Why an R?


Drag Racing Champion
Philadelphia USA
Many on this forum either already own a Mk7 R or are planning on purchasing one. Why?

There are plenty of small hatchbacks (especially outside of the NA market), and even some which have far more performance than can be used legally on public roads; and many, many, more cars which offer more than adequate performance if you are open to other configurations beyond just hatchbacks. But you are willing to pay $40K (and even more in non-US markets) for a version of the VW Golf.

This is something I've had to explain to friends who I've told about being in on the pre-order for the 2015 R. For me to buy any car, it has to meet some strict criteria. First, I look for a car which can handle really well and has enough power to put a grin on my face. Fortunately, the past few years auto makers have been building a fair number of performance models. But a car also has to look good to me. Mazda produces some really good performance bargains, but unfortunately their design team needs to check into a rehab clinic before I'd even consider buying one. I'm also drawn to machines of all sorts which exude a sense of being well put together, in this case a car which feels solid--something you find in most German cars and few American ones (sorry Detroit, but it's still often true). I'm also looking for a do-it-all car: a car which I can cruise comfortably on the interstate, schlep home a table saw from the Home Depot , as well as insanely careen around back road corners on a Sunday afternoon. And, as I live in a city with crowded, narrow, streets, big is far from better; I need something which I can fit into a small parking place. But maybe most importantly, I want a car in which I will find myself experiencing a sense of "flow" almost as soon as I get behind the wheel.

For all but the last criteria, I know that the Golf R meets every test, and although I'm yet to drive the Mk7 R I have a sneaking suspicion that driving it will build a sense of man/machine/movement that is unlike anything you might experience driving a Chevy Impala. And honestly, no other car available in the US today does as well in my personal criteria as the R. Obviously, being so similar, the GTI meets every mark as well, and for less dosh, but in so many ways whatever the GTI can do, the R can do even better. So here I am, writing on this forum on a winter afternoon as I await for the spring US delivery of R #113.

What about the rest of you? What makes you so smitten with the Mk7 Golf R that you'd pay, or have already paid, an eyebrow raising price for this version of the VW Golf?


Ready to race!
You basically have said all the reasons I want mine as well. The versatility of it is the biggest. It's like having a Sports Car for 5 people and can haul stuff. :) Honestly, $40k was my limit, and I am glad it met that.


Ready to race!
West Sussex
You got it!


Passed Driver's Ed
Hyde Park, NY
You are all so right, but dammit! I'm waiting for Limesone Grey. I was up at midnight that night…and finally went to sleep around 1, knowing that I was letting an opportunity pass.

My first new car *ever* was an '84 GTI, black. I just know that my new R (whenever I get it) will be the modern iteration of that car that I loved so much almost exactly thirty years ago.

I'm really looking forward to more news and transparency from VWoA. I've been in contact with two salespeople and one sales manager. None of them has been proactive in trying to sell me a car. I'm tired of being an annoyance and want to be treated like someone with $40K to spend.

All I want is some encouragement, news, love…and a LSG R.

Wild Hare

2015 Golf R (TUNED)
I have been a VW enthusiast all my life since the Aircoolers.

I've always enjoyed modding them. I wished they bring a fast OEM VW to our shores for a long time. I almost bought a 2014 Golf R and then backed out. Still wanting a DSG like I have in my '07 GTI. I waited forever to get that GTI.

Now the time has come. A OEM VW with a ton of power, DSG and AWD. The AWD is what I miss in my '07 GTI. Before this car I had a '98.5 Audi A4 Quattro 1.8t.

I'm excited all over again (just like when I got the '07 GTI)!
Can't wait to get #267 and drive it!


Ready to race!
Simplistically put, we were looking for a small runabout for my wife as she thought at the time her GL AMG was too big for the school run. We wanted a Abarth 595 but the dealer didn't drop the price by 1 cent so I walked away. Then a friend who owns a tuning company told me about the new Golf R. This was December 2013, and within an hour I ordered one. Unseen, untested and there were no press reviews either.

To me it was a case of: it is a golf it can't be wrong, the image is good as in you can drive it in a ghetto and not be out of place and you can drive it in front of a stately country manor and still not be out of place. It has five doors, superb power, automatic and four wheel drive. What's not to like?

Anyway that was my reason. And I still love it 12K miles later. Although if the GLA AMG was out at the time that could have have been our smaller runabout if I am honest.


in heaven
Its because it is a multipurpose car, that already comes with things I would of done on a GTI anyway:

1. lowered stiffer suspension (only this is already calculated to perform optimally from the factory; unlike aftermarket which may actually make it worst in performance)

2. more power (no need for a tune so the engine and clutch should last as long as it is intended)

3. Exhaust tips (no need for a catback system)

4. HID standard

5. Bigger brakes (no need for performance pack)

6. Traction control off (no need to go into vagcom to mess with it)


Ready to race!
Ok my reasons ...

Owned an A8, based on my present circumstances I figured it would be better to lease a car out the company. Went to my local Audi dealer and started haggling. Everything went quiet for about two weeks, kept chasing and chasing these people. Was moaning about how lousy the service was and my wife said hey why do drive such a big car?

I said I don't know cause I like it. She said why don't you lease something smaller like a Golf. I thought ok, let's have a look. So I had a look on the lease site and thought hmm... I really like quattro so it will have to be four wheel drive. Ah there's one for £270 a month. Cushty ... So what it is the spec of an R ... 300bhp ... Yea that will do. I'll have a Golf ... LOL ...

So I ordered it.

It's funny in the US there seems to be a quality perception about VAG cars that just isn't justified. In Europe they are regarded as premium cars. So I've never driven a Mk7 Golf, much less a GTI or R. But I'm confident that for a couple of years it will be the ticket. After that ... who knows? Maybe another A8 or something else that's cheap to lease or a good buy second hand.


Drag Racing Champion
Philadelphia USA
"It's funny in the US there seems to be a quality perception about VAG cars that just isn't justified. In Europe they are regarded as premium cars."--Stevie

I think that's true and for two reasons. First, VW only took off as a marque in the 1960's when the Beetle became a pop culture icon. Small, sexy only because how not sexy it was, economical, Spartan, but very well built. As the brand grew in Europe, growing an expansive model range, VW held more steadfast on its original identity. Sure there were some exceptions to this with a few of its European models being sold here, but most upscale cars had a hard time competing with other brands as they were saddled with a "Spartan but well built" identity especially at a time when the Japanese were building competing cars which were even more reliable and not quite so minimalist. VWoA has further courted this identity by not even allowing some of the upscale features found on European vehicles to be available as options on their American counterparts. What we get here are one or two "option packages" of what VW feels might appeal to most Americans, and that's it--just look at the current situation with the Golf R. in 2015, we're getting either the "base" version or the "deluxe" one (which isn't all that deluxe); not even a choice of two door or four door, or a manual transmission or a DSG. In 2016, you can get a stick shift; well whoopee.

But another part of VW not being perceived as a premium line is to not compete with Audi. We all know that VW and Audi offer many models which are amazingly similar under the skin. In order to keep the impression that Audi's are a true premium brand, Corporate VW makes sure that many features only appear on the cars with the interlocking rings, despite the fact that they are available on most cars outside of the VW family, which makes the VW branded line live up to its Spartan perception.

The end result of this marketing strategy is that while Audi has enjoyed very healthy sales in the US for its market segment, the VW branded cars have barely moved off the dealer's lots for several years, the recent Golf being a refreshing exception. But there's really good news on the horizon for VWoA: Wolfsburg is in the process of giving it far more autonomy than it has ever had. Previously, all the major marketing decisions for the US were made in the corporate headquarters with VWoA only allowed the freedom as to how to implement those decisions. In 2015 and beyond, the American arm of VW will be charged with more fully determining what to sell here as well as how to sell it. Check back in 5 years to see if car buyers on this side of the pond still carry an unjustified perception about VW's--I've got my fingers crossed.


in heaven
In honesty, I feel the CLA 45 in the USA is a very good bang for the buck, as long as you don't care about caring stuff.

It has $2000 recaro option, awesome looking steering wheel, good brakes, 350 hp engine, etc.

-Haldex generation 4
-Can't carry much
-below average dual clutch gearbox


Ready to race!
San Diego
...because this one goes to 11.