2022 Volkswagen Golf R review: An even hotter hatch

The Golf R is mighty indignant from just about every single angle. Andrew Krok/Roadshow We should rely our blessed stars that Volkswagen even made a decision to bring the eighth-technology Golf to the US. Just after decimating the affordable German car’s lineup for 2022, only two variants stay destined for […]

The Golf R is mighty indignant from just about every single angle.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

We should rely our blessed stars that Volkswagen even made a decision to bring the eighth-technology Golf to the US. Just after decimating the affordable German car’s lineup for 2022, only two variants stay destined for our amber waves of grain: The hopped-up GTI and the even-hoppier Golf R. The prior Golf R was exciting, but it didn’t experience like it was actually its very own vehicle. That’s changed in the model’s newest technology, in which this scorching hatch has last but not least occur into its very own.

Like

  • Aggressive design and style
  • Aggressive powertrain
  • Aggressive everything, genuinely

Will not Like

  • Dumb cup holders
  • Once in a while dumb telematics

Blue plaid? Will not brain if I do

If you have never discovered, VW’s performance hatchbacks are coloration-coded, with the GTI leaning greatly on crimson and the Golf R relying on blue. That visible differentiation is a little bit extra apparent this time all-around, thanks in significant element to a vivid-blue strip that spans the width of the entrance finish, which continue to has a little bit of the ol’ sloping-brow appear thanks to the new fascia. There are a great deal extra visible discrepancies that set the GTI and Golf R even further apart from one yet another, like the Golf R’s extra aggressive bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels and the not-so-significant-I’d-call-it-obscene rear wing. Mix that all and you have a Golf R that last but not least has some visible bark to match its bite. The new appear is fairly visually aggressive, while it is really worthy of mentioning that the wheels and wing on my take a look at vehicle are element of an Effectiveness Package, so you could be in a position to skip ’em if you want. (The early take a look at vehicle shown listed here is actually a European-spec design, and it is really unclear at this time if VW will present this tools as an solution or if the corporation will just bundle every single US-spec vehicle with it.)

The interior has a handful of critical discrepancies, but it is really mainly the exact experience you get in lesser Golf variants. R-specific touches incorporate masses of blue contrast stitching, distinct dashboard trim and an fantastic pair of sporty entrance seats with built-in headrests and bitchin’ blue plaid inserts. The seats them selves aren’t so limited as to alienate components of the American marketplace, but they’re continue to supportive in the suitable approaches when the driving will get spirited.

Usually, the cabin is just as pleasant and functional as it is on the GTI. The doorway pockets are carpeted for your satisfaction and will maintain a great deal of junk, as will the glove compartment, but the center armrest’s cubby remains too compact for, say, a purse. There is a unique place forward of the shifter for your mobile phone, which you can shut into its dock for utmost distraction avoidance. The trunk will maintain a great deal for a vehicle of this size, too, with about thirteen.5 cubic ft of storage on present. The only genuine usability bummer is the cup holder, which tries to be intelligent with transferring components, but generally ends up incapable of accomplishing its position, specifically if you deign to have two beverages up entrance at as soon as.

Generally hustlin’

The prior Golf R’s performance generally felt Ok, but never great, like it was a GTI that had gone to a tuner for some further pep in its phase. That improvements with this 2022 design. The honkin’ tailpipes out back give extra than a refined hint that there is anything stable beneath the hood, which in this circumstance is a 2.-liter turbocharged I4 placing out 315 horsepower and 310 pound-ft of torque.

For these holding track at property, that is 27 hp and thirty lb-ft greater than its predecessor, and boy, howdy is that bump straight away noticeable. Irrespective of generate method, the motor and its 7-pace twin-clutch computerized drive me alongside on a wave of lower-finish torque, seemingly never needing to eclipse three,000 rpm to get me up to regardless of what pace I want. But when the time is suitable, the motor will hustle at greater revs, screaming its four-pot music to the exterior world. Shifts in the two directions are lightning fast and devoid of clunks or other damaging characteristics. It all just works.

Every single 2022 Golf R will come with adaptive dampers and steering, so vehicle generate configurations should experience the exact across all illustrations. Comfort method does a decent position in day by day use, with a great deal of accessible ability underfoot paired with a suspension that soaks up some, but not all road nastiness — following all, the alloys are massive and the 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summer time tires are skinny. Activity companies everything up, and it is really my choice for spirited driving — VW’s, too, as this location is the default method when setting up the vehicle. Race is a little bit too, um, racy for most American backroads and is probable finest reserved for track times. But no make a difference the fundamental modes, the Golf R feels like a distinctly exclusive design this time all-around, featuring entire-assed performance that feels an entire tier earlier mentioned the GTI.

The formerly outlined optional Effectiveness Pack also adds Nürburgring and Drift modes the previous sets the vehicle up specially to deal with Germany’s legendary Nordschleife racetrack, and Drift eases up on traction command while making guaranteed the rear axle will get as a great deal ability as it can. There is also an Unique method if, like me, you want most of Sport’s positive aspects with no the detriment to experience top quality.

Is the new Golf R productive? Yeah, I’d say so. The EPA has nevertheless to release estimates for this new design, but for context, the prior one managed 23 mpg metropolis and thirty mpg freeway, which just isn’t negative for a potent AWD scorching hatch. The numbers could trend southward provided the excess oomph, but powertrain progress being what it is, I am guaranteed VW managed to keep pretty shut to the aged figures. In my time put in not grinning like an idiot in switchbacks, I see freeway figures suitable all-around thirty.

Like the aged Golf R, as soon as you slide into the driver’s seat, all that issues is acquiring exciting. And never fear, exciting is not hard to occur by.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Infotainment mostly a hit, but some misses

Now that I’ve professional VW’s newest, flashiest infotainment process in two distinct vehicles, I can see previous some of Uncover Pro’s frippery and experience its rough edges. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Car are onboard, and it is really very clear that VW understands the trend towards smartphone mirroring, for the reason that its indigenous infotainment process pretty a great deal appears to be like CarPlay on its 10-inch exhibit. The hardware boots swiftly, but if my fingers are too quick, the process can get started tripping more than alone, treating one tap like two or just straight-up ignoring my requests until eventually it feels like it. Individuals ordeals are handful of and significantly concerning, and things could quite well modify for the superior by the time the initial vehicles arrive in showrooms later this year, but it is really worthy of mentioning. Two USB-C ports up entrance suggests devices cost swiftly, but if you want a trickle, a Qi wi-fi pad is suitable beneath ’em.

VW Group has been a longtime proponent of electronic gauge clusters, and the tale stays the exact listed here. A 10.three-inch electronic cluster delivers up an outstanding quantity of kinds to peruse, transforming what information and facts will get your eyes’ precedence. You can perspective a entire-display screen map or look into audio possibilities in increased detail, but I want to depart the readouts in a extra classic gauge method. A head-up exhibit even further decreases distraction by beaming vehicle pace, pace limit indicators and extra suitable to your peepers.

Volkswagen could have gone a little bit overboard on contact capacity, while. The steering-wheel buttons operate as the two touchpads and regular buttons, which can lead to some awkward function on the volume slider. The weather command is completely electronic, which can be disheartening, too, as it suggests swapping as a result of menus to modify typical functions like supporter pace. Temperature and volume controls are accessible on sliders beneath the exhibit, but for some motive, they aren’t illuminated at night time.

With any luck ,, some of the Golf R’s technological kinks are ironed out ahead of its formal US debut.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

So, how a great deal will the Golf R expense? I have no idea. The outgoing Golf R was by now a hair more than $forty,000 when it was discontinued back in 2019, and provided the newfound capabilities and ability in its successor, it is really probable that the expense of entry will increase. That’s a tall inquire for a Volkswagen Golf, even one as outstanding as this. But then once again, a Honda Civic Style R is almost $39,000 these times, and the VW does experience extra premium, so possibly that is just what point out-of-the-art scorching hatchery charges at present. For a man elevated on economical scorching hatches, that is continue to a rough pill to swallow, even while this new design will not likely be bewildered with a 1.8-liter Golf any more.

If you do determine to get a dive into the deep finish, the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is immensely rewarding. It truly is a hoot and a 50 % on any road, straight or curvy, and now extra than ever, it feels like a design that can stand on its very own as a real performance vehicle. 

Rosa G. Rose

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