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    Thread: Drove a Golf R the other day.

    1. Member J.Yossarian's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 11:48 AM #1
      Hadn't driven one before, so I stopped by a local Infiniti dealer and took a 6-speed 2017 for a spin. This particular car felt like it might have been driven pretty hard in the past, so it's not the best example, but I enjoyed the hell out of it nonetheless.

      Some may recall that my GTI was purchased a couple years back after stopping by the VW dealer on a lark, so this thread could have a similar trajectory. I like the idea of having AWD, and the extra power was nice. I love my GTI, and I know some folks prefer the character of the GTI over the R, but the drive definitely gave me pause in a good way. It feels like the perfect daily commuter rocket.

      Don't really want to spend $40K on a new one, so I'd probably be looking at 2017s and 2018s. I know we've got a few owners here, so I'm opening this up for any feedback y'all want to share (good or bad). Which transmission do you prefer? Would I be an idiot not to wait for the next-gen GTI/R instead? Seems like it might be a while before they arrive in the U.S.

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    3. Member
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      07-11-2019 11:51 AM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by J.Yossarian View Post
      Hadn't driven one before, so I stopped by a local Infiniti dealer and took a 6-speed 2017 for a spin. This particular car felt like it might have been driven pretty hard in the past, so it's not the best example, but I enjoyed the hell out of it nonetheless.

      Some may recall that my GTI was purchased a couple years back after stopping by the VW dealer on a lark, so this thread could have a similar trajectory. I like the idea of having AWD, and the extra power was nice. I love my GTI, and I know some folks prefer the character of the GTI over the R, but the drive definitely gave me pause in a good way. It feels like the perfect daily commuter rocket.

      Don't really want to spend $40K on a new one, so I'd probably be looking at 2017s and 2018s. I know we've got a few owners here, so I'm opening this up for any feedback y'all want to share (good or bad). Which transmission do you prefer? Would I be an idiot not to wait for the next-gen GTI/R instead? Seems like it might be a while before they arrive in the U.S.
      The car was made for the DSG and the DSG can hold more power if you plan on modding. I would only consider the manual if you absolutely had to have a manual transmission.

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      07-11-2019 11:52 AM #3
      You might find more info in the Golf R forum..i dunno.

    5. Member madrussian's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 11:58 AM #4
      There's a bunch of us that have owned or own an R.

      I can echo the above sentiment that the DSG is the way to go on this car, manual feels and behaves like an after thought, even more so if you decide to modify it.

      My R w/ the JB4 was one of the quickest and most fun cars I've owned

    6. Member smoothsix's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 11:59 AM #5
      Had a 2016 6MT R that I ordered and waited about 4 months for. Absolutely loved it. Perfect, do-anything car. Solid, fast, comfortable. I can see how the GTI would be the "lightweight" (whatever that means), tossable/flickable version, even at 3000+lbs. It's certainly the performance buy.

      But, I have no desire for wrong-wheel-drive. Haldex is as close as I'd get. The R felt buttoned down, bank vault solid, fast, competent, quiet. I got wheelspin on light throttle coming out of a gentle corner in the GTI I drove. I wouldn't have even consnidered it. The R was utterly unflappable. Put snow tires on it and it was a beast in the mountains.

      Sold mine @ 3 years old with 27k miles last june/july, bunch of euro goodies on it (no tuner mods though), for about $27k. I was hoping to get 28; listed optimistically at 31 and waited a bit. I had some interest though, I think I could have sold it at 30-31 if I wanted to wait long enough, but there are only so many people in the market for a $30k used hatchback.

      I'd never have considered the DSG. The only reason I was even considering buying the R was because AWD+6MT after BMW disappointed us by dropping the 6MT in the F31. I waited years for that car. Screw 'em.
      Dash cam people suck. Don't be a dash cam person.

      Quote Originally Posted by Dravenport View Post
      this thread is a mess, I can't tell if it's full of trolls or idiots and I'm not sure it matters

    7. Member KevinC's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 12:07 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by unhappymeal View Post
      The car was made for the DSG and the DSG can hold more power if you plan on modding. I would only consider the manual if you absolutely had to have a manual transmission.
      "Made for the DSG"? Oh please. Yeah, the 6MT clutch won't handle more power, but otherwise, the tranny is fully up to the task. 42k miles on my '16 and zero issues - with anything, including the clutch. Would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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    8. Member maximusbibicus's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 12:27 PM #7
      Add me to Club DSG. It's insanely good, and I love manuals. If I could do it all over again 15x over I'd get my R with the DSG. Its perfect for THAT car.

    9. 07-11-2019 12:39 PM #8
      Not much to add other than go DSG for sure. I have 3 friends with manual Rs. All 3 have slipping clutches!

    10. Member mremg's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 12:41 PM #9
      I need to get a four door soon so thinking about trading my Mk2 TT RS into a Golf R. Did anyone do it? How do those two compare?

    11. Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 12:59 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by madrussian View Post
      I can echo the above sentiment that the DSG is the way to go on this car, manual feels and behaves like an after thought, even more so if you decide to modify it.

      My R w/ the JB4 was one of the quickest and most fun cars I've owned
      The R is a little beast with the DSG and a even a simple piggyback like the JB1. Launch control is pretty brutal.
      iain

    12. Geriatric Member Hostile's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 01:01 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
      "Made for the DSG"? Oh please. Yeah, the 6MT clutch won't handle more power, but otherwise, the tranny is fully up to the task. 42k miles on my '16 and zero issues - with anything, including the clutch. Would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
      No one said the manual transmission was a weak point, just the clutch.

      It's still better with the DSG.
      iain

    13. Member J.Yossarian's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 01:14 PM #12
      Well, just like last time, this isn't dissuading me at all.

      Are dealers still hesitant to allow test drives of new Rs? Sounds like I'm gonna have to try the DSG next.

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      07-11-2019 01:20 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
      "Made for the DSG"? Oh please. Yeah, the 6MT clutch won't handle more power, but otherwise, the tranny is fully up to the task. 42k miles on my '16 and zero issues - with anything, including the clutch. Would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
      Made for the DSG as in the car feels like it was designed around the DSG. Everything from the gearing to the way the engine holds boost between shifts, to the launch control, made the DSG feel like a different (and better) car than with the 6MT to me. It doesn't help that VW's manual transmissions are nothing special and I will take an excellent automatic transmission over a 'meh' manual any day of the week.

      Edit: It seems I am not alone in my assessment.
      Last edited by unhappymeal; 07-11-2019 at 01:22 PM.

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      07-11-2019 01:24 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Hostile View Post
      The R is a little beast with the DSG and a even a simple piggyback like the JB1. Launch control is pretty brutal.
      This. We put a piggyback on the wife's Golf R a little while ago and it's a stealth missile. No one expects an assuming hatchback to launch like a V8 pony car.

    16. Member Maximum_Download's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 01:25 PM #15
      I have a 2018 R 6 speed, and I absolutely love it. I love it so much, that driving cars like an M3 and a Giulia Quadrifoglio are having me look back at the R and go "yeah, they're better, but are they twice the price better?"

      For that reason, it will pretty much ruin you for anything else out there. I am having a hell of a time pointing to another car and going "yep, that's going to be my next upgrade". If the G20 doesn't live up to expectations, AND/OR it ends up leasing over $900 a month, then I am going to buy my R off lease and keep it long term. I have NEVER said that about any other recent car I have owned.

      There's nothing it doesn't do well. It's stupid fun (even the manual, I think it's one of the better ones I have driven), perfectly sized, very usable, the interior and ride are luxury-car caliber, the performance is mind blowing, it looks great but not too outlandish (at 42, I am not embarassed at all to drive it), and the in car tech is simply fantastic.

      Negatives? I wish it sounded better, but then again "sound better" to me means 6 cylinders and not a turbo 4. For what it is, it's great. I also wish the clutch were stronger - the reports of a weak clutch worry me, though I don't drive my car very hard, I have not modded it, and I don't have any issues at 10K on the odo.

      Currently dealers are discounting the R - I got mine at invoice. Test drives are another story - I would call around first and verify if they would allow a test drive on an R. You will usually find a dealer willing to do it.
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    17. Member Yuppie Scum's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 01:30 PM #16
      I had a thought of buying a couple year old R and overlanding it.

    18. 07-11-2019 01:40 PM #17
      I test drove a DSG R and while I liked the power, the AWD, and the overall feature set, the DSG left me cold. I’d consider one but only in 6MT form, used for around 25k.

      The biggest holdup for me is, why would I buy a new/slightly used R, when a B8.5 S4 is available with similar mileage for similar/less money. I’ve driven DSG, stasis tuned as well as stock versions of those and they in a different stratosphere to the R in terms of quality and experience. R has better infotainment (excluding the digital cluster which I disliked), but other than that it’s a no brainer IMO.

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      07-11-2019 01:41 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Maximum_Download View Post
      I have a 2018 R 6 speed, and I absolutely love it. I love it so much, that driving cars like an M3 and a Giulia Quadrifoglio are having me look back at the R and go "yeah, they're better, but are they twice the price better?"

      For that reason, it will pretty much ruin you for anything else out there. I am having a hell of a time pointing to another car and going "yep, that's going to be my next upgrade". If the G20 doesn't live up to expectations, AND/OR it ends up leasing over $900 a month, then I am going to buy my R off lease and keep it long term. I have NEVER said that about any other recent car I have owned.
      I'll even kick things down a notch in agreement: I can't really see myself doing that either, and I have but a GTI. Like hell I'm gonna spend $800/mo instead of $380/mo to DD something for 50 miles/day that's not $550 a month more car in comparison

      I imagine the GTI will get updated to a 2019 R at some point. Sounds dumb, but I just had a 2020 Tiguan loaner for a week and for all the time I spend behind the wheel, I was most impressed by the latest iteration of VW infotainment in comparison to my 17
      THCK

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    20. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 01:41 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Hawk View Post
      Not much to add other than go DSG for sure. I have 3 friends with manual Rs. All 3 have slipping clutches!
      It grinds my gears that VW went with such a weak sauce clutch in the R. Even stock ones have been known to fail at low miles when driven hard. It's largely because they cheaped out and speced the same clutch on all the 6 speed manuals equipped MQB cars rather than putting a better one in the R. I'd personally just budget $3k on an upgraded one if I were in the market.

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      07-11-2019 01:45 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by Rakshas View Post
      I test drove a DSG R and while I liked the power, the AWD, and the overall feature set, the DSG left me cold. I’d consider one but only in 6MT form, used for around 25k.

      The biggest holdup for me is, why would I buy a new/slightly used R, when a B8.5 S4 is available with similar mileage for similar/less money. I’ve driven DSG, stasis tuned as well as stock versions of those and they in a different stratosphere to the R in terms of quality and experience. R has better infotainment (excluding the digital cluster which I disliked), but other than that it’s a no brainer IMO.
      I can see both points: I find myself on occasion pining for the 6M in my GTI but snap back to reality once I snap off a *BWUMP* upshift and can be lazy in traffic.

      I could totally see myself replacing my MK7 with an S4 instead of an R, but there's one odd but meaningful holdup: my garage would get a LOT tighter--the S feels and is noticeably larger than an R. I can semi-haphazardly toss my GTI and CX-5 in a 2.5 car and have enough remaining workspace to get by, but through a late model S4 into the mix and my garage becomes a tennis ball candidate.
      THCK

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    22. Member Maximum_Download's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 02:06 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by HotCarlWeathers View Post
      I'll even kick things down a notch in agreement: I can't really see myself doing that either, and I have but a GTI. Like hell I'm gonna spend $800/mo instead of $380/mo to DD something for 50 miles/day that's not $550 a month more car in comparison

      I imagine the GTI will get updated to a 2019 R at some point. Sounds dumb, but I just had a 2020 Tiguan loaner for a week and for all the time I spend behind the wheel, I was most impressed by the latest iteration of VW infotainment in comparison to my 17
      I can totally see that. The less expensive the Golf, the more of a screaming bargain it is. What is impressive to me is that the R can feel worth the price. Those of you who buy GTIs and regular ole' Golfs, you're getting an absolute BARGAIN of a car. I have absolutely no idea how VW makes money on the Mk7 Golf. I frankly feel it's one of the best cars in the world overall.
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      07-11-2019 02:40 PM #22
      They are decent and work well as a do-it-all vehicle. I only kept my 2016 base 6MT Golf R for a year and roughly 15k miles. It just wasn't what I wanted it to be (I had been searching for the perfect 911, but ran out of time and needed a car immediately so I grabbed the R instead). Car went from stock, to fully modded, and back to stock within that time frame. I got lucky and didn't lose much money on the car during my ownership period at least. Ended up trading it in for my current 997.1 C2S.

      I will say that the 7.5s are a nice upgrade from the 7s, although there is a pretty decent price difference between the two at this point. Got about 500 miles of seat time in one last year and enjoyed it, even with the DSG. I don't think I would buy another 7, but would consider a used 7.5 in a few years once they are around the $25k range.
      Last edited by t_white; 07-11-2019 at 02:46 PM.

    24. Member SCHWAB0's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 03:01 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by KevinC View Post
      "Made for the DSG"? Oh please. Yeah, the 6MT clutch won't handle more power, but otherwise, the tranny is fully up to the task. 42k miles on my '16 and zero issues - with anything, including the clutch. Would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
      Hard to hear but it is the truth.

      I've owned both, 6MT and DSG and the DSG is a better fit. Its a different feel and more enjoyable experience and I can say this as a manual driver for the last 17 years.

      Either way, IMHO it's the best bang for the buck in the price bracket.


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      07-11-2019 03:15 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by HotCarlWeathers View Post
      I could totally see myself replacing my MK7 with an S4 instead of an R, but there's one odd but meaningful holdup: my garage would get a LOT tighter--the S feels and is noticeably larger than an R. I can semi-haphazardly toss my GTI and CX-5 in a 2.5 car and have enough remaining workspace to get by, but through a late model S4 into the mix and my garage becomes a tennis ball candidate.
      I would not recommend that. I had a 2015 GTI which was a great car, and after a few other cars/trucks in between, was in a B9 S4. I just got rid of the B9 for an RS 3. The S4 is really, really boring. It's quick, and the interior/infotainment is absolutely better than in the RS 3. But if you're trying to have honest fun in a car, that's not a route I'd recommend.

    26. Member Maximum_Download's Avatar
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      07-11-2019 03:26 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by cseaman View Post
      I would not recommend that. I had a 2015 GTI which was a great car, and after a few other cars/trucks in between, was in a B9 S4. I just got rid of the B9 for an RS 3. The S4 is really, really boring. It's quick, and the interior/infotainment is absolutely better than in the RS 3. But if you're trying to have honest fun in a car, that's not a route I'd recommend.
      So fun fact:

      As of this writing, the Golf R and the S4 P+ lease pretty much for exactly the same price. ANd from a lot of people, I am hearing that it would be a VERY tough choice - the R punches so far above its weight that it affects S4 purchasing decisions.

      The RS3 is a different animal (and one I can point to with some interest as my next car) but there are no lease rate support on them right now and dealers seem to feel they cure cancer (well, with one well-known Vortexer exception - you know who you are). If that changes then I would consider one, but current market forces put the RS3 at MORE real world price than a Giulia Quadrifoglio.
      Matt
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