2022 Volkswagen Golf R review: An even hotter hatch

The Golfing R is mighty offended from just about every single angle.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

We ought to rely our lucky stars that Volkswagen even resolved to convey the eighth-technology Golfing to the US. Immediately after decimating the very affordable German car’s lineup for 2022, only two variants continue to be destined for our amber waves of grain: The hopped-up GTI and the even-hoppier Golfing R. The former Golfing R was enjoyment, but it did not really feel like it was truly its own car or truck. That’s adjusted in the model’s most up-to-date technology, where by this incredibly hot hatch has eventually appear into its own.


  • Aggressive design
  • Aggressive powertrain
  • Aggressive every thing, really

Will not Like

  • Dumb cup holders
  • From time to time dumb telematics

Blue plaid? Will not thoughts if I do

If you’ve in no way discovered, VW’s functionality hatchbacks are shade-coded, with the GTI leaning greatly on purple and the Golfing R relying on blue. That visible differentiation is a little bit extra obvious this time all over, thanks in large section to a vivid-blue strip that spans the width of the front stop, which even now has a little bit of the ol’ sloping-brow glance thanks to the new fascia. There are a good deal extra visible dissimilarities that established the GTI and Golfing R more aside from just one an additional, like the Golfing R’s extra aggressive bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels and the not-so-large-I might-call-it-obscene rear wing. Mix that all and you have a Golfing R that eventually has some visible bark to match its bite. The new glance is quite visually aggressive, despite the fact that it can be truly worth mentioning that the wheels and wing on my check car or truck are section of an Effectiveness Deal, so you might be ready to skip ’em if you prefer. (The early check car or truck revealed here is really a European-spec design, and it can be unclear at this time if VW will give this tools as an alternative or if the business will just bundle every single US-spec car or truck with it.)

The interior has a number of vital dissimilarities, but it can be mainly the similar encounter you get in lesser Golfing variants. R-particular touches consist of loads of blue contrast stitching, unique dashboard trim and an outstanding pair of sporty front seats with integrated headrests and bitchin’ blue plaid inserts. The seats themselves aren’t so restricted as to alienate areas of the American sector, but they are even now supportive in the proper ways when the driving receives spirited.

Or else, the cabin is just as welcoming and functional as it is on the GTI. The doorway pockets are carpeted for your satisfaction and will hold a good deal of junk, as will the glove compartment, but the heart armrest’s cubby remains much too compact for, say, a purse. There is a distinctive place ahead of the shifter for your cellular phone, which you can near into its dock for utmost distraction avoidance. The trunk will hold a good deal for a car or truck of this measurement, much too, with about 13.five cubic ft of storage on give. The only serious usability bummer is the cup holder, which attempts to be intelligent with moving areas, but frequently ends up incapable of executing its job, specially if you deign to have two drinks up front at when.

Often hustlin’

The former Golfing R’s functionality often felt Alright, but in no way great, like it was a GTI that had long gone to a tuner for some further pep in its stage. That improvements with this 2022 design. The honkin’ tailpipes out again give extra than a subtle hint that there’s something solid under the hood, which in this circumstance is a 2.-liter turbocharged I4 placing out 315 horsepower and 310 pound-ft of torque.

For these keeping monitor at dwelling, that is 27 hp and 30 lb-ft bigger than its predecessor, and boy, howdy is that bump instantly recognizable. No matter of push method, the motor and its 7-velocity dual-clutch automated thrust me along on a wave of minimal-stop torque, seemingly in no way needing to eclipse three,000 rpm to get me up to what ever velocity I will need. But when the time is proper, the motor will hustle at bigger revs, screaming its 4-pot tune to the exterior earth. Shifts in both instructions are lightning quick and devoid of clunks or other detrimental characteristics. It all just works.

Every single 2022 Golfing R arrives with adaptive dampers and steering, so car or truck push options ought to really feel the similar across all illustrations. Consolation method does a decent job in everyday use, with a good deal of offered electrical power underfoot paired with a suspension that soaks up some, but not all road nastiness — after all, the alloys are huge and the 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summer months tires are thin. Sport companies every thing up, and it can be my desire for spirited driving — VW’s, much too, as this environment is the default method when starting off the car or truck. Race is a little bit much too, um, racy for most American backroads and is probably very best reserved for monitor times. But no matter the underlying modes, the Golfing R feels like a distinctly distinctive design this time all over, offering entire-assed functionality that feels an complete tier higher than the GTI.

The earlier talked about optional Effectiveness Pack also provides Nürburgring and Drift modes the previous sets the car or truck up specially to handle Germany’s famous Nordschleife racetrack, and Drift eases up on traction control though building absolutely sure the rear axle receives as significantly electrical power as it can. There is also an Specific method if, like me, you want most of Sport’s rewards with no the detriment to trip good quality.

Is the new Golfing R productive? Yeah, I might say so. The EPA has however to launch estimates for this new design, but for context, the former just one managed 23 mpg city and 30 mpg freeway, which isn’t really terrible for a potent AWD incredibly hot hatch. The numbers might pattern southward presented the excess oomph, but powertrain progress becoming what it is, I’m absolutely sure VW managed to keep rather near to the outdated figures. In my time invested not grinning like an idiot in switchbacks, I see freeway figures proper all over 30.

Like the outdated Golfing R, when you slide into the driver’s seat, all that matters is getting enjoyment. And don’t fret, enjoyment is not tough to appear by.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Infotainment typically a hit, but some misses

Now that I’ve skilled VW’s newest, flashiest infotainment process in two unique cars and trucks, I can see earlier some of Find Pro’s frippery and encounter its rough edges. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Car are onboard, and it can be distinct that VW understands the pattern towards smartphone mirroring, due to the fact its native infotainment process rather significantly appears to be like like CarPlay on its ten-inch display screen. The hardware boots swiftly, but if my fingers are much too fast, the process can commence tripping about alone, managing just one tap like two or just straight-up disregarding my requests until finally it feels like it. All those ordeals are number of and considerably involving, and items could really properly modify for the greater by the time the to start with cars and trucks get there in showrooms later on this 12 months, but it can be truly worth mentioning. Two USB-C ports up front usually means products charge swiftly, but if you prefer a trickle, a Qi wireless pad is proper beneath ’em.

VW Team has been a longtime proponent of electronic gauge clusters, and the tale stays the similar here. A ten.three-inch electronic cluster features up an spectacular selection of models to peruse, changing what details receives your eyes’ precedence. You can view a entire-monitor map or investigate audio choices in larger depth, but I prefer to go away the readouts in a extra classic gauge method. A head-up display screen more lowers distraction by beaming car or truck velocity, velocity restrict indicators and extra proper to your peepers.

Volkswagen might have long gone a little bit overboard on touch capacity, though. The steering-wheel buttons purpose as both touchpads and standard buttons, which can direct to some awkward operate on the quantity slider. The local climate control is entirely electronic, which can be frustrating, much too, as it usually means swapping via menus to modify common capabilities like lover velocity. Temperature and quantity controls are available on sliders beneath the display screen, but for some rationale, they aren’t illuminated at night time.

With any luck ,, some of the Golfing R’s technological kinks are ironed out before its official US debut.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

So, how significantly will the Golfing R value? I have no thought. The outgoing Golfing R was previously a hair about $40,000 when it was discontinued again in 2019, and presented the newfound functions and electrical power in its successor, it can be probably that the value of entry will increase. That’s a tall question for a Volkswagen Golfing, even just one as spectacular as this. But then again, a Honda Civic Sort R is approximately $39,000 these times, and the VW does really feel extra quality, so probably that is just what state-of-the-art incredibly hot hatchery expenses at present. For a person lifted on reasonably priced incredibly hot hatches, that is even now a tricky pill to swallow, even though this new design would not be puzzled with a one.8-liter Golfing anymore.

If you do make your mind up to acquire a dive into the deep stop, the 2022 Volkswagen Golfing R is immensely rewarding. It is really a hoot and a 50 % on any road, straight or curvy, and now extra than at any time, it feels like a design that can stand on its own as a correct functionality car or truck.