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  1. So since Rebecca is giving me a hard time for not producing a review yet I thought I had better respond. I may not be able to match her skills as a wordsmith but will try! Oh and don’t forget this is all my opinions and is not my intent to offend in any way. I might refer to the RS3 a bit as that is my personal reference point and to some a direct competitor … although others may say it’s the S3. C7 VWR – 0 to 400 Miles Review Before driving So when I first saw the car in the showroom after it had been detailed (Thanks yet again to [email protected] http://www.firstchoicedetailing.co.uk/services/ i)I was finally sure that I chosen the right colour. As I had predicted the silver shows the subtle lines of the Golf R and that’s aligned with the subtle look I am after. The Golf R is a slightly more “delicate†look than my outgoing 8P RS3 so the softer colours suit it. A small detail I know but the look is certainly helped by the smooth number plates - Richard Steel @ Breeze VW must have got pretty tired of my constant reminder to ensure that they were not drilled! Partly due to a 24-hour test drive, partly due to VAG group standardisations, and partly due to all the stuff I have read here the interior of the car held no real secrets for me. The day before delivery when I took the showroom pictures I paired my phone and streamed some music. I like the R interior – it feels more compact and to hand than the RS3. The seats were always going to be a concern for me. Coming from the supportive buckets of the RS3, and before that the hugging and infinitely adjustable sports seats of the C63, I thought that I would end up sourcing some form of bucket seats in the future. More on that later. There is something really quite special about just sitting in a brand new car showing just 7 miles on the odometer. The last new car I had was my 135i Coupe and somehow I don’t remember feeling so special as I did absorbing the experience in a deserted showroom on a wet Sunday morning. Perhaps it is down to the fact that, in my opinion, the Golf R interior is actually a nice place to be! D Day Delivery day was wet and drab but that did not detract from my upbeat mood. Its only a Golf some may say – but its my Golf with only 7 miles on the clock. And although I had only spent 2 hours taking pictures and drinking the dealers coffee the previous day it is a special feeling having the expectation of driving a brand new car out of the showroom. Handover (a very nice bottle of Lanson Black label) was brief although that was my choice. Having driven a Golf R a couple of times including a 24 hour test drive it all seemed quite familiar. And the intricacies of the Tech would come with time. So plug in the iPhone – enable Apple Play and away I went. And it all felt so .. right! First journey was only a few miles to body shop to establish cost of Oettinger spray and fit and then back to working for the rest of the day. They say first impressions and all that – my abiding memory of Day One is a feeling. A feeling that the Golf R feels so planted and yet also dynamic – perhaps even nimble. It feels just so much lighter than the RS3 and yet the difference in unladen weight is only 80kg (1495 vs. 1575) Day Two – to now A 170 mile round trip to Guildford on Day 2 to have the forward facing camera wired in . First real opportunity to get above 4000 rpm , albeit only in bursts. I am “running in “ my car ,although I know I probably don’t need to , by staying away from the red line for the first 1000 miles and varying the speed and revs perhaps more than normal . Drive out in “Normal†with some miles in “Race†and amazed at the difference between the two – much more than I expected. And just for comparison back in Eco mode with ACC set between 65 and 70. The demo car I drove for a day was on 18†wheels and no DCC so I had specified 19†Pretorias and DCC blind really , trusting the opinions of others and my gut feeling. Definitely one of my better decisions – the Golf R IS those 2 cars that I expected it to be. Perhaps 3… It is raw and “drive me!†in Race , its fast and controlled in “Normal†, and its still fast but soothing in Eco. And petrol consumption for the round trip , that doesn’t really bother someone who does as few miles as I do but is interesting nonetheless , was 27.9 on the way (OK … couple of bursts on an empty A3 and some low gear stuff through the Hinehead Tunnel) and an amazing 36 on the way back. On the return trip got to mess around with some of the tech and I have to say I am more than happy with it – I know others have had issues but touch wood I haven’t. DAB is clear and I have station logos , Music either streamed through BT when phone in my pocket or through Apple Play when its plugged in is superb. My music taste is pretty eclectic with a fair R&B / HipHop bias , I listen to a lot of Podcasts on long journeys (together with TalkSport) and everything I listened to sounded great to me. The sound in the car even in Race is fine for me although I do suspect now (a week or so later) that a sports exhaust may be under consideration. But more on that later… One of my concerns were the seats not being supportive enough compared to the superb racing buckets in the RS3 but so far , and I have done a round trip to SW London this week , is that they are OK . Perhaps if I did 20k miles a year I might have to have a bit more lower back support. On the way back from London on Monday evening got to drive the car in the dark and the interior is a pretty cosy place to be. Dash Lighting is nice as is the foot wells and the blue needles not as in your face as I remember the 6R I test drove before the RS3. I reckon that the ride in race mode (doing a very subjective speed bump comparison in the roads approaching mine) is very similar to the RS3 but just a tad softer – which is fine by me. In fact in race mode it is all very similar to the RS3 – perhaps with the dial @9 instead of @10. I have now settled on an Individual setting that I am happy with to use most of the time, for now anyway, DCC - Normal; Steering - Normal; Drive - Sport; ACC - Normal; Dynamic Cornering Lights - Sport; Air Conditioning – Eco (Although might change this when weather is warmer); Interior Engine Sound – Sport. Overall – so Far (of course) It’s not taken long to bond with this car. It’s definitely a bit more me than the very capable RS3 8P that I struggled to really bond with (Perhaps the Milltek and cat delete were a step too far as the drone was starting to get on my nerves and I would probably have looked for a less “bassy†sound exhaust if I had kept it) I like it – I like the look , I like the way it drives, I like the ride, I like the feel, I like the sound (manufactured though it may be). All very subjective of course but that’s a car enthusiasts prerogative! Did I do the right thing not waiting till March 1st? Too bloody right !! Random observations ,perhaps some minor dislikes, some questions? · I thought I wouldn’t like stop/start but am used it now. Same with AutoHold which is a great feature – although probably more beneficial to anyone following me! But how come stop/start doesn’t seem to engage in Eco? Is it saying its more efficient to keep the engine running than stop and start it ? Or is it just me ? · I like the dynamic cornering lights. I didn’t even realise that they were standard. They work really well · I have pictures on my contacts on my phone but they don’t import into the Phone book ? Although you get pictures if use the phone through Apple Play · The ride height definitely needs to drop. Not much (perhaps 20-25mm). But I don’t want either warranty issues or to ruin the ride as it is just right (in all modes) · The piano black trim, in fact most of the dash, is a dust trap. Perhaps Ms Booth has a solution ?? · Perhaps more noticeable on silver is the way that the dirty air flows and sticks to the car. Its as though someone forgot to add tiny deflectors inside the wheel arch to push passing air a few nanometres away from the body. (I took some pictures but can't host them at the moment as Photobucket is down for maintenance) · How come VW don’t make a nice Key Fob holder for the key? With keyless (which I also really like because its cool to lock and unlock with just your hand and have a button to press to start the car!!) the key spends a lot more time in my pocket and hence I reckon will be more prone to being scratched. I have ordered my second one from China off EBay – the first one I got was pants but for £8 I can take the hit and use it to store the spare key! · I am already noticing that rust coloured dust is accumulating in the vents in the rear discs. This is the same as happened on the RS3. Needs to be monitored as does the state of the hub carriers although I do have a plan to treat those pretty soon. · Is it me or is the steering wheel perhaps an inch too big in diameter? I am still fiddling with my ideal driving position so perhaps its that. · The paddles are not as prominent as those in the RS3 but OK in the short term. My hands seem to be closer to quarter to 3 than I remember and so the paddles operated by ring/small fingers. The ST2 would work better , and look better, I think – I cant decide on the colour!! I know that black would blend in with the piano black trim but had a thought that there is also some nice silver accents around and that silver would look better … Have to decide pretty soon as they are in Februarys Car Spend Budget so need to get them ordered! Well that’s about it… thanks for listening
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