Volkswagen Scirocco – blast from past bang up to date

Iain Dooley checks out the Volkswagen's modern-day Scirocco sports coupe.

Engines – Being a sporting coupe, the focus is very much on petrol engines. There's a good choice ranging from modestly powerful up to full-blown hot-hatch levels of performance. Two diesel units were introduced a while after the car's launch, and offer a good blend of accessible performance and economy.

Exterior – Blending the profile of the original Scirocco with the familiar looks of the modern-day Golf, this latest-generation Scirocco displays all the hallmark features of a current shape Volkswagen. A cross between coupe and hatchback, it offers a practical combination of style and practicality.

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Interior – If you're familiar with the Golf you'll feel right at home in the Scirocco. The cabin might be a little snug, but that adds to its intimate, sports car appeal. It's also exceptionally well made and boasts a good level of standard equipment.

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Driving – The front-wheel drive Scirocco offers drivers a refreshingly straightforward, vice-free experience. It can be driven like a compact hatch to go shopping, yet is equally capable of entertaining you on a challenging B road. High-power petrol units deliver most thrills, with the optional semi-auto DSG gearbox adding the final touch.

Ownership – Easy to own and drive thanks to its shared design and mechanicals with other Volkswagen group cars, the Scirocco will for many be an ideal choice. Refinement and equipment levels are high, while running costs are modest relative to the car's performance potential. You can further improve this if you can stretch to a recent diesel variant. The car's deep boot might not suit a family but it still makes the Scirocco practical enough for most couples.

What to look for – A car this new should boast a near-impeccable history. Evidence of parking scars and kerbed wheels should have you looking elsewhere, as should an incomplete service record. Outstanding finance and evidence of less-than-perfect accident damage repairs are other reasons to avoid. Ex-company cars shouldn't be immediately dismissed and nor should the opportunity for a test-drive.

Model history – 2008, Volkswagen launches an all-new Scirocco sporting coupe. Initially available with a handful of four-cylinder petrol engines and the option of DSG transmissions, the range was expanded to include diesel alternatives and a high-power petrol 'R' model. Golf-like build quality and equipment levels rounded off an attractive package.

Reasons to buy – Well-built, capable and entertaining at speed, practical in coupe terms.

Reasons to beware – Deep boot not always an ideal shape, lacks an 'edge' when driven hard, needs a bright colour to stand out.

Pick of the range – Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT.

What to pay – 2009 08 �15,475; 2008 58 �15,850; 2009 09 �16,775; 2009 59 �17,425; 2010 10 �18,675; 2011 60 �20,325. Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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