Volkswagen T-Roc R long-term test: report 4

The 296bhp Volkswagen T-Roc R is one of the best sports SUVs to drive, but how easy is it to live with? We're finding out...

Volkswagen T-Roc R vs Cupra Ateca

The car Volkswagen T-Roc R 2.0 TSI 300 4Motion DSG Run by Steve Huntingford, editor

Why it’s here To see if this thrilling sports SUV continues to impress when you live with it every day

Needs to Combine its undoubted pace and agility with practicality

List price £40,735 Target Price £38,120 Price as tested £46,709 Miles 1240 Official economy 32.5mpg Test economy 28.6mpg

22 September – Who turned down the volume?

Do you ever question yourself, wondering if your memory is playing tricks on you? Well, I find myself in that position with the T-Roc R.

You see, last year when we group tested a left-hand-drive example against a Cupra Ateca, I remember thinking that the Volkswagen sounded fantastic, parping theatrically under acceleration, and crackling whenever you lifted off.

True, I suspected this was largely down to the Akrapovic titanium sports exhaust system that it was fitted with, but the end result was so good that I ticked the box for this when speccing my own T-Roc R, even though it costs an eye-watering £3000.

Volkswagen T-Roc R Akraprovic exhaust

The trouble is my car doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as that first one did. Don’t get me wrong, the exhaust note is still quite fruity, but it’s not properly special in the way that I remember.

So what’s the reason? Did I build it up in my mind as better than it actually was? Has something been lost in the conversion from left to right-hand drive? Or did that first exhaust breach noise regulations and have to be muffled?

Whatever the answer, the T-Roc R's sports exhaust system is no longer an option I’d recommend.

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