, i just wish it was better to drive to differentiate it from a golf, going from the cupra it felt like a large boat, even with the dcc.

    The 1.4 twin charge is so nice to drive with the supercharger helping alot. To bad about reliability and hilarious oil consumption. My cupra had 1l/1200km before i handed it back at the end of the lease(glad i didnt buy it privately).

  • Mike1990 31 Oct 2017

    Always liked the looks of these. I quite like the fact the Interior is based on the Mk5/6/7 Golf’s depending on age, but kept the Exterior pretty much the same as when it first came out.

  • phil4 31 Oct 2017

    Had a 2009 R, which was my first VW and a nice intro to what a pokey daily could be like (previous cars had been pretty anemic and around 100 bhp down).

    It always seemed nicely planted when driving, had a nice look from most angles, and with the DCC in sport mode the handling was pretty good too.

    I liked it so much that when I part-ex'd it for a new car for the wife, I saw it for sale in the dealers and tried to buy it back a few days later. I was too late.

    If it weren't for the stupid VW hierarchy games (it can't have the same more power than the Golf R), and the fact they've now given up, I'd have given strong consideration to a new one. If I was in the game for a 2nd hand car, I'd give it a definite thought.

  • bungz 31 Oct 2017

    There is a brand new one of these at the end of our street.

    Looks dated to me inside and out.

  • cmoose 31 Oct 2017

    bungz said:
    There is a brand new one of these at the end of our street.

    Looks dated to me inside and out.
    Funnily enough, I think the facelifted version looks more dated than the original. They grafted on some more angular lines, cuz that's the rage right now, and they don't sit well with the original curves. Has the air of an old car with some chintzy aftermarket 'modern' lights.

    The original car is ageing very nicely, if you ask me. Still looks very fresh.

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