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ColinC2

Thoughts on my R after 10 days

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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  :afro:

 

 

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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.

 

 

Did I do the right thing not waiting till March 1st? Too bloody right !!

 

 

Well that’s about it… thanks for listening  :afro:

 

A superb write up Colin, even if you were 'encouraged' to do it shall we say.   :afro:

 

It’s great to read that you are enjoying the R, especially as you were still flirting with the likes of the A45 just days before your new mistress turned up!   But the Merc and all other competition cast aside, and your R now in your possession, it comes across very strongly, that you and your new R have well and truly bonded from the off, and is in your own words "my Golf".  Sounds like the start of a great relationship, and one I will be interested to hear more of as you go through your ownership.  I intend to do a 6 month update review of mine in a couple of months and I’m sure you will similarly oblige. Otherwise I’ll give you another hard time, lol.

 
I think Reflex Silver is an inspired colour choice, it perfectly suits the neat, sharp creases of the mk7, and beautifully reflects the light off the panels, just imagine it in the summer sun!  Plus there's the not insignificant bonus that it will continue to look good even when a grubby, an area where almost every other colour fails miserably.
 
I’m really pleased to hear that you found the R cabin a special place to be, even though, after much time on here, it was a familiar sight to you.  That’s one of the many things I love about performance Golfs interiors - the familiarity of the design, progress being the oft quoted “evolution not revolutionâ€, which also applies to all aspects of the car, inside and out. 
 
I agree that the Prets and DCC combination is a great pairing.  I also agree that the car sits too high, especially on 19’s but lowering will take care of that.

The rust on the rear discs is a common, but random and unwelcome problem, as is the rust which some of us (but not others) have developing on the hubs but you will know that there is a remedy for that.
 
The gloss piano dash has actually turned out to be less of a dust magnet than I first thought. I think it is when it’s brand new but seems to settle after a while. The solution is of course, to keep it regularly cleaned. A good anti-static trim cleaner such as Poorboys Natural Look Dressing does the trick and keeps the dust at bay, and a handy can of compressed air for blasting the dust in between proper cleaning sessions is enough.  Plus if you get the Vac n Blo, you can go to town with the miniscule crevice tools and detail the dust away to to your heart's content.
 
The paddles are typical VW plastic rubbish but will be a distant memory when you fit your S2T shifters, when you decide on a colour that is - silver would seem a good choice for your car.  But I absolutely love the polished black I opted for.
 
Thanks for the excellent and comprehensive write up and long may you enjoy your R.  Look forward to watching it's progress, not least when you get our own detailing hands on it in the coming months.  :)  

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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  :afro:

Didnt realise the Golf R had cornering lights as standard???

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Found this an interesting read as I'm currently struggling to like the car. 

 

I thought I'd like the press, I don't.

 

I thought it would be I wouldn't need the speed that I had in my 6r, arguably I don't, but I still miss it (presume this is the same coming from an RS3)

 

Really don't like the fake sound. 

 

I'm in 2 minds whether to do anything to the car (I'm almost treating it with the respect of someone else car atm) due to not being able to fully like it. 

 

I can't figure out the stop start, some times it works, sometimes it doesn't.

 

Overall I have to concede that its a better car than my 6r. 

 

 

It's just...I don't know, too artificial? Glad your enjoying it though.

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Found this an interesting read as I'm currently struggling to like the car. 

 

I thought I'd like the press, I don't.

 

I thought it would be I wouldn't need the speed that I had in my 6r, arguably I don't, but I still miss it (presume this is the same coming from an RS3)

 

Really don't like the fake sound. 

 

I'm in 2 minds whether to do anything to the car (I'm almost treating it with the respect of someone else car atm) due to not being able to fully like it. 

 

I can't figure out the stop start, some times it works, sometimes it doesn't.

 

Overall I have to concede that its a better car than my 6r. 

 

 

It's just...I don't know, too artificial? Glad your enjoying it though.

 

First, turn off stop-start. It sucks. It won't work if you have it in some driving modes.

 

Next, get a DTUK pedalbox. Improves throttle response.

 

Finally, get it mapped to stage1 by Unicorn or APR or similar. Takes 1-2 hours. 0-60 in ~3.8secs. Faster than 99% of all cars on the road.

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Found this an interesting read as I'm currently struggling to like the car. 

 

I thought I'd like the press, I don't.

 

I thought it would be I wouldn't need the speed that I had in my 6r, arguably I don't, but I still miss it (presume this is the same coming from an RS3)

 

Really don't like the fake sound. 

 

I'm in 2 minds whether to do anything to the car (I'm almost treating it with the respect of someone else car atm) due to not being able to fully like it. 

 

I can't figure out the stop start, some times it works, sometimes it doesn't.

 

Overall I have to concede that its a better car than my 6r. 

 

 

It's just...I don't know, too artificial? Glad your enjoying it though.

 

It's a shame you are not liking your car so much.  I know what you mean by too artificial.  For all the tech, enhancements and so-called driver aids, the result is a diminishing of real driver engagement, to a degree.  But in some ways you just have to accept that that's the way of the modern car.  The fake sound can be unplugged if needs be. Maybe modifying it is the way to go for you, to stamp your identity on it and make it 'your own'.  What do you think you'd go for?  Remap, lowering, exhaust?  But there'll always be some cars you truly bond with, and some you don't.

 

Stop/start doesn't work in Race mode, and there are other certain preconditions that have to be met for it to become active.  If your engine hasn't reached a minimum temp or if the cabin temp is outside the preset temp on the aircon unit, and it won't activate if you are using the windscreen demisters etc.

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 What do you think you'd go for?  Remap, lowering, exhaust?  But there'll always be some cars you truly bond with, and some you don't.

 

 

I can empathise with the bonding thing as over the years I have had more cars than I would like that I have failed to enjoy , despite them being to others desirable , exciting, involving etc. Audi S2 , BMW E92 M3, Porsche 964 Turbo 2 , BMW 535i Sport spring immediately to mind. And there are others that for various reasons I did not expect to bond with but did from minute one. Mercedes C63 AMG, BMW X5 and the Golf R are in that category.

 

I have never been a big modifier of cars , believing that the manufacturer has got the balance 99% right, but the one that I did , E46 M3, I lowered 30mm,  changed the wheels, put on a Supersprint exhaust, and then chopped it in for the CSL a few months later i.e. bought the car that I wanted in the first place (Lighter, more involving, louder).

 

So I think if you have to start modding a car to bond with it then you are already lost ? If you modify it because its part of your DNA then thats different. 

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      I absolutely LOVE the Golf R in standard form. I love how the DSG works and how comfy and refined the car is so when my local Revo dealer contacted me direct I was a bit hesitant. I didn't want to ruin the ride etc on the Golf R. My last car, a 420bhp Focus RS, had 3 maps and I was never satisfied with them. They are were generic maps and the last one I had made a loud knocking noise when on boost. I suspect it was because of our weak fuel in Northern Ireland.
       
      Anyways, the Revo dealer got to me and assured me it would be all ok. Talking to them and private mailing some members on here asking about advice on the map.
       
      So, about the stage one map, I took advantage of their Black Friday sales and also got a good deal on top of that too.
       
      The map is just simply awesome! The Golf R, although in standard form was awesome, is brutally fast and brings me back to the days when I had the RS. It is faster with the amazing grip.
       
      But it is exactly what I wanted. It is fast yet everything else is the same..the DSG doesn't hesitate, none of the points change because it wasn't a DSG tune, it is still extremely usable and still the refined car when you are taking it easy on the motorway or in town. So good that my wife doesn't know I've remapped the car. It is only until you boot it that's when you notice. It's so smooth and just pulls and pulls. The revs just go to the other side really fast!
       
      All in all- Wow it is definitely worth the upgrade. 
       
      Another reason why I didn't want a tuning box is because you couldn't adjust the timing/fueling etc. Plus a few people told me not to haha. 
       
      Sorry for the essay but I am sure there are other people like me wanting to know or there is something holding them back. Just go do it!!!
       
      Here are some random snaps:
       
      VW Golf R Revo by Eric C., on Flickr
      VW Golf R Revo by Eric C., on Flickr
      VW Golf R Revo by Eric C., on Flickr
      VW Golf R Revo by Eric C., on Flickr
      VW Golf R Revo by Eric C., on Flickr
    • By JonSpriggs
      So what do we have here?
       
      Well, this isn’t an all-new car. The Polo GTI in Mk5 form has been with us since 2011, but given how much Volkswagen have changed on this, the facelift version, it may as well be all-new.
       
      Gone is the 1.4TSI engine that was both supercharged and turbocharged, we now have a much more grown up 1.8TSI motor with 192PS, 12 more than the old car had. It serves up 236lb- ft of toque too, a huge gain on the 180lb ft the old engine offered. Gone too is the DSG gearbox, yes you can still spec it, but a six-speed manual now comes as standard.
      So the big question then, does this new Polo live up to its name, is it a proper GTI?
       
      Well it’s quick enough… 0-62mph is dealt with in 6.7 seconds, and the Polo will tramp on to a top speed of 146mph. Off the line it doesn’t actually feel that fast, probably down to the slightly portly 1272kg kerb weight, but once it’s on the move, it’s a very rapid little car with acceleration from 40mph hardly relenting as it approaches three figures.
       
      It’s great as well when the road gets twisty. The standard fit XDS+ front differential helps to keep understeer and wheel spin to a minimum, meaning you can pitch the Polo into a corner with extreme confidence. The steering is light and doesn’t give much feedback, but with so much grip on offer, it’s very easy to jump into this car and drive it quickly, right from the off.
       
      Despite the kerb weight, it doesn’t feel like a heavy car to drive. It changes direction quickly and with a high level of control, and it seems to ‘skip’ down the road. Whereas my Golf R feels sure-footed and planted, the Polo feels so much cheekier, like it’s ready to have fun at any time.
       
      It will let you have fun too… One press of the traction button disables the ASR which mainly results in a lot more wheel spin, especially when pulling away from junctions. Press and hold the traction button and not only is the ASR disabled, but the ESC is also put into Sport Mode (but not actually disabled), and with the ESC in Sport you can have a lot of fun. Approach a corner fast, flick the steering and back-off the throttle and the Polo GTI will thrill you with a big helping of lift-off over steer. It’s a very rewarding chassis, if set up slightly on the safer side of fun, but 99% of the time, that is in truth where you want it to be.
       
      What about that new engine then? Well, honestly, it is a masterpiece. This is the engine the Polo GTI should have had back in 2011. It manages to pull off a great trick in that it doesn’t feel turbocharged. Traditionally, turbo engines deliver a massive slug of power after a moment of lag, and then run out of puff higher up the rev range. The 1.8TSI unit in this Polo pulls smoothly all through the rev range with no noticeable peaks and troughs, and it’ll keenly chase on right up to the rev limiter. It sounds pretty good too, although if I’m being picky, I think it could do with a slightly rortier exhaust note, the cabin on the Polo is so well insulated you can barely hear the twin tail pipes.
       
      Inside, it’s unmistakably a GTI. The tartan cloth seats offer great support and really look the part harking back to the original Mk1 Golf, and the leather trimmed GTI steering wheel with its red stitching feels like an extremely classy fixture. The rest of the interior is very Volkswagen, simple, clear and well crafted, with some nice touches.
      The Polo GTI doesn’t come with overwhelming levels of standard kit, but it’s got everything you need. There’s manual air conditioning, a colour centre touch screen with DAB radio, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls for the stereo and on board computer, and the centre console houses a USB socket for connecting your phone or music device. The standard fit LED headlamps are great at night, and help inspire confidence on dark country lanes.
       
      Of course, you can take to the options list and add in climate control, cruise control, sat nav, folding mirrors, a sun roof, and just about anything else you fancy. There’s a Sport Performance Kit too which includes Dynamic Chassis Control at £245, but in reality, the standard setup is fine, so save your £245 for a few tanks full of petrol. If you’re going to spec the 7-speed DSG gearbox though, you will also need the Sport Kit, as this liberates the full 236lb-ft of torque from the engine, otherwise DSG cars have to make do with 184lb-ft.
       
      Personally, aside from the Winter Pack at £360 (which includes heated seats) I don’t think I would add anything… this is a purists GTI, it is best enjoyed straight up, as it comes.
       
      Now then, time to get serious. During the five days I had this car for, I received a number of messages from car folk asking the big question... “Is it the new MK1 GTI?â€
      Well, no, it’s not. The truth being that as good as this Polo GTI is, no modern cars with power steering, huge levels of safety kit affecting kerb weights, and modern emissions regulations to meet will get close to those 80s hatch backs in terms of raw feel.
       
      What this Polo GTI does show though is that the old GTI formula still works. 1.8 litre engine, compact dimensions, simple manual gearbox, focus on driving appeal rather than gadgets, and the end result can’t fail.
       
      At the end of my five days, I was sad to see the Polo go.
       
      I had let it get under my skin… it is a proper GTI.
       
       


       

       

       

       



       
       
      We'd like to thank Peter Cooper Volkswagen for the loan of their Polo GTI demonstrator for our road test, and in particular Andy Gray for his help.
       
      Peter Cooper Volkswagen are an independently-owned group of Volkswagen dealerships serving the South Coast, they are located in Southampton, Portsmouth, Hedge End and Chichester.
       
      You can find out more, and contact your nearest Peter Cooper dealership through their website: http://www.petercoopergroup.co.uk/
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