Volkswagen Scirocco (2008-present)

The Volkswagen Scirocco coupe isn’t the latest kid on the block, but still has some appeal

Strengths & Weaknesses


Distinctive looks
Reliable engine range


Not as fun to drive as rivals
Feels outdated
Not very practical

Having last used it on an early-nineties coupe, Volkswagen revived the Scirocco name in 2008 for a striking-looking three-door model based on the much plainer Volkswagen Golf hatchback. Those head-turning looks are a big part of the car’s appeal, but it faces some equally svelte rivals in the shape of the Peugeot RCZ, Audi TT and BMW 2 Series.

Engine choice is another major strong point of the Scirocco – they’ve been updated several times during the model’s time on sale, so there’s a wide and efficient range of petrol and diesels to choose from, including the very fast and powerful Scirocco R range-topper.

Standard kit is pretty good across the range and VW has continued to offer occasional special editions of the Scirocco to maintain its appeal with buyers. We think the relatively affordable GT version strikes the right balance between equipment and list price, though.

Less impressive is the amount of interior space on offer. Cynics would suggest that the Scirocco is merely a more expensive three-door VW Golf, with more cramped back seats and a smaller boot. It’s true that you pay a price for the car’s sleek body shape in terms of luggage capacity, as well as leg and headroom for adults in the back. But if people need a Golf, they’ll buy a Golf. This is a model for those more concerned with style and performance than out-and-out practicality and it definitely delivers in those respects.
A positive result of the Scirocco being based on the Golf is that you get the same well finished and robustly screwed-together interior as that extremely popular car, along with comfortable seats. Just be careful of specifying dark interior colours, as smallish windows make the Scirocco’s interior feel a bit claustrophobic in the first place – something not helped by covering everything in black or dark grey.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 17:15

Key facts 

Three years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
312 litres
Tax (min to max): 
£20 to £265

Best Volkswagen Scirocco for... 

Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Tech
There’s no one super-efficient version of the Scirocco, but if you want the cheapest running costs, the less powerful version of the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine manages just over 67mpg and will cost just £20 a year to tax (as long as you stick with the standard manual gearbox).
Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TDI 184 BlueMotion Tech GT DSG
The more powerful 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine combined with the smooth-shifting DSG automatic gearbox makes for effortless everyday driving – whether in town or cruising on the motorway. GT specification includes plenty of useful standard kit without pushing the price too high.
Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI 280 BlueMotion Tech R
A sister model to the Volkswagen Golf R, the Scirocco R is the fastest, most powerful and raciest-looking version of VW’s coupe you can get. It’s available with manual or automatic transmission, but we prefer the former for its greater sense of driver involvement.
Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Tech
The entry-level 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine is decent enough, but it really doesn’t give the Scirocco the kind of performance you’d expect from a sporty-looking three-door coupe. The most basic trim level – or version – doesn’t feel very special, either.

Volkswagen Scirocco History 

  • September 2008 Goes on sale in UK
  • May 2009 High-performance Scirocco R added to range
  • December 2009 Introduction of 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine
  • December 2009 Some Sciroccos among 3,500 VWs recalled for clutch problem
  • November 2010 Efficient Scirocco BlueMotion joins line-up
  • December 2011 Some Sciroccos among 33k VWs recalled for possible fuel leak
  • April 2012 Range refresh brings improved standard kit plus new R-Line trim
  • February 2014 Facelift sees revised styling and engines improved
  • November 2015 GT Black Edition and R-Line Black Edition join range
  • January 2016 Scirocco GTS introduced

Understanding Volkswagen Scirocco car names 

  • Scirocco
  • Engine
    2.0 TSI 280 BlueMotion Tech
  • Trim level
  • Gearbox
  • Engine
    The Scirocco’s petrol engines are badged TSI and the diesels are known as TDI. Their size is given in litres (here it's 2 litres) and power is shown in horsepower, which may also be written as PS. BlueMotion Tech is Volkswagen's term for small modifications that make the car more efficient.
  • Trim level
    The trim level indicates how much standard equipment is fitted to the Scirocco. The cheapest version is simply called Scirocco. This is followed by the GT, GT Black Edition, R-Line, R-Line Black Edition, GTS and high-performance R models at the top of the range.
  • Gearbox
    Automatic gearboxes are labelled with the letters DSG.

Volkswagen Scirocco Engines 

Petrol: 1.4 TSI, 2.0 TSI Diesel: 2.0 TDI

An entry-level 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine provides a cheap entry point into Scirocco ownership. However, although it’s no slouch, it’s not quite as quick as you’d expect a sporty-looking car like this to be.

We’d recommend either the 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine (with 178bhp) or the more powerful of the two 2.0-litre TDI diesel (with 181bhp). Both offer a more appropriate 0-62mph time of just over seven seconds, while the diesel is obviously the more efficient of the two.

If low running costs (or low company-car tax) are a priority, then there’s a less powerful 2.0-litre TDI diesel that’ll manage up to 67.3mpg. But again, it’s not quite urgent enough for keen drivers, so we’d recommend the 181bhp version if you can stretch to it.

For enthusiasts, there are two even racier 2.0-litre TSI petrol engines to choose from: one with 217bhp that’s exclusive to the sporty Scirocco GTS model and one with 276bhp that comes in range-topping R form only.


Fuel economy


0 - 62mph

Top speed

1.4 TSI






2.0 TSI


44.1 - 46.3mpg



140 - 141mph

2.0 TSI


44.1 - 46.3mpg



152 - 153mph

2.0 TSI


35.3 - 35.8mpg


5.5 - 5.7s


2.0 TDI


62.8 - 67.3mpg



132 - 134mph

2.0 TDI


58.9 - 60.1mpg



142 - 143mph

Volkswagen Scirocco Trims 

Scirocco, GT, GT Black Edition, R-Line, R-Line Black Edition, GTS, R

The Scirocco is slightly unusual in having a nameless entry-level version simply called the ‘Scirocco’ and sometimes referred to as the ‘standard specification’. It’s not totally bereft of appealing features, though, coming with 17-inch alloy wheels, a roof spoiler, a leather steering wheel, 50:50 split-folding rear seats, a 6.5-inch touchscreen multimedia system with DAB digital radio, air-conditioning, electric windows and a full complement of safety kit.

Stepping up to GT gets you larger 18-inch alloys, front foglights, chrome exhaust pipes, rear tinted glass, sat nav, two-zone climate control, parking sensors. The GT Black Edition simply adds black alloy wheels, a darker window tint and black exterior styling enhancements.

The sportier-looking R-Line ups the wheel size to 19 inches and gets its own exterior styling pack. There are also aluminium-look pedals, carbon-effect interior trim and leather seats. There’s a Black Edition of the R-Line, too, and you can hopefully work out what that adds…

Next up is the Scirocco GTS – immediately distinguished by its bold bonnet stripes and other exterior decals (these may be a bit much for some, so fortunately VW lets you leave them off at no extra cost). Inside, there’s red stitching in the seats, racing-style three-point seatbelts and several ‘GTS’ badges to remind you what you’re driving. The most important feature, though, is the 217bhp TSI petrol engine, which isn’t available in the lesser models.

If even the GTS isn’t quick enough for you, then you’ll need the high-performance Scirocco range-topper, available in a series of bold colours and with its own exterior and interior styling enhancements to set it apart from the rest of the range. It also has uprated suspension, a choice of driving modes and extra-bright and clear xenon headlights.

Volkswagen Scirocco Reliability and warranty 

VWs are generally thought of as reliable, but the results of Auto Express magazine’s 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey paint a slightly different picture, with Scirocco owners ranking the model 128th out of 200 looked at for reliability. The news was a bit better in the area of build quality, where the car at least managed to break into the top half of the table with a 96th-place finish. Unfortunately, VW doesn’t offer a particularly exceptional warranty on its new cars, covering them against faults for what is pretty much the industry-standard duration of three years or 60,000 miles.

Used Volkswagen Scirocco 

The desirable VW badge on the nose and those handsome looks keep VW Scirocco used values pretty buoyant. After three years, most versions will still be worth in or around 60% of their new list price, so there are no fantastic bargains to be found here. The iffy reliability mentioned above also means a used Scirocco could be a risky purchase if you don’t get extended or third-party warranty cover.

On the upside, Sciroccos tend to be bought by people who take pride in their cars, so used examples are generally well cared for and often have a full main-dealer service history. This should also continue to be a sought-after model, so you should still get a fair bit of cash back when you sell the car on to another owner. Just avoid high-mileage diesels (which are generally ex-company cars and more prone to problems than petrols) and examples that have been modified by young enthusiasts with lowered suspension or lurid colour schemes.

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