To me, they are sort of aimed at different buyers and needs. If you're looking for the ultimate 'hot-hatch', the formula for these cars has always been front-wheel drive with a 'sporting' vs. 'luxury' focus. Yes the Golf R is both hot and a hatch, but doesn't fit the true original mould of the hot-hatch (mk1 GTI, 205 GTI, Xr3 etc)
The GTI is the back-road burner of the Golf range, (with the front diff) and I'd only take a Golf R over a GTI if I lived somewhere, where I needed AWD and used the car as a commuting appliance too (spec'd with DSG).
For any and every other circumstances, I'd take a GTI stick over the Golf R. I once heard someone describe the Golf R as a 'mini GT-R', and I think that's a more fitting description for the car. First time I drove my mk7 GTI with the performance pack on a twisty back road, I was literally speechless at the levels of grip and it's ability to slice through the curves without any fuss, and pull out of tight apexes.
I was leading a convoy of very capable cars (E92 M3, S2000, RX7) and I put a substantial gap on the following cars when the road got really tight. Once you've demolished a back-road, you have a comfortable and nice place to sit for your drive back home.
People love to bash the GTI, but if you get the opportunity to drive one for what they're intended for, it's hard to come away unimpressed by its overall talents.
This is the wheel:
Cadiz were also available in 18" which came with 225/40-18, but admittedly there was no OE All-Season on tire rack in 19" and I can't say for sure what size the R in the LL article has. If it is indeed 19", yeah, there's no real way that car had all seasons. Still, there's about a dozen other things I'd look at before I'd believe the GLI is faster.
Since I met him in 2015, he has owned the following:
(In order and all were brand new when he purchased them)
Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio
He said the Focus was the worst car he has ever owned. He would never recommend one to anyone. His perfect daily is a turbo charged, awd, stick, with nice interior and the R fits the bill for him. He has self admitted car ADD and usually buys a new car every year, but he said he’s going to hold onto the R for a few years as it was the best all around daily for him.
Besides the Golf R he has a ground up restoration ‘74 911 and he is working on restoring another 911 long nose.
He took his 911 out today and told me to take his R since he knows I am a big VW guy, but I haven’t driven one.
I liked it a lot. It was very planted and I love the digital cluster. I agree with a lot of posters and will say the GTI feels more ‘fun’ and even feels faster even though it isn’t. I would have a hard time justifying the 5k more for the R than I paid for my GTI. I would have more fun in my R32 than in an R even though the R crushed the R32 in every performance metric.
That being said, if the mk8 brings the sauce and a sunroof, I will have 2 R’s in my garage.
If you are going at a speed that causes you to run off the road before ESC can provide any assistance, you may not experience the benefits of ESC
RIP: 1989 Mercury Tracer 5 speed 3 dr hatchback, 1995 VW Jetta GL 6 speed, 1997 Jetta GLS 5 Speed, 1999 Ford Escort Wagon, 1998 Mercury Sable Wagon, 2011 Audi A4, 2012 Ford Focus SEL, 2013 Jetta 2.5 SEL w/ Navigation, Twin Reflex Silver Metallic 2015 GLI's (SEL & SE)
2016 Tiguan SE 4MotionOriginally Posted by Jezza
APR Stage 1/DDM Tuning Ultra HID 5500K/Neuspeed P-flo/AEM Dryflow BruteForce filter
Any car which holds together for a whole race is too heavy.
I understand its role, but other fwd and awd cars have shown it’s possible to have a “fun” handling bias, and the VAG products just aren’t there in my opinion.