You could describe the 2019 Golf R as the classless king of the hot hatches, built from the peoples car people at VW. It still has its roots in the original Golf GTI from 1976, take a simple 5 door hatch add a gem of an engine and it becomes a hot hatch icon. The 2018 Golf GTI I drove last year was a gem especially as it had a manual transmission, not as quick as the DSG version but definitely more engaging, however, I came away from that test preferring the auto version, yes I said it.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and my 2019 Golf R arrived with a Lapiz Blue exterior and Titan Black interior, looking every bit the sleeper that it is, in fact, you’d be hard pressed to spot the differences, except for those quad tail pipes. What I wasn’t expecting were the 3 pedals inside, a manual at last. I had asked for a manual for the last 3 years and VW had never had one available so this was the icing on the cake since there will be no 2o2o Golf R, we’ll have to wait a couple of years for the MK V111.
There’s not too much new for 2019 except a crayola crayon box of 40 new custom order colors and a gem of a turbo 4 slightly down on power from last year due to emission regulations. Don’t worry the R doesn’t notice one bit and it still puts out 288 hp @ 5,400 rpm and 280 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm through a fabulous and quick shifting 6 speed manual transmission. Add to that standard Dynamic Chassis Control and Navigation as well as all active safety features included.
Topping off the list of great things is the six-year or 72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, which can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout its duration.
One thing you do notice is there’s no lag on takeoff because your right and left foot are in control and the 4Motion system keeps it all under control. That said the R is a bit slower on launch than its DSG sibling, getting from 0-60 in 5 seconds flat by dropping the clutch at around 4,000 rpm but that’s not really the R’s purpose in life as you soon find out once you hit the open road.
A GTI turned up to MAX
Once you get familiar with the bite point of the clutch, which took me one commute, I never wished for the DSG for the rest of the week. 1st to 2nd can always be a little tricky but this car has so much torque unless you come to a complete stop first gear is almost hardly used. Add to that an excellent shift action and fairly short throws and I soon started to love the manual.
The suspension is also a step further on from the …read more
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