At long last, after years of waiting, and delay upon delay, Volkswagen’s T-Roc has made it to Australian shores.

It’s landed here to fill an increasingly large small-SUV-shaped gap underneath the brand’s popular Tiguan mid-sizer, but it’s been on sale since 2017 internationally, so is it too little, too late for VW to take on the small SUV competition in Australia?

We drove a fully specified T-Roc to find out what this Golf-based small SUV has to offer.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

First things first, there’s some good and bad news for VW fans who have been waiting for the brand’s first small SUV.

The good news? The T-Roc is incredibly well specified despite its age, and, to make things easy, just one variant landing in Australia: the hero 140TSI.

The bad news? At a starting price of $40,490 (before on-roads) it’s the most expensive non-premium SUV in Australia.

But VW has a strategy here. It has brought in this bells-and-whistles small SUV as part of a dual-pronged assault with the Polo-based T-Cross, which is less powerful and less well equipped in base form, but perhaps better in terms of practical value for its small form factor. The brand admits it expects the T-Cross to outsell the T-Roc in the long term, due to this pricing strategy.

Also, the brand has repeatedly stated to CarsGuide that the door isn’t shut on a lesser specified (110TSI) variant of the T-Roc in the future. So, keep an eye out for it if you fall for the T-Roc’s charm.

Where were we? Oh, yes: $40,490. Ouch. Our demo car too was fully specced out with the $5500 worth of options which can be fitted, including the ‘Sound and Style’ pack, which includes 19-inch alloys, adaptive chassis control, and the 300W Beats audio system ($2000), and the Luxury package, which includes the panoramic sunroof, Vienna leather seats, and an electric tailgate ($3500).

Very swish but, honestly, the base car has everything you need. This includes 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and built-in nav, a digital dash cluster, leather seats, leather wheel trim, keyless entry with push-start ignition, an auto-dimming rear vision mirror, full LED front lighting with adaptive high-beams, auto folding wing mirrors, front and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera and park assist, and rain-sensing wipers.

A lot of stuff. The R-Line styling pack (standard on Australian cars), 'Progressive Steering' and the full safety offering (which we’ll get to later), partially justify the tall pricing.

Again, pricey, but that includes all the equipment you could reasonably expect in this segment and more.

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