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    Thread: Golf R vs. GTI Autobahn: Is the R $5,555 better?

    1. Member
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      10-07-2011 08:43 PM #1
      I compared the MSRP of 4-door manual cars before destination: 2011 GTI Autobahn 4-door 6MT at $30,535 vs. $36,090 for Golf R 4-door).

      Since the GTI Autobahn comes with nearly all the features of the 4-door R (KESSY, Dynaudio, nav, sunrrof, etc.), I think this is the list of stuff you are paying $5,555 extra for:

      - stronger 2.0T engine
      - Haldex AWD system
      - Slight interior trim differences (blue gauge needles, steering wheel, seat trim, etc.)
      - Different design 18" wheels
      - Unique front and rear fascia
      - Exclusivity and higher resale value down the line

      Considering that one is likely going to have to pay full sticker for the R while the GTI can be had at some discount, it seems to me that the real-world $6K price difference makes the R less than a slam dunk case. Have I missed some features that the R has over an Autobahn GTI?

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      10-07-2011 08:54 PM #2
      You did miss a few things, like the improved brakes and suspension on the R, but you still raise a valid question. I think the answer will be different for different people.

      For me, the price is not an issue. I also got a discount on the R. Plus, I enjoy going to the track, so oil starvation issues in the newer TSI engine are an issue, and the benefits of the AWD, better brakes, and suspension are well worth it to me. I also plan on tuning the R, so the extra durability of the older engine and the bigger turbo is nice.
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      10-08-2011 01:37 AM #3
      The way I look at it is... If one were to buy a GTI and install a K04 kit, you'd be spending more than the R, and still not have AWD, upragded brakes and suspension, let alone a factory warranty. If the performance isnt your goal, then save the cash and go pick up a GTI.

    4. 10-08-2011 03:46 AM #4
      yeah right a k04 with tune installed is $2500 it would be 10k more for the R so i just saved $7500 bucks.. the price is bs for and FSI engine and no R line tail lights or recaro seats oh and I speak from Canada

    5. Member liquid stereo's Avatar
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      10-08-2011 03:55 AM #5
      For the $5,555 premium one also gets some 10% more per year in fuel. Assuming 10,000 miles per year, 25 miles per gallon and $3.50 per gallon, that translates into roughly $140 per year.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      I compared the MSRP of 4-door manual cars before destination: 2011 GTI Autobahn 4-door 6MT at $30,535 vs. $36,090 for Golf R 4-door).

      Since the GTI Autobahn comes with nearly all the features of the 4-door R (KESSY, Dynaudio, nav, sunrrof, etc.), I think this is the list of stuff you are paying $5,555 extra for:

      - stronger 2.0T engine
      - Haldex AWD system
      - Slight interior trim differences (blue gauge needles, steering wheel, seat trim, etc.)
      - Different design 18" wheels
      - Unique front and rear fascia
      - Exclusivity and higher resale value down the line

      Considering that one is likely going to have to pay full sticker for the R while the GTI can be had at some discount, it seems to me that the real-world $6K price difference makes the R less than a slam dunk case. Have I missed some features that the R has over an Autobahn GTI?

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      10-08-2011 11:25 AM #6
      No offence but if you are seriously looking at the R and you are saying but "it gets worse mileage then a GTi." Do us all a favor and leave another one at the dealer for an enthusiast to pick up.

      The only reason VW even states the mileage is higher then previous R line models is an added bonus not a staple feature. To be used in a sentence like "Its got awd, 256hp, bigger breaks redesigned suspension, a trick interior, AND it has better fuel economy then ANY other R."

      Take the GTi go tune it so instead of 207 hp it puts our 256 hp and then compare fuel mileage. And While you are doing that you have to factor in the extra weight of the AWD.

      All I'm say is that at 140 per year and a K04 Kit and Tune costing roughly 2500. Its only gonna take you 20 years to save up your fuel savings to pretend your car is as fast as an R.

    7. Member Nebby's Avatar
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      10-08-2011 11:36 AM #7
      The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES. It's a R and not a GTI. It has Haldex, a unique body kit, upgraded motor with K04s, better brakes and much more. It's a steal for only $5,555 more.
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      10-08-2011 02:24 PM #8
      YES, its the first VAG product since my 225 TT that's been offered with awd, k04, and manual. Its a win for me.
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    9. Member liquid stereo's Avatar
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      10-08-2011 02:35 PM #9
      I suspect you have comprehension problems. Read the original post again. If it doesn't help you understand, then you most likely have comprehension problems.

      As for Golf Rs being left at dealers, there will be plenty.

      Quote Originally Posted by formerfreeagent View Post
      No offence but if you are seriously looking at the R and you are saying but "it gets worse mileage then a GTi." Do us all a favor and leave another one at the dealer for an enthusiast to pick up.

      The only reason VW even states the mileage is higher then previous R line models is an added bonus not a staple feature. To be used in a sentence like "Its got awd, 256hp, bigger breaks redesigned suspension, a trick interior, AND it has better fuel economy then ANY other R."

      Take the GTi go tune it so instead of 207 hp it puts our 256 hp and then compare fuel mileage. And While you are doing that you have to factor in the extra weight of the AWD.

      All I'm say is that at 140 per year and a K04 Kit and Tune costing roughly 2500. Its only gonna take you 20 years to save up your fuel savings to pretend your car is as fast as an R.

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      10-08-2011 03:09 PM #10
      This has been asked a million times. If you value a better performing car (AWD, brakes, suspension, power) and exclusivity then of course it is! It is a great car and it is a limited edition so it will cost more but to me it is totally worth it. If you don't need/want AWD and don't care about exclusivity then a GTI is just fine! Save your pennies.

      They're both great cars. It just depends on what you want in a car. If you think an R is too expensive for what it is, then stop complaining and buy whatever car you think fits your bill! For the rest of us, the R is an excellent addition to VW's lineup.
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      10-08-2011 08:23 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by twisted by dezign View Post
      This has been asked a million times. If you value a better performing car (AWD, brakes, suspension, power) and exclusivity then of course it is! It is a great car and it is a limited edition so it will cost more but to me it is totally worth it. If you don't need/want AWD and don't care about exclusivity then a GTI is just fine! Save your pennies.

      They're both great cars. It just depends on what you want in a car. If you think an R is too expensive for what it is, then stop complaining and buy whatever car you think fits your bill! For the rest of us, the R is an excellent addition to VW's lineup.
      Well said!

      I currently wave at other GTI owners and they always wave back. My sister-in-law asked why I did it. The answer is simple: Buying a GTI is not a sensible choice. It can't truly be justified by any logical means. If you follow logic you buy a base Golf or a TDI as you get a very practical car that way.

      If you have a passion for driving, which is far from logical, you buy the GTI. Seeing someone else as foolish as you for spending extra money on frivolous things like passion and fun always puts a smile on my face as I suspect that they enjoy their car as much as I enjoy mine. The R will just be an extension of that, only more so.

      So, you can talk all you want about how it doesn't make sense to buy an R, but look in the mirror and try and justify the purchase of a GTI using logic alone. CAN'T DO IT!!!

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      10-08-2011 09:13 PM #12
      Your forgetting the most important thing. Climatronic... swap that in your MKVI Gti and smoke it
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      10-08-2011 10:31 PM #13
      It is definitely worth it. Price out all the upgrades you would have to do to the GTI to make it onpar with the R. That doesn't even include the AWD. Also have to take in account an intact warranty.

      What is different with the steering wheels?

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      10-08-2011 10:38 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by twisted by dezign View Post
      This has been asked a million times. If you value a better performing car (AWD, brakes, suspension, power) and exclusivity then of course it is! It is a great car and it is a limited edition so it will cost more but to me it is totally worth it. If you don't need/want AWD and don't care about exclusivity then a GTI is just fine! Save your pennies.

      They're both great cars. It just depends on what you want in a car. If you think an R is too expensive for what it is, then stop complaining and buy whatever car you think fits your bill! For the rest of us, the R is an excellent addition to VW's lineup.
      I do value a better performing car and would be willing to pay even more than what the R is priced at but I wish it offered a stronger engine. Considering that the 2004 R32 offered 240 hp, a gain of 16 hp after 8 years seems minimal. I would be willing to pay 40 grand instead of $37K if the car offered 290-300 hp and a 0-60 time of 5.0 or better for a real pocket rocket. Unless you need the AWD, a gain of 0.5 second in 0-60 over the GTI does not seem enough. I just wish VW had aimed a little higher.

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      10-08-2011 10:42 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      I do value a better performing car and would be willing to pay even more than what the R is priced at but I wish it offered a stronger engine. Considering that the 2004 R32 offered 240 hp, a gain of 16 hp after 8 years seems minimal. I would be willing to pay 40 grand instead of $37K if the car offered 290-300 hp and a 0-60 time of 5.0 or better for a real pocket rocket. Unless you need the AWD, a gain of 0.5 second in 0-60 over the GTI does not seem enough. I just wish VW had aimed a little higher.
      Sure. Think about it this way. If you chip the GTi and chip the R the R will have much better 0-60 times due to the AWD. The GTI is at the limits with its FWD and the torque it produces. The chip makes things worse.

    16. Member twisted by dezign's Avatar
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      10-08-2011 11:31 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      I do value a better performing car and would be willing to pay even more than what the R is priced at but I wish it offered a stronger engine. Considering that the 2004 R32 offered 240 hp, a gain of 16 hp after 8 years seems minimal. I would be willing to pay 40 grand instead of $37K if the car offered 290-300 hp and a 0-60 time of 5.0 or better for a real pocket rocket. Unless you need the AWD, a gain of 0.5 second in 0-60 over the GTI does not seem enough. I just wish VW had aimed a little higher.
      I can agree with this but I don't mind so much because a tune takes the engine to 310+hp. If it was a VR6 then I wouldn't be very happy with 256hp!
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      10-08-2011 11:42 PM #17
      Is there a disadvantage to the old engine design? such as the EGR system being less efficient?...causing excessive carbon buildup?

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      10-08-2011 11:48 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by twisted by dezign View Post
      I can agree with this but I don't mind so much because a tune takes the engine to 310+hp. If it was a VR6 then I wouldn't be very happy with 256hp!
      While I agree with the tuning potential that you and the previous poster brought up, I wish that VW did some modest tuning of its own and offered the car stock with 280-300 hp. Since they are presumably detuning the TT-S engine because of lack of engine cooling, I would not feel confident about chip tuning it. I also prefer to keep my warranty intact. Just me.
      Last edited by Ali B; 10-10-2011 at 01:26 PM.

    19. Member Nebby's Avatar
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      10-08-2011 11:58 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      While I agree with the tuning potential that you and the previous poster brought up, I wish that VW did some modest tuning of its own and offered the car stock with 280-300 hp. Since they are presumably detuning the TT-S engine because of lack of engine cooling, I would not feel confident about chip tuning it. I also prefer to keep my warren intact. Just me.
      Manufacturers detune cars to get them (not one but all of them as part of a larger sampling) to run optimally in all conditions... hot/cold, low/high altitude, LA traffic vs. open midwest roads, etc. They can't even guarantee the quality of fuel you will be running or how the cars will be looked after.

      Even my BMW 1M's motor tuned by "M" is rated at 335hp and can easily be taken to 400hp with a chip. I will be doing it because I know I will always put in high quality fuels and take very good care of the car.

      The "detune" is stated to be for climate reasons but realistically, it's a marketing move to ensure the VW hot hatch doesn't have more hp than other family cars that cost a lot more. I would have no reservations about putting in a quality GIAC or APR tune into the Golf R.
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      10-09-2011 12:01 PM #20
      Listen, you have to remember that VW (VAG and VWoA especially) are trying to screw us. They know that there are tens of thousands of buyers for these cars but they're trying to maintain exclusivity. Forget about federalization, drivability, and longevity. They can easily spend a bit more and get around those "problems".

      The real issue is that they think we do not deserve it.





      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      While I agree with the tuning potential that you and the previous poster brought up, I wish that VW did some modest tuning of its own and offered the car stock with 280-300 hp. Since they are presumably detuning the TT-S engine because of lack of engine cooling, I would not feel confident about chip tuning it. I also prefer to keep my warren intact. Just me.

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      10-09-2011 12:07 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by liquid stereo View Post
      Listen, you have to remember that VW (VAG and VWoA especially) are trying to screw us. They know that there are tens of thousands of buyers for these cars but they're trying to maintain exclusivity. Forget about federalization, drivability, and longevity. They can easily spend a bit more and get around those "problems".

      The real issue is that they think we do not deserve it.

      I knew it was a conspiracy!
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      10-09-2011 02:38 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by liquid stereo View Post
      Listen, you have to remember that VW (VAG and VWoA especially) are trying to screw us. They know that there are tens of thousands of buyers for these cars but they're trying to maintain exclusivity. Forget about federalization, drivability, and longevity. They can easily spend a bit more and get around those "problems".

      The real issue is that they think we do not deserve it.

      That's right. I totally forgot their business model of screwing us. I highly doubt there are even 10k buyers out there. I doubt the golf r is a money loser. If they could sell 30k units, they would. Exclusivity does help drive sales, but it is generally not the goal of a company trying to be a volume leader.

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      10-09-2011 06:23 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by BRSomm View Post
      Buying a GTI is not a sensible choice. It can't truly be justified by any logical means.
      Oh brother, we're over the top now. It's not a Corvette or a Ducati. It's a freaking cheap FWD 5-seat hatchback. It's the EPITOME of "sensible" and "logical."

      More cars, less navel-gazing.

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      10-09-2011 09:46 PM #24
      I can kind of see your point about the cost difference but but I agree with people making the "logical" points. Logically I should be driving around in a Chevrolet Cruze or Hyundai Elantra if I just wanted basic transportation.

      If you are concerned about the price and willing to wait a little longer why not wait about a year or a little longer? There will be some used ones by then that will most likely be cheaper.

    25. 10-09-2011 10:40 PM #25
      GTI is MUCH better looking than the R too... more balanced much more attractive front... R almost tries too hard. The GTI also stands for more it has the heritage... the old R32 is way better if you want AWD

      just my opinion

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      10-09-2011 11:04 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by savavblue View Post
      GTI is MUCH better looking than the R too... more balanced much more attractive front... R almost tries too hard. The GTI also stands for more it has the heritage... the old R32 is way better if you want AWD

      just my opinion
      I think the opposite. As much as I like the GTI I think the new R looks are more subtle, which is good. Maybe it's because I've never been a big fan of the red stitching inside and the red grill accents on the GTI. I'm surprised that you say that the R looks like it's trying to hard.

      Besides. the average Joe will still think it's a regular Golf anyways.

    27. 10-09-2011 11:06 PM #27


      Here come a lock by the admin!

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      10-10-2011 07:38 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by ronin1 View Post
      I can kind of see your point about the cost difference but but I agree with people making the "logical" points. Logically I should be driving around in a Chevrolet Cruze or Hyundai Elantra if I just wanted basic transportation.

      If you are concerned about the price and willing to wait a little longer why not wait about a year or a little longer? There will be some used ones by then that will most likely be cheaper.
      I don't know if this was directed at me or someone else. My point all along in this thread is not that the R is too expensive. I said I would be willing to pay more than VW's current asking price if it offered more STOCK power. I am simply not thrilled with an increase of 16 hp after 8 years over the 2004 R32. The gas mileage improvement over the VR6 is nice but this is a performance car and gas mileage is secondary. For me, the magic number that would have made the R something special is 280 hp and 260-270 lb-ft. It may have stepped on Audi TT-S but I doubt any people cross shop the Golf R against the Audi TT. I am also disappointed that the RNS-510 is not offered on this model. A screen size of 5.5" is simply unacceptable these days when everyone is offering minimum screen size of 7".

      The tuning potential is great for those who like to mod their cars and take risks with their warranty. I prefer to keep my warranty intact.

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      10-10-2011 09:20 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      I don't know if this was directed at me or someone else. My point all along in this thread is not that the R is too expensive. I said I would be willing to pay more than VW's current asking price if it offered more STOCK power. I am simply not thrilled with an increase of 16 hp after 8 years over the 2004 R32. The gas mileage improvement over the VR6 is nice but this is a performance car and gas mileage is secondary. For me, the magic number that would have made the R something special is 280 hp and 260-270 lb-ft. It may have stepped on Audi TT-S but I doubt any people cross shop the Golf R against the Audi TT. I am also disappointed that the RNS-510 is not offered on this model. A screen size of 5.5" is simply unacceptable these days when everyone is offering minimum screen size of 7".

      The tuning potential is great for those who like to mod their cars and take risks with their warranty. I prefer to keep my warranty intact.
      I think way too much is made over the numbers. They can vary highly by manufacturer and don't have a lot to do with how fun the car is to drive. If I was really worried about this, I would definitely wait for a test drive before committing. In this case, the increase in horsepower came with a decrease in weight. I think it is a little silly to say I will only consider a car with 289 horsepower. Often times track times don't correlate well to raw horsepower anyway.

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      10-12-2011 09:20 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by liquid stereo View Post
      For the $5,555 premium one also gets some 10% more per year in fuel. Assuming 10,000 miles per year, 25 miles per gallon and $3.50 per gallon, that translates into roughly $140 per year.
      I don't believe the EPA 28MPG on the R for a sec.

      In the real world 31-33MPG should be easy to attain.

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      10-12-2011 11:20 AM #31
      I have an Autobahn GTI and am getting an R. I think it's worth the extra $. AWD, Climatronic and Auto-dim are things I really miss from my MKIV R32.
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      10-12-2011 11:24 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by XM_Rocks View Post
      I don't believe the EPA 28MPG on the R for a sec.

      In the real world 31-33MPG should be easy to attain.
      Since the GTI is rated by the EPA at 31 mpg on the highway shouldn't this mean that the GTI should get 34-36 on the highway (both underrated the same)? Or are you saying only the R is underrated?

      I don't think the FSI is as efficient as the TSI. My 2006 FSI was rated at 29 mpg on the highway and I have never seen 31-33 (occasionally 30 if I slow down).

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      10-12-2011 01:25 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by XM_Rocks View Post
      I don't believe the EPA 28MPG on the R for a sec.

      In the real world 31-33MPG should be easy to attain.
      My CC R-line 6MT is rated at 21/31 and I manage about 19 in the city and can never get 31 even when cruising at 65-70 in pure highway driving. The typical pure highway mileage I get is 29-30 under the best circumstances. These are all based on the car's trip computer and with a light foot. If anything, I would expect the car to deliver below EPA numbers.

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      Location
      Portland, OR
      Posts
      1,485
      Vehicles
      2012 Golf R (2012-) 1997 GTI-VR6 (1998-2007)
      10-12-2011 01:37 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      My CC R-line 6MT is rated at 21/31 and I manage about 19 in the city and can never get 31 even when cruising at 65-70 in pure highway driving. The typical pure highway mileage I get is 29-30 under the best circumstances. These are all based on the car's trip computer and with a light foot. If anything, I would expect the car to deliver below EPA numbers.
      It is fairly typical to get 1-2 extra mpgs after 15-20k miles or so. Individual experience may vary.

    35. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 17th, 1999
      Location
      Redondo Beach, CA
      Posts
      757
      Vehicles
      2013 CC R-line 6MT, Iron Gray on black
      10-12-2011 01:53 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by VWPDX View Post
      It is fairly typical to get 1-2 extra mpgs after 15-20k miles or so. Individual experience may vary.
      You might be right. I just hit 15K on my odometer, so hopefully I will get that little boost you mentioned. I didn't mean to complain about my car's gas mileage. I just find it hard to believe othe rpeople claiming they routinely get 34-35 mpg highway driving with their CC's when I don't come close to that with mine with steady speed of 65 mph or so.

      28 mpg EPA highway for the Golf R is quite good.

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