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VW Golf R: Near-perfect marriage of refinement and rapidity

VW Golf R

Nice review of the VW Golf R which is the near-perfect marriage of refinement and rapidity.

If the Golf R looks like a mature hot-hatch inside and out, the driving experience doesn’t contradict.

It’s as easy and enjoyable to drive slowly to Woolies as it is to drive quickly along a winding country road.

Even if the firmer springs and dampers mean you’ll feel bumps a bit more through your seat compared with the GTI, the suspension is still relatively comfortable in hot-hatch terms.

And, as with the GTI, spending $1500 on the optional “adaptive chassis control” is worthwhile to introduce a more settled urban ride – by selecting Comfort mode – or a slightly tauter drive (Dynamic).

Either way, mid-corner bumps won’t upset the R’s trajectory and the new, faster-acting Haldex all-wheel-drive system – which no longer needs to detect front-wheel slippage before engaging the rear axle – delivers leech-like traction on greasy winding roads.

Less weight over the nose also makes the R feel a better-balanced car than its bigger-engined predecessor, though the R isn’t necessarily more thrilling to drive than the GTI.