Used 2019 Volkswagen Golf R Consumer Reviews

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$39,671 - $43,995

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Best Performance Hatch

Nick Brooks, 10/24/2019
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
19 of 19 people found this review helpful

Before I bought the R, I was looking for a newer GTI, but after test driving the R, I was blown away by this car. The little 2L 4 cylinder definitely puts a smile on my face every time I give it gas and the awesome AWD compliments it perfectly when taking harsh corners. In my opinion, the Golf R is better than the GTI in every way, except for the price. The R has definitely exceeded my expectations in every way from performance to comfort and technology. One of my favorite things about the R is the style, it isn't all sporty and flashy like the red accents on the GTI, instead it is more reserved and blends well with the crowd, until you get on it, of course. Overall I highly recommend the Golf R over the GTI if you do have a little extra in your spending range.

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Best little rocket on the road for the price

CValeBoston, 12/28/2019
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
15 of 15 people found this review helpful

I have owned six Audi TTs (all three generations) and loved them all, but I’ve always lusted after the TTS because of its more powerful engine. While the DSG with paddle shifters on the TT is lightning fast and fun, it still isn’t as fun as manual transmission in my opinion. And there’s no way I can afford the TTS, so I opted for a 2019 VW Golf R in one of the 40 special-order Spektrum colors. The four-month wait was worth it. Besides getting the same engine as the TTS, I got a car in a color I wanted with manual transmission and with several safety features not offered on the TT. The adaptive cruise control is great, and the lane warning system notifies you but gently tugging the wheel back in the correct lane but without the annoying chimes and buzzers that many other cars use. This is not your grandfather’s Golf; it’s a stylish all-wheel-drive rocket. I much prefer the understated design to that of the Honda Civic Type R, Subaru WRX STI and Ford Focus RX, which are great if you’re 16 but a tad too showy for someone like me (definitely not 16). At the same time, the design is anything but boring with dual chrome exhausts, special body molding, and aggressive LED headlights. Everything about the R feels tight and right: steering, clutch, shifter, breaks. And then there’s the power; let’s just say it’s more than ample. But not too thirsty as I’m averaging 29 MPH combined highway and city. In my experience, there’s virtually no turbo lag as long as I downshift appropriately. The large touchscreen is better and more intuitive than anything I’ve used before, including our other car, a 2018 Subaru Forester. Seats are comfortable and supportive. There’s ample storage for me, but remember, I’m coming from a TT. I love the car and can’t help grinning every time I get in it. PROs: • Design and availability of 40 colors • Availability of a manual transmission • TTS engine for about $10K less • Comfortable and practical cabin with intuitive controls CONs: • Because Audi/VW’s direct shift gearbox is so good, the manual is a tad slower; not a problem for me but might be for some • Side mirrors do not automatically dim when there’s a car behind with brights on (the rearview mirror does) • Only one USB port and the placement is really awkward and hard to get to • No wifi; I understand this will be available in 2020 models with Car-Net but cannot be retrofitted. Bummer. Would I buy it again? In a heartbeat.

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Still a remarkable car in many, many ways

Mark, 07/29/2019
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
29 of 31 people found this review helpful

I have owned many performance cars including 3 Porsches, 2 Audi, and 2 BMW M3's over the years. This is my last fun car purchase and my official "retirement" car. I owned a 2015 Golf R and loved it. I can not overstate how satisfying this little car is. It is a true sleeper, fun, agile, comfortable and the kind of car that makes even mundane trips to the market an experience. I drove my 2015 R and put 81K miles on it and never had even a tiny issue. Interior is very comfortable , Tech features including Apple car play, Fender sound system and fantastic variable sports & drive settings are as good as the $75+ Audi S series cars. The dynamic headlights are just amazing (Porsche good). All one needs to remember is that this little hot hatch is packed w/ goodies that trickle down from Porsche & Audi. As for the price difference between the fully loaded VW GTI and the R: I purchased a 2018 GTI ,drove it 6 months and then test drove the new 2019 R. For my passions and needs there is NO real comparison. The R is a better car by a good margin & for me is worth the cost. Hands down. I keep reminding myself that a car is only a car but the noble little Golf R is literally a masterwork at it's price point.

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Good AWD performance at a price

Nathan Apticar, 06/16/2019
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
40 of 45 people found this review helpful

I’ve had this car for about 8K miles and one year. I have driven the car in four inches of snow and solid ice, and driven a 500+ mile trip from western Texas to Colorado up through Raton Pass, NM. Overall, it’s an amazing vehicle. I still recommend buying it over the GTI if your budget allows. The four drive modes (eco, comfort, normal, race, and custom) make a difference in ride comfort and acceleration. Normal mode does well for everyday driving, comfort mode noticeably smoothes out the bumps on the highway, and race mode significantly reduces the turbo lag to get you going extremely quickly, changes the shift points, and tightens up the suspension. I average about 20 mpg in the spirited way I drive, but can get 29 mpg on the highway when I drive reasonably. The DSG is very responsive; rarely have to use the paddle shifters to downshift. I chose the DSG over the manual because of the stop-and-go traffic when commuting to/from work each day and because Edmunds' expert reviews revealed the DSG is faster than the manual. One update after 8Kmiles: off-the-line acceleration in Normal mode results in significant and annoying turbo lag; I find myself driving in Sport mode most of the time to reduce the lag. Still considering APR-Plus tune. The interior is of high quality soft touch materials, plastics and leather. The cabin is quiet for a car with 35 series summer tires. Spoiler: there’s no spare tire. The seats have excellent bolstering and the driver’s seat is 12-way adjustable; both front seats are perforated and heated. The digital dash is cool and customizable. The sound system is very good and the interface is very user friendly and responsive. I had to refer to the owner's manual because of the many ways to customize the electronics of the car. Additional gadgets: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, auto wipers, nav, adaptive suspension, auto LED lights all around, mini SD card slot onto which to load music, ability to direct cooled air into the glove compartment, ability to have nav and other displays in the central part of the digital dash, and cool blue ambient lighting strips in the doors and on the front door sill scuff plates. Update: I do would like a lockable compartment in the car. The center console has a storage compartment and the arm rest slides forward and can be adjusted for height. Through a recall, added the performance monitor (gimmicky). The exterior. The paint is excellent and smooth; no orange peel effect. The ground effects are cool looking and don’t detract from the overall smooth and adult vibe of the car. Once I washed the car by hand, I discovered just how difficult it is to clean all of those nooks and crannies of the plastic ground effects. Some downsides (still worth it in my opinion). The purchase price is about $10K more than the GTI and VW does not give much of a discount as it claims there are limited units arriving at US shores each year; of course, none for 2020 and maybe 2021. The front seats are comfortable, but the seating position is low. If you're larger than I am (5'9, 180 lbs), then it will be a tight and maybe uncomfortable fit; applies especially to getting in and out of the car and side bolsters around the upper back and shoulder areas. The steering doesn't telescope or tilt as far as I initially liked, but it does have a flat bottom, so that makes getting in and out of the car a little easier. The piano black plastic trim used extensively throughout the front of the cabin get dusty and shows finger prints very easily. Of course, this goes for the 8" display, too. The car demands premium fuel; costs about $40 to fill up and takes me about 350 miles in mixed driving. Finally, there are the summer tires that are not run flats and there's no spare tire. You can get the Euro spare tire kit online for about $300. I replaced my stock summer tires with Ultra High Performance All Season tires, Continental DWS-06. The car did very well in 4" of snow and ice. Handling on dry and warm roads was only slightly better with summer tires. I wish the 12V outlet were co-located with the USB port in front of the shifter so my radar detector cord didn't stretch across the cup holders to the base of the center arm rest. Apple CarPlay: phone fails to connect to car about 50% of the time; have to plug it in again to make it work. I blew the 20A fuse for the 12V outlets each time I plugged in the factory air compressor; don’t know. There is no fuse diagram in the owner's manual or car; Googled it. Nevertheless, driving this car is a blast. I’m in my late 40s and have owned several sports cars and luxury sports sedans. I highly recommend this car if you enjoy cars, driving fast, feeling connected to the road, high quality materials, and a sleeper that will easily compete with the average high performance sports car in a straight line, but smoke it in the twisties. It’s amazing in Colorado. Finally, it’s not very common, making it even cooler to drive.

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I've loved both my R's!

Allen C., 08/23/2019
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
15 of 16 people found this review helpful

I'm driving a 2017 and my son continues to drive my 2011. Both have been great cars, but the 2017 is better for it's real world power. The earlier car was plenty fast, but you needed to run it pretty hard to gain much over a standard GTI, but the 2017 develops torque earlier and is definitely worth the premium price. One thing you should know is that the clutch on the manual is not up to the task of handling all that torque. At 45K miles it started to slip in high gears under WOT. I've never worn out a clutch on car with less than 100K miles on it, so I was surprised to say the least. The good news is I used it as an excused to install a performance clutch and an APR stage one tune (high torque version). WOW. 370HP and 383 foot pounds of torque. It is now very fast. According to the tuner, the clutch situation is not unusual for the R, given it's the same as the GTI's and with the extra power and grip, the wear all goes on the clutch. The early car is still on the original clutch with over 200K by the way. Anyway, I'm still giving the car 5 stars... it's that good

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