VW Golf R Review
The current incarnation of the Golf GTI makes us smile ear to ear just thinking about. Not since the very first Mark 1 in the 1980’s has there been a better example, and the original ‘hot hatch’ really is back to reclaim it’s place at the top of the pile. Now with the introduction of the all new VW Golf R, VW have even more to bring to the party, more power, more speed and four wheel drive makes this the fastest and most powerful production Golf. Ever. Best we test it then.
From the outset you will not be disappointed. The looks are typically Golf, and typically understated when you compare the Golf R to many of its rivals. It’s only on closer inspection do you realise this is something truly special. And for us, that is one of the biggest plus points. It may well be classed as a hot hatch, but there won’t be a boy racer in sight. An all new front bumper design, and modified grille hold the ‘R’ logo. You will also find daytime running lights alongside the bi-xenon headlights as standard, on the doors you will find a great matte chrome to finish off the door mirrors. All in all the lines are strong but stylish and the overall look of this car is about as good as a golf has ever looked.
Once in the seat, things really do begin to hot up. As mentioned, this is the quickest production Golf ever, pushing out 300 BHP that takes the R to 60mph in 4.9 seconds (with the DSG box) or 5.4 seconds for the manual, both of which are capable to hit a limited maximum speed of 155. All of this from a car that will give you over just under 40 mpg when you are on a run and just 165 g/km in emissions for the manual. Now that is quite special. As mentioned, there are two options, the manual and the DSG box. No doubt die hard GTI fans will opt for the manual, but the DSG is perfect if you want to use this car every day for the 9-5 grind where traffic is always a possibility. It’s quicker, more economical and easier on your feet, what more could you need!
When it comes to the drive, it really does take you back to how Golf’s were originally built and meant to be driven. The driving position feels low and as such you feel a much more natural connection with the car. The ride is tight without being too hard over country roads (especially in the new race mode), which gives it excellent balance. The four wheel drive ensuring that it is sticking to the tarmac like no other, which although some may argue removes some of the fun aspect, it nearly adds more, giving you more confidence the more you drive it. Another tick for the new Golf R!
Whilst the interior may not set the world alight (it is a VW after all), it is one of the best Volkswagen have to offer. A good touchscreen sit’s at the heart with R styling cues throughout, such as the original gearknob (a nod back to the original 80’s car) and of course the low slung seats with Alcantara bolsters holding you in which are just sublime. Though the crowning jewel may well be the most simplest. The dials. They are so clean, bold and simple they are near perfect. It may sound strange to get excited over dials, but they may be our favourite dials ever!
Overall the VW Golf R has helped put the German marquee back on top of the hot hatch pile. With good every day economy, blistering pace and adult looks, a new Golf has never been more desirable than it is right now.