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Old Willow

Taking a Golf R Wagon offroad

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Hi all, I'm considering a golf R wagon - I'm a keen mountain biker and hiker. I'm not considering anything too serious but may need to do some light off-roading to get to the start of some trails. Would this be okay? Any thoughts or advice? 

 

Thanks so much! 

 

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Ground clearance will be your biggest issue, I had to drive over an almost perfectly flat and mown field when parking at the goodwood festival of speed a few years ago in my R estate and I went torturously slow to avoid catching the front bumper on any hidden ruts or lumps (standard suspension and 19" wheels).

 

Also even with haldex if your sporting standard summer tyres they don't offer much in the way of traction on wet grass or mud so care should be taken 

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I take mine semi off road.

 

with any road car and especially one lower than normal, avoid any track with deep ruts or where you have large stones or boulders.

 

if in doubt stop.

 

you can also have someone track walk for you in front (without red flag)

 

for typical cal forest tracks and smooth trails zero problems even when muddy.

 

always check before taking a route and never chance it (he says lol), it's better to look timid than getting stranded or ripping of front.

 

basically it's common sense.

 

human legs manage terrain better than cars.

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@Old Willow

 

of course if you f**k up we will get to read about it.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8337951/Stuck-mud-Covidiot-4X4-driver-fined-breaking-lockdown.html

 

 

as above about sumps and other car bits, road cars have f**k all protection that proper off road (designed for it) have.

 

post off road / off track, give you car a good look over, check ground you parked on for stuff like oil or coolant.

 

then a low speed handling drive, making sure steering is okay and no stones or crud in brake area, also a tyre tread check for anything stuck in to them is really worth it.

 

 

as you can see, it's usually just best to park up and walk.

 

car loading really really becomes important when off road / dirt tracks, 4 adults plus MTB / rucksacks  really make a huge difference to 1 adult with a MTB.

 

 

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Haha Jeez! Don't worry I'll be holding off on the runs until we are proper out of ISO

 

Also thanks all this is all really good advice! My previous car was a Honda Accord Euro and I managed some pretty shocking roads by taking it very slow! 

 

I was starting to worry that this might not be the best car for me but if I can take it slow and careful then that's reassuring. I'm absolutely thrilled by the car and didn't want to make the compromise of going for an alltrack.  That being said I could get the skid guard from the alltrack to provide a little additional protection.

 

Good point re load, I remember as a kid in Fiji having to hop out of the old corolla to get to Nan's place up on muddy hill. 

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Agreed that ground clearance could be a real problem.  Not the estate but my R hatch - stock and not lowered at all - a while back I had to reverse my car up into to a rural field to get out of the way of a lorry that had ignored the width signs on a narrow country lane.  Once lorry had passed I had to come over some rough ground and down an incline to get back onto the road. I gingerly edged forward inch by inch but then heard the scraping of something underneath. After getting back onto the road and somewhere safe, I parked up and looked under the car to find the plastic undertray at the front of the underbody had completely split and torn from its seating, and half of it dragging along the ground.  Thankfully it was the tray that took the hit and cost £90 to replace, but if it had been an unprotected area of the underbody, then could have been much worse.  And that wasn’t even driving properly off-road.  So beware.

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The vulnerability of the R sump is a well known/discussed  problem - lots on You tube from our friends in USA.  Many choose to replace the sump with a stronger item or fit an Undertray from an AlltracK Estate/Wagon.

I’m Standard ride height.  Road use only, and have not adopted these methods.  But even if going Lower ride height, let alone contemplating any rough road use, it has to make sense to consider one or both of these additions. 

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It makes no sense to go off-road in a vehicle deliberately built with a low ground clearance for performance - it's the wrong vehicle for that lifestyle.

If you're going to go off-road frequently why not consider trading in for a T-Roc R? 

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1 hour ago, TweedsideR said:

It makes no sense to go off-road in a vehicle deliberately built with a low ground clearance for performance - it's the wrong vehicle for that lifestyle.

If you're going to go off-road frequently why not consider trading in for a T-Roc R? 

Really does depend on definition of Off Road.

 

for example some forest tracks are perfectly flat zero hassle.

 

i have a few mates that live backend of beyond (one is a Ghillie in northern Scotland).

 

none of these are accessible by road and you must drive up a track or in one case over a field.

 

admittedly by previous car had slightly better clearance but not much)

 

now if someone means proper off road, such as virgin tracks, heavily rutted roads, deep gutted mud filled tracks, then yes you need the proper vehicle, definitely not a road car, including fashion vehicles like the wank TRoc

 

some A and B roads with pot holes are more of a challenge than an off road track.

 

if doing it regular and don't want an SUV or Land Rover, then an Subaru Forester is best bet.

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22 minutes ago, Gavras said:

if doing it regular and don't want an SUV or Land Rover, then an Subaru Forester is best bet.

Agree.  It's all about ground clearance.  Foresters have a generous (for a non-off-road vehicle) 8.7" clearance.  Never wanted to admit this story to Forum readers but perhaps the statute of limits for stupidity has expired. :smiley:  Not long after buying my 2016 MK7 R, I parked it on what appeared to be an unpaved, mostly flat verge off a busy road to check out an estate sale (one of my major weekend hobbies).  Despite driving very slowly, all of a sudden there was the most horrendous scraping sound under the car.  The scraping continued even longer as I gingerly extracted the R from the space.  Immediately stopped and looked for leaking fluids, twisted lower bodywork, etc.  Everything seemed fine and drove normal.  Still looked fine and drove normal three years/30K miles later when I traded for the 7.5 R.  No one at VW ever asked about possible wilderness excursions while the car was in for service.  But I learned my lesson and don't mind an extra walk to avoid off-road terrain.   

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If it's going to spend more of its life off than on road and if you really want a Golf Estate I'd be looking at the Alltrak. Rarer than most other Golfs and should stand up better to the chance of a boulder or two.

The plastic sump is easily swapped out for the metal one from a Tiguan iirc. 

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Bit late to the thread but nope, don't expect the R to be any good on anything other than a muddy carpark that other non AWD cars are struggling to exit.

As others have said, ground clearance is obviously your biggest problem and whilst they are AWD, it's not a system that's been designed for multi terrain.


Pauses for thought,,,,, God I miss my RRS  =o(..... some of the time......

 

 

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Thanks all for these well considered responses! As much as I love the R it might not be the best car for me which is a little hard to accept :(

 

Ideally I'd like something that is properly quick and a pleasure to drive Monday to Friday and then handle a light trail on weekends.  

 

The Forester is a lovely car but it didn't really do it for me and unfortunately the T-ROC R isn't available in Australia. 

 

I may need to consider the Tiguan 162 as the middle ground

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8 minutes ago, Old Willow said:

Thanks all for these well considered responses! As much as I love the R it might not be the best car for me which is a little hard to accept :(

 

Ideally I'd like something that is properly quick and a pleasure to drive Monday to Friday and then handle a light trail on weekends.  

 

The Forester is a lovely car but it didn't really do it for me and unfortunately the T-ROC R isn't available in Australia. 

 

I may need to consider the Tiguan 162 as the middle ground

What about something like a BMW X3 M40i or similar offering from Audi.

 

 

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