2022 Volkswagen Golf R evaluation

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The Volkswagen Golf R is again once more.

After initially struggling to flee the shadow of GTI, the R badge is now a staple within the efficiency automobile world.

With its mix of efficiency, all-wheel drive traction, and every day consolation, the final Golf R shortly grew to become a favorite. It’s constructed a legion of loyal followers, however that hasn’t stopped Volkswagen from making an attempt to push the envelope with the eighth-generation automobile.

Because the previous-generation mannequin’s launch, the sport has moved ahead. Volkswagen is dealing with competitors from Hyundai with the i30 N, together with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-AMG, and even Toyota.

Some opponents are attempting to supply extra luxurious, others promise to supply extra participating driving experiences due to their intelligent torque-vectoring all-wheel drive techniques. Irrespective of the way you take a look at it, the Golf R is below assault from all angles.

Volkswagen hasn’t taken it mendacity down. The brand new Golf R has extra energy than earlier than, a wiser all-wheel drive system, a extra luxurious inside, and a extra aggressive exterior design. It’s not a revolution, however it’s an aggressive evolution of the method laid down by these earlier than it.

It’s additionally dearer than earlier than although, with a beginning value knocking on the door of $70,000.

Does the brand new Golf R have what it takes to justify its steeper sticker?

How a lot does the Volkswagen Golf R Hatch price?

The Golf R is a way more costly beast than it was.

Volkswagen lower the worth of the Golf R Hatch by $1000 earlier than launch as a result of the worldwide chip crunch had pressured it to take away the Harman/Kardon sound system from, however it’s nonetheless a $65,990 proposition earlier than on-road prices.

Evaluating new vehicles with their predecessors on value will be fraught, however indulge us right here. The final Mk7.5 Golf R, the Last Version, was priced at $57,990 earlier than on-road prices. On the time, it was $2500 dearer than the common mannequin.

Rivals primarily based on value embody the Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic ($77,869) and BMW M135i ($66,900 to $71,900), together with the extra relaxed – however extra luxurious – Audi S3 Sportback ($70,700).

Volkswagen would argue, nonetheless, the Golf R provides efficiency approaching the extent provided by the Mercedes-AMG A45 S 4Matic+ ($99,895).

2023 Volkswagen Golf pricing:

Golf Hatch

  • Golf 8AT: $34,690
  • Golf Life 8AT: $36,990
  • Golf R-Line 8AT: $39,990
  • Golf GTI 7DSG: $54,990
  • Golf R 7DSG: $65,990

Golf Wagon

  • Golf Wagon 8AT: $36,390
  • Golf Life Wagon 8AT: $38,990
  • Golf R Wagon 7DSG: $68,990

All costs exclude on-road prices

What’s the Volkswagen Golf R Hatch like on the within?

By now, the nice and unhealthy bits of the Golf’s inside are nicely established. The Golf R is sportier and extra luxurious than the broader vary, however in any other case shares the identical strengths and weaknesses.

The basics are wonderful. The sports activities seats with their one-piece backrests are electrically adjustable, and provide loads of bolstering for once you’re in a rush, and loads of help and cushioning for once you’re not.

The streaks of blue trim are extra overt than we’ve seen on earlier Golf R and R32 fashions and the bolstering is extra aggressive, each of that are in step with the brand new automobile’s better give attention to the driving force.

With chubby grips and (lastly) tall paddle shifters, the steering wheel feels nice in your arms.

It sticks with the identical gloss black touch-capacitive buttons used elsewhere within the Volkswagen vary, that are too simple to unintentionally press once you’re driving quick.

Given the house the Golf R now occupies, it’d be good if these paddles had been one thing aside from black plastic as nicely. Mercedes-Benz has it proper with the metallic shifters on the AMG A35, for instance.

As is the case throughout the Golf vary, buttons are scarce within the Golf R. Two large screens dominate the sprint, beneath which sits a financial institution of shortcut buttons and contact sliders for the audio quantity and temperature.

There’s no denying the showroom enchantment of the brand new setup. It seems to be completely fashionable alongside its extra conventional, however extra staid, predecessor.

The motive force’s show is superb, with sharp graphics that prominently show your pace, revs, and equipment place in prime place once you’re in a rush.

Once you aren’t, having the ability to have a full-screen map instantly in your line of sight is a spotlight.

As for the brand new infotainment system? It’s a blended bag. On the plus facet, the graphics are extremely polished and the responses are iPad slick. Easy duties are too complicated to execute, although.

It used to take one button press to show in your heated seat, for instance, now it takes two – and on a bumpy highway at 100km/h, the place you’d naturally relaxation your wrist to stabilise it’s on the contact slider that controls the temperature.

It’s one instance of one thing that works completely in a Wolfsburg laboratory, however is a step backwards in the true world.

Given it’s all software program, it may be up to date all through the automobile’s life. With a number of tweaks the system could possibly be wonderful, however it wants a little bit of fine-tuning.

Storage areas abound up entrance, from the lined wi-fi cost pad to the cupholders, large underarm storage bin, and felt-lined door pockets.

The cubby to the right-hand facet of the steering wheel, which was good for storage keys or cash, is notably absent although.

The rear seats are very usable for teenagers or average-height adults, however the chunky one-piece backrests on the bucket seats within the R do loom giant in your imaginative and prescient again there.

The Tiguan R is a extra pure household hauler, however you already knew that.

Boot house is a claimed 374 litres with the rear seats in place, increasing to 1230L with the 60/40 rear seats folded flat.

Together with the three top-tether mounts, there are ISOFIX factors on the outboard rear seats.

What’s below the bonnet?

The Golf R is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 235kW and 400Nm.

It’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with drive despatched by a 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

The all-wheel drive system is a wiser, extra performance-oriented setup than any earlier than it from Volkswagen.

Together with the flexibility to shuffle torque between the entrance and rear axles, it’s now in a position to break up the torque despatched rearward between the person wheels.

Not solely does that assist lower down on understeer, it permits for a Drift Mode much like the system provided on the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A45 S.

Claimed gas financial system is 7.8 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle, we noticed precisely that determine over 600km with a skew to freeway driving.

The Golf R drinks 98 RON premium unleaded, and has a 50L gas tank.

How does the Volkswagen Golf R Hatch drive?

There are few higher all-weather efficiency vehicles than the Golf R. We did greater than 600km within the hatch in some atrocious circumstances, and it was by no means something however rock strong, and correctly fast.

Volkswagen claims the 100km/h dash flies by in 4.8 seconds, however instrumented assessments from different retailers recommend it’s a lot faster than that. It feels it in the true world.

Bury your foot from standstill and the engine inhales briefly, earlier than blowing you down the highway with a minimal of fuss.

There’s no wheelspin or histrionics, however it’s brutally efficient. Utilizing launch management ramps up the ferocity, getting the Golf off the mark with neck-snapping effectivity.

Just like the GTI, the R has an enormous vary of drive modes.

It defaults to Sport which feels purposeful however every day driveable, however will be cranked as much as Race (stiffer trip, extra engine noise, heavier steering, sharper powertrain) or Particular, which is tailor-made to the Nurburgring and provides full efficiency with a softer trip.

The most effective mode, although, is Particular person. You’re in a position to tailor the adaptive dampers by 15 totally different settings, and mix these settings along with your most well-liked mixture of powertrain, steering, and noise settings.

With the dampers set between Consolation and Sport, the powertrain in full offended mode, and the faux engine sound turned off, the R is arguably the last word device for demolishing an Australian again highway.

Driving out of Apollo Bay by the Otways in pouring rain and howling wind, it’s laborious to think about a automobile able to going quicker; the R simply expenses by standing water and places its energy down in locations extra critical metallic simply can’t.

Traction is immense, and also you instantly belief the entrance finish to chunk once you pour the R right into a nook carrying critical pace. When you’re in, you’ll be able to really feel the brand new all-wheel drive system shuffling energy to the surface rear wheel for a extra impartial feeling than was attainable in its predecessor.

The twin-clutch transmission slams by the gears at a ferocious tempo, confidently downshifting below brakes in auto mode or faithfully heeding your inputs from the taller (however nonetheless plastic) paddles behind the wheel.

It’s nonetheless not the liveliest scorching hatch on the market, however it feels extra adjustable and alive than earlier than, backed by the identical raspy bark that’s characterised this engine in its varied guises all through its life.

We didn’t have the house to attempt Drift Mode, however Tony Crawford has confirmed it really works when you ever have entry to a skid pan.

Being a Golf R although, it’s not always straining on the leash. In its extra relaxed drive mode, the dual-clutch shuffles to a tall gear and simply leans on the engine’s beneficiant serving to of low-down torque to get round.

Even on 18-inch alloy wheels the trip is completely acceptable over tough metropolis streets, though potholes can spoil its composure when you hit them at pace.

It’s a really succesful freeway cruiser when the highway floor is clean, with a cushty trip, silent engine, and the total IQ.Drive suite of assists to maintain the automobile in its lane, and a set distance behind the car in entrance.

When the highway floor deteriorates although it may be a bit noisy, although. It’s a typical grievance with European vehicles working on performance-oriented rubber just like the R, however it does considerably undermine the automobile’s all-round enchantment when you need to crank the stereo to drown out the static.

What do you get?

Golf R highlights:

  • 4Motion all-wheel-drive
  • Torque vectoring 
  • 19-inch Estoril alloy wheels
  • Efficiency entrance brakes (358mm discs)
  • Six drive modes (incl. Drift and Particular)
  • Prolonged rear roof spoiler (hatch)
  • Adaptive dampers
  • Sports activities exhaust
  • 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Professional with R modes
  • IQ.Gentle Matrix LED headlights
  • Nappa leather-based upholstery
  • Heated, ventilated entrance sports activities seats
  • Electrical driver’s seat with reminiscence
  • Ambient inside lighting
  • Tri-zone local weather management

Choices for the Golf R vary embody a Harman/Kardon premium sound system for $1000, in addition to a sunroof which prices $1900 for the hatch and $2000 for the wagon.

That’s atop the next tools from decrease grades:

  • Journey Help
  • DAB radio
  • Tri-zone local weather management
  • LED headlights and tail lights
  • Digital Cockpit Professional (digital devices)
  • 10-inch infotainment system
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Wi-fi cellphone charging
  • 10-colour ambient lighting
  • Energy-folding exterior mirrors
  • Keyless entry and begin

Is the Volkswagen Golf R Hatch secure?

The Volkswagen Golf wears a five-star ANCAP security ranking primarily based on assessments carried out by Euro NCAP in 2019.

It scored 95 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 89 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 76 per cent for weak highway person safety, and 80 per cent for security help.

Customary security tools contains:

  • AEB incl. Pedestrian, Bicycle owner detection
  • Multi-collision brake
  • Lane-keep help
  • Journey Help
    • Adaptive cruise management
    • Lively lane centring
  • Entrance cross-traffic help
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Entrance, rear parking sensors
  • Reversing digital camera

All Golf variants bar the bottom mannequin additionally embody Emergency Help and secure exit warning, whereas all fashions function eight airbags as normal.

How a lot does the Volkswagen Golf R Hatch price to run?

The Volkswagen Golf R is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000km – whichever comes first – and Volkswagen provides three- and five-year pay as you go service packages.

A 3-year service plan prices $1700, and a five-year plan will set you again $3000.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Volkswagen Golf R Hatch

Volkswagen has improved the Golf R method, little question about it.

Its strong-selling predecessor wasn’t precisely sluggish, however the brand new automobile is meaningfully quicker and extra driver-oriented than earlier than due to its extra subtle all-wheel drive system. It’s nonetheless the last word all-weather weapon, however it provides extra for eager drivers than ever.

Is it good? Er, no. The annoying components of the common Golf are annoying right here too, however in a dearer package deal.

Volkswagen’s guess on the inside hasn’t paid off. I misplaced depend of the variety of instances a easy activity grew to become trigger for frustration, and no period of time or familiarity with a automobile could make unhealthy design good.

Even with its new all-wheel drive system and extra vocal exhaust, there’ll nonetheless be lovers the Golf R – with its polished powertrain and lack of a handbook – doesn’t excite. After all, the very fact Volkswagen has so successfully smoothed out the tough edges from the Golf R is a key a part of its broader enchantment.

The brand new Golf R is not only probably the most versatile scorching hatch in the marketplace, it’s probably the most succesful efficiency vehicles cash should buy.

It isn’t good, however it’s nearer than ever.

Click on the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: Everything Volkswagen Golf



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