I've owned my R for 6 years now and still adore it. I drove it off the lot for 35.5k, which was tough to find since dealers were not budging much on this model. The performance, the styling, the hatchback functionality, build quality, it's is all there (as it should be for the price). The design spanks anything in its class, (looking at you Subaru, EVO, Ford RS, Honda Type-R etc...) At the time VW was only releasing this model every 4 years so as an owner, it's been cool to drive a car that I don't see at every other turn like most cars in LA. The interior of the car is very spacious, fits 5 adults easily, excellent for very tall drivers and yet still maintains a short footprint making it easier to squeeze into tight spaces. This car has been so much fun to drive, it's been difficult to not get into trouble as this car can haul some ass. The AWD drive is a step up over any FWD, but could still use some tweaking, at times you still get some torque steer and it seems to kick in late on heavy cornering. There's a bit of turbo lag, due to its larger turbo but once you wind up the engine to 3500 RPM this thing is a beast! You need to be an experienced manual trans driver to get the most out of this car. There's a bit of body roll as well, but the sport suspension makes for a good balance of comfort and responsive handling which is important when driving in LA county's notoriously terrible roads. My sore points: some of the radio settings are buried under too many menus, the body roll, the not so perfect AWD, the seats aren't super comfortable for long hauls, the A/C temperature is only either cold or not, luckily there's many fan settings and vents to maneuver the air around, the electronic speed limiter :(. The car feels heavy and solid and the exhaust note although not obnoxious, can def get your blood pressure rising. As for maintenance, dealer handled the first 36k miles which made the first 3 years super easy. I recently had to replace the clutch slave cylinder at 55K, it was a dodgy plastic part (now made of metal), and was a real bear to replace, but other than that, the car has been rock solid and I have only had to replace wear n' tear items. I've been pleasantly surprised with its overall reliability, especially for a European car, and aside from the few complaints above, I still love my R and have no plans to get rid of it. This one is going to be a lifer.
For me, when it comes to driving a smaller car, I used to get nervous - poor performance coupled with inexpensive looks and low-end interiors. I reluctantly paid the premium for the Golf R Nav 4-Dr. After trekking home 8 hours from 3 states away, sleeping off the payment shock, and ignoring the guilt, I am relieved that I adore the car.
-4 motion - no tire jump in wet weather
-Styling - it's as fun to look at as drive
-Anticipated resale value though I may have to keep this one
-Never having to use the key to open the door
Move the push button starter to somewhere else, add a full power seat, install a switch for the soundaktor, upgrade to HD radio
I've only had mine since Saturday 4/21/12 and it was a fluke that I got it. I believe is the first sold in AR. I've owned a '91 Galant VR4 (modded) and most recently an Infiniti FX45 so I'm not a stranger to powerful AWD cars, but both past cars lacked in handling. I was looking at a WRX but it seemed cheap inside. This Golf is very nice fit & finish inside, handles really well, and eagerly accelerates, redline comes quick. I don't really notice any noisiness, have used the bluetooth featurewith the windows down while winding out 4th gear. I didn't really need a GPS, Sunroof, or dynaudio. The carbon steel gray metallic paint give's it that serious machine look. This is my new daily driver.
engine power, smooth and easy shifting 6-speed, Driver's seat fit, head lights that aim where you steer, AWD, LED Daytime running lights, 3 yr maintenance included, The buying experience at NorthPoint was outstanding.
A car with the Golf R specs shouldn't be sold with "H" rated tires. Auto-on headlights would be nice.
I just drove home in a fully loaded Type R. It's everything I expected. While I'll wait a bit before sticking my foot in the firewall, the car seems to get up and go pretty much as reviewers have reported. Handling, fit and finish are great too. Ride is pretty much comparable to my Mercedes 350SLK, firm but not punishing.
The user interface to the car's nav, stereo, etc. is first rate, better thought out than my Audi's MMI. I'm hard pressed to figure, however, why VW failed to include a Homelink transmitter.
AWD with a 6-speed manual tranny, a combo that has all but disappeared from the market.
Additionally, the car's ergonomics are great both for 6' 210 pound me and my 5'1" 105 pound wife who will use the car as her daily driver.
Offer three options:
(1) a power seat; (2) a Homelink transmitter; and (3) a variable rate suspension.
Unfortunately, America's roads don't measure up to those in the Fatherland.
Travel on a road with miles of bad expansion joints would not be pleasant.
Quiet down the car's boy-racer exhaust note that is too evident during city driving.
provide a driver cut-out option for those who think echo cans are sophisticated stuff.