Volkswagen Golf R 2014 review – Carbuyer
Volkswagen Golf R 2014 review – Carbuyer


Let’s say you want a practical, desirable
and powerful hatchback but the letters GTI aren’t quite good enough for you… then what
about R….. This is the new Golf R and it’s the most powerful
version of Volkswagen small family hatchbck yet. Under the bonnet is a two-litre turbo
engine with 296bhp and it’s mated to VW’s latest 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. So you are wondering how quick it gets to
sixty… right… well it’s that quick… In case you were wondering that was just 4.9
seconds. That’s Porsche fast. From a Golf… A Golf that can still do around 40 miles per
gallon. Now I should point out that some highly tuned
four-cylinder engines can feel a little bit slow at the lower end of the rev range and
then you get this sudden rush of power as the turbo comes on boost. But you don’t get
that problem with this engine. It just pulls hard all the time — it basically feels like
you have a 4.0-litre V8 not at 2.0-litre with just four cylinders. Admittedly, the Golf R doesn’t quite sound
as good as a V8 but the noise from the quad tailpipes is still very pleasing epecially
when the car is in race mode. Other upgrades are a chrome bar in the grille,
a smattering of R badges and some unique 19-inch alloy wheels. Inside you get piano black shiny
trim on the dash, body hugging sports seats, blue instrument needles and a steeringwheel
with the letter R on it and some. Other than that its Golf business as usual… The R has the same special variable steering
rack as the GTI which can go from lock to lock in just two turns as opposed to 3 on
the normal car and this makes it feel very responsive. The R also gets uprated suspension and brakes
even over the GTI. There’s also a system which brakes both inside wheels slightly when cornering
for added stability. And we mustn’t forget the all-wheel drive system which can send
almost all of the engines power to the rear wheels when the fronts start to slip. And
this makes the car mighty. On an unfamiliar road there will be few cars
you’ll be quicker in than this. But if it’s a track car you’re after… well you may want
to look elsewhere. When our colleagues at Auto Express timed
the Golf R round their test track it was actually slower than the SEAT Leon Cupra. It was also
slower than the Golf GTI with performance pack, the added 93kg weight of the all-wheel
drive system hampered its agility in high speed corners apparently. And while you can
turn the stability control completely off in the Golf R, don’t expect any serious sideways
action in the dry. If that’s your bag – get a BMW M135i. There is something you should know. Due to
the all wheel drive system being under the boot the load volume is smaller than the normal
Golfs and GTIs for that matter by 40 litres and the load heights slightly higher too.
Well Finally there’s the price. The Golf R is similar
money to the Audi S3 which is pretty much the same car only posher. The big problem
is that it’s about 17 per cent more expensive than the GTI. Is the R worth the extra? For
most people no it won’t be, but for those who want the ultimate golf — yes it is. To
decide for yourself watch our review of the GTI here and don’t forget to click on our
logo to subscribe to the carbuyer youtube channel…

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