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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Golf - R 5-dr hatch

Overview

Volkswagen's small-car flagship, the Golf R, loses some CCs and gains plenty

Volkswagen logo5 Nov 2010

IF you’re bored by the Golf GTI but can’t quite afford a BMW 335i then Volkswagen has an elegant solution in the guise of the R – a 188kW all-wheel drive grand tourer with terrific turbo punch, a rorty exhaust and all weather security, wrapped up in a classy quality package. After the disappointing R32, we were expecting another sub-GTI effort, but the Golf R proves that sometimes a substitute for cubic inches can exist. We didn’t want to give it back.
Model release date: 1 June 2010 to 1 March 2013

Previous model

MkV Golf R32

Released: July 2006
Ended: May 2010
Family Tree: Golf

WHILE the fifth-generation Golf GTI was an undisputed icon, the model that topped it in the price list did no such thing on the road – or in the sales charts. Available in either three-door or five-door hatchback configurations, the Golf R32 was too heavy, too expensive and too thirsty to keep up with its nimbler sibling. Under the bonnet was a 184kW/320Nm version of VW’s long-lived narrow-angle VR6 engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch DSG ‘auto’. Straight line performance was strong and linear and the multi-link rear suspension really could handle the power going through to the Haldex part-time four-wheel drive system, but the R32 never felt as entertaining or pure as the GTI and so failed to really leave its mark with enthusiasts.Nevertheless, sales were brisk enough for the company to work on the altogether superior Golf R replacement from 2010.

Get the full story: Two bodystyles and two transmission choices give VW's hot new Golf R32 wider appeal

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