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Volkswagen Golf R Review


I really should read press releases. But the pictures at the bottom of the screen are just so much more interesting. So when a press release hit’s my inbox I generally scroll past the important bits and hit the pics.

So imagine my surprise, when testing the Golf R. I go into a corner nice and hard, expecting some action, but nothing happens, it just grips and goes.

That’s when I decided to read the press release and discovered that the Golf R has 4 motion, which is essentially the Audi Quattro system.

I’ll spare you reading the press release and give you the low down here. It’s a Golf 6, much like the GTi. Same engine, 2.0l but they cranked up the power to 188kW, added 4 wheel drive, and a splash of R badges all over the place. The result? A pretty solid drive.

I generally prefer fast hatches to fast sedans. They perform better in the corners, handling is nippier because they’re shorter and I think they look better. So the Golf R stacks up there in the hot hatch world as one of the king pins. It’s faster, meaner and more powerful than it’s sibling the GTi.

Talking about GTi’s, while in the Golf R every GTi that stopped next to me at the light insisted on a race, and they were all duly taught a lesson.

But that’s not all the Golf R is good for.

The Golf R is a serious racer. The GTi offers you a good balance between a car that can drive calmly down to the shops, but can deliver some fun on a weekend drive in the mountains. VW have taken the Golf R a step further. They’ve set it up in race mode, and left it there.

Sure you can pop down to the shops, but you’ll feel every bump on the road, and the Golf R will be constantly nagging you to give it the old right foot.

You’ll want to race it. You want to go fast, you want to feel the adrenaline, you want people to hear you, and see a smudge of colour as you pass them. This is what the Golf R was made for, and it’s what it does, exceptionally well.

Often “special edition” cars are merely cosmetic changes. In the case of the Golf R VW has done an astounding job. Not only does it look the part, but the combination of extra power, 4-motion driving system and sharp steering make it the perfect car for serious drivers.

I would caution the every day driver, while the Golf R looks cooler, you’re going to get frustrated by the hard ride and racing readiness.

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