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Decisions, decisions

cb1111

Newbie
Location
Virginia, USA
I realize that buying a car is a purely personal decision and outside influences shouldn’t guide my decision but I wanted your guys’ thoughts to see if I’m overlooking something.

A bit of background. I had a MkV GTI and then an R32. Loved both cars, hated the dealership. From there I moved on to a 335ix (worst car ever with the high pressure fuel pump failures that plagued most of these). I then wanted something reliable so I got an Acura TSX wagon (twice – I got a second after a Mercedes driver decided he wanted to effectively total the first) and that is what I am driving now.

The Acura is a perfectly nice car. It has sufficient power and handles quite nicely but the tech is a bit outdated and it clearly isn’t as sporting as the GTI/R. Our German Shepherd likes it as well. I suspect that I’ll talk my wife into dumping her Civic and she’ll take my Acura as it has (at 80k) half the miles of her Civic.

I’m going to give VW one last shot here in the US – but – do I get a GTI or do I get an R? While the $10k difference is quite substantial, it wouldn’t be a dealbreaker, but is the R really a better car for me?

I live (and drive) in Virginia, so stupid driving is out of the question if I want to continue driving (not that I would engage in stupid driving anyway) – but there is a possibility of some legal crazy driving with lights (no sirens) – happened on 9/11 and a couple of other times.

I tend to run winter tires and summer tires. My job does require me to be mobile in all weather conditions – even before the plows are out if need be (although that hasn’t happened in the last few years). I’ve not had issues with FWD in the last 5 years although I remember the GTI being a bit squirrely in weird weather on a standing start.

About 3 times a week I’m stuck in rush hour traffic for about an hour each way (12 miles). The other two days I’m usually visiting sites about 60 miles away – against traffic and usually departing the house at 5am and returning 6pm’ish – usually highways or multilane roads. A bit dicey in winter because one has to watch for Amish buggies going to one of the sites.

Most of the time if we go somewhere with the pooch and have somebody in the back seat, then we’ll most likely take the Acura, but the dog will see quite a bit of time in the GTI/R as I often take her along to site visits. Is there a decent dog barrier to fit behind the front seats (back seats folded) without screwing up the headliner?

With the exception of the snazzy dash, I think the GTI has the same technology as the R. It uses 87 octane gas and is $10k cheaper.

The R has better driving dynamics, smother takeoff and all weather confidence. It has that snazzy dash, a bit nicer seats but uses 91 octane.

Insurance costs are about the same when adjusted for the replacement values.

I’m kind of coming to the same conclusion as Car&Driver – the R is “better” but the GTI is the value champ.

Thoughts, opinions and comments are welcome. I’m posting this in both the GTI and R forums.
 

XM_Rocks

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
I went through this when I bought mine in 2016.

For me it came down to not wanting to pay MSRP for the Golf R and giving up a sunroof.

I ended up getting the GTI about $11k cheaper because I could use incentives.

If the Golf R would have had a sunroof and a modest discount I would have went with it.
 

cb1111

Newbie
Location
Virginia, USA
I went through this when I bought mine in 2016.

For me it came down to not wanting to pay MSRP for the Golf R and giving up a sunroof.

I ended up getting the GTI about $11k cheaper because I could use incentives.

If the Golf R would have had a sunroof and a modest discount I would have went with it.
So I only use the sunroof to put my coffee cup on as to not scratch the paint but yeah - it kind of bugs me to see a $5k difference in MSRP (and .9% financing) but a $10k difference in selling price.
 

XM_Rocks

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Austin, TX
So I only use the sunroof to put my coffee cup on as to not scratch the paint but yeah - it kind of bugs me to see a $5k difference in MSRP (and .9% financing) but a $10k difference in selling price.
I rarely even open the sunroof.

I just love the extra light from it and the feeling of warmth on a cold/sunny day on the top of my shaved head. :D
 

GTI Jake

Autocross Champion
Location
Charlotte, NC
Gti Sport

Has everything you need, nothing you don’t. Efficient and a great value, but still a blast to drive, especially with mods.

R is cool, but not 40k cool imo
 

Strange Mud

Autocross Newbie
Location
Small Town CT
Car(s)
2017 GTI (+3 more)
GTI and 10K worth of something else (that can include savings).

10K will get you a used truck/Sunday Picnic car/2 weeks worth of high end vacation/something for Mrs. CB/a good bit of a renovation/etc
 

scrapin240

Drag Race Newbie
Location
IzzaGolf
Car(s)
Golf
Gti Sport

Has everything you need, nothing you don’t. Efficient and a great value, but still a blast to drive, especially with mods.

R is cool, but not 40k cool imo
They don't make them any longer, unless OP is buying used. And I would agree that GTI Sport was the best package for the MK7.

I would get an R if I had the coin, but the GTI at around 12K difference is really a steal.
 

SpaceGhost

Ready to race!
Location
Coast to Coast
The difference between an R and a GTI doesn't justify the massive price difference. What they should do is offer an AWD version of the GTI. That would be ball park add 2K to the price and that would be the car to buy. When you get up over 40K there are much better cars for the price.

Have you considered a WRX? It's fast awd and the price is reasonable
 

scrapin240

Drag Race Newbie
Location
IzzaGolf
Car(s)
Golf
The difference between an R and a GTI doesn't justify the massive price difference. What they should do is offer an AWD version of the GTI. That would be ball park add 2K to the price and that would be the car to buy. When you get up over 40K there are much better cars for the price.

Have you considered a WRX? It's fast awd and the price is reasonable
Have you sat in a WRX? it feels third world compared to a GTI/R
 

Strange Mud

Autocross Newbie
Location
Small Town CT
Car(s)
2017 GTI (+3 more)
are the 2018's GTI's still having the big $ discounts? Some reading was those deals were harder to find.
 

tknj99

Ready to race!
Location
Central VA
Nobody diminishes the greatness of the R on this forum, but like mentioned previously, the price differential is too great to ignore, especially when it opens up other possibly better choices.. if the R were only a $5k increase in price, it would be an easier decision, but $10+, no thanks.. tune, tires, and sway bar for $1-2k and all is well again with the GTI
 
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