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My Golf R is gone - my thoughts after 3 years ownership

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Earlier this morning I said goodbye to the R wagon:




I bought this as an 8 mile pre-reg in Sep 2018. Lease spec plus Lapiz. It was just one in a run of family estate cars. I bought it for two reasons. 1) I'd always wanted one since I saw in EVO (in 2015 IIRC) that the R was coming out as an estate; and 2) there is no GTi estate (how convenient 😂).


We are all aware of the positives of this car. I was more than happy with the acceleration rarely using it to the red line, never launching it (nope, not once) . Felt no need for power upgrades. I loved the 4WD for getting out of awkward junctions in a hurry, especially one dangerous driveway that I have to exit once a week. All the usual Golf attributes and safety kit were welcome, as was the commodious boot.


I didn't change a lot:


1) Added a DTUK pedal box early on as I could not stand the dead area of throttle travel. I soon realised that this dead area is there to disguise the little jerk on pickup from standstill on the DSG box. The box was always in City -3, just enough to remove that dead spot but I could not leave the lights perfectly smoothly unless I was ridiculously gentle with the pedal. Having just driven a few days without the box, I dunno, perhaps it's as easy to live with the dead zone ...


2) Added Helix audio. Fits under the estate boot floor with spare wheel. I loved the bass and the extra definition produced by the standard speakers. The "3 band EQ" the car gives was not really enough to set things the way I wanted but I got pretty close. Money well spent but I would have preferred Dynaudio to start with!


So, why have I sold the car after 2.75 years?


1) It's just too nice for the sort of duties it is put to. There has been some interior damage (knocked off the sale price) despite much care on my half. However, it goes deeper than this: Always worrying about what is done with it makes a car less useful.


2) The car has mostly lived on motorways The opportunities to 'exercise' it have been very rare and explains the genuine 35mpg+ average over the 28000 miles I had it! A 1.5 TSi would have been just as suitable 98% of the time. 


3) I am paranoid about parking it to the extent I simply don't want to visit a National Trust property in summer, for example


4) I am fed up with dickheads in crap cars 'racing' the car in 30/40 limits. I'm mature enough not to get dragged in but not enough to ignore it! I wish my car had been Indium grey ...


5) It is not the most refined motorway car in the world. I don't think there should be so much tyre noise, given it's cost. I changed to PS4's last year which helped. A bit.


6) I am fortunate enough to also own a Lotus Elise 111R. The diametric opposite of the Golf - manual, revs to 8500rpm, lightweight, involving (and a bit slower I think!!). Really, with this in the garage for a weekend blast on an appropriate road, I did not need a car as good as the R to simply use as a family wagon.


I've banged on a bit but the TL;DR is that the R estate is a really great car but simply was not a good fit for a family car, certainly not if you are as paranoid as me at keeping things nice (hence all my posts in the detailing section).


I sold through Motorway after reading about them on here. Worked really well. I was totally honest about the good and the bad and have only lost £5K in the time I have had the car thanks to the recent blip in prices. I am frankly amazed at circa £150 a month!!!


It's gone to Targa Florio Cars but no idea if it's for stock or if they sourced it for somebody. Whoever buys it will have a very well looked after and gently driven car.







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Should of bought the hatchback version. Much better and you would of kept it

If you already have a Lotus to go crazy in then suppose you don’t really need the R if it’s just a family car really. I get the being paranoid thing tho as I’m the same

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Goodbye to your R Jon.  Interesting parting (the car) write up and I can see exactly what you mean about having a car you’re not paranoid about getting a bit of family abuse.   We have a truck fulfils that job so my R stayed reasonable presentable but if it was the only car I’m not sure that would be possible!  Anyway, you’ve got the exciting fun car covered with the Elise!  

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It's never easy to give up a car you like, Jon.  Your list of reasons has me contemplating the whole "cherished car" notion from a philosophical perspective.  Several questions come to mind: 

  • Do you have to dig deeply into a car's potential in order to enjoy/justify it?
  • Must a highly enjoyable car be a showpiece?  Assuming it's mechanically up to scratch, does normal wear and tear make it less desirable to own?  
  • Why does it matter what others think of your ride?  If it suits you and makes you feel good, isn't that sufficient?  Being challenged by "boy-racers" may get old, but is it that difficult to ignore?
  • Is it possible to get beyond fear of theft, parking lot dings, and other indignities of a "life in the city" environment?
  • Can you enjoy a car more by worrying about it less?

I'm fortunate to live in a country where the R is ignored by the general populace including most car enthusiasts.  It might as well be a base Golf with fancy wheels and is not a target of thieves.  As I age, I find myself  increasingly at peace with cosmetic flaws such as the occasional stone chip.  You should see the whopper I recently brought home, complete with small dent, after a morning of semi-serious pleasure driving on rural roads.  I may eventually have it fixed when other cosmetics need attention but no obsessive hurry.  

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@JonSW I'm quite interested in the price you got. Not sure what options yours had, though guess none as you say lease spec, Mine too was bog standard, 67 in Atlantic Blue with 31k on the clock and 310PS pre-OPF, You were offered 10% more - is that just down to Lapiz vs Atlantic??


I only ever did 1 launch, and that was about 2 months ago! 


On my last drive to the dealer, I had PedalBox off and thought the drive was OK if you pootled about. If you wanted to be enthusiastic, I'd still say it's a must. Not so much on motorways where you lived. 


I think your biggest criticism is the tyre noise. Have to wholly agree with you, though it was quite easy to get used to. Now in a 340i Touring, and while the runflats are a bit noisy (no spare wheel!!!), it is so much more relaxing than the R. Down side though is the engine noise is fairly quiet inside the cabin. I can now be all grown up and mature, tut and shake my head at the boy (and girl) racers in the farty, poppy, bangy cars. 

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My wife said "Just be more like Cogito and worry about it less". Well, not those exact words, obviously, but you get the drift. However, I've only had 2 new cars in my life; this was one of them and I really wanted to keep it nice. It felt like a losing battle when my parking spot is under a magnolia tree (ikr, I thought they were shrubs as well!) and the car was needed for all sorts of duties. I don't miss it as I don't think I ever really needed it. On the flipside, I wanted one since the day they were announced and I have scratched the itch!


I have neglected my Lotus somewhat since Covid so look forward to focussing more on that car. Hey, I might even fix the small things that have needed doing for a couple of years!


Charles, no real idea on why what I was offered was 10% more. I had not a single option but Lapiz is the unique signature colour for the R. I regretted it because it made the car stand out more than I would have liked but there is no denying it's a lovely colour and, in a world where a lot of people care want to be seen, perhaps that tipped it over the edge. I'd have liked mine in grey with GTD badges TBH! Mine was also a very late (21st Aug) 18 plate.


The replacement is my Mum's 2005 Audi A3 SE 2.0 TDi DSG. Mum passed a few years ago and Dad doesn't really need the car hanging around. It also has 28,000 miles on but is about 5 times the age of the Golf! Well built car, though! I've only done about 100 miles so far but I have, of course, known and driven the car quite a bit in the past. It's fresh from a full service. I'm adding an up to date Pioneer stereo that holds the iphone directly above it. The stereo's own buttons plus Siri mean I can use the nav etc. despite the unit not being Carplay**. Otherwise, I will leave it alone, enjoy the big squishy kerb friendly tyres, the fact it already has a few light battle scars and the economy. It's pretty quick (not R quick ofc) and very smooth. I don't really need an estate at the moment so a hatch size car is fine. 


**If I'm proved wrong, I'll ebay it and get the Pioneer single DIN CarPlay unit with motorized retractable screen. Not in stock for a couple of months.

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Mine seems to have appeared for sale now. 


Never remapped, and serviced properly (with x2 Haldex cleans). No known faults. Imagine that they've tidied the scuffs on the alloys, and a small rubbing on the paint (present that you get in car parks!!) and poss changed the rear brake pads. 


Good car. Wonder what tyres are on it, as I left my "winter" ones on (as in South of England, CrossClimate more than OK)


PS - I think one of the 2 owners was at VW HQ 

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2 hours ago, Charles M said:

Imagine that they've tidied the scuffs on the alloys, and a small rubbing on the paint


I notice Targa Florio haven't. Close examination of the photos shows the teeny weeny D pillar dent and equally teeny wheel chip are still there. I can't see the rear door trim/boot plastics (where stuff cut through the tarpaulin on the way to the tip) but imagine they are not replaced either. None of them are deal breakers and I guess the modus operandi is to agree to correct what the next owner complains about and leave alone what they never noticed.


The new owner of mine will also get a well looked after never-mapped car. No launches. However, it is soon due for full 3 year service but I suspect that will also be part of the negotiations.

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Intertestingly I have only launched my car once! Being a lease spec estate, I must admit some of the prices now being offered, I do wonder about flogging it, but I don't really know what to replace it with.


Mines due a brake change (possibly front and back), but I have no idea what to replace it with, as all the cars I like are more money and I can't make the man maths work.


Agree on tyre noise, I think its quite bad (worse than my astra on 19's and 40 rubber), I haven't found the PS4 really help with the noise, although I think maybe I need a proper tyre reallignment for mine. Mine lives mostly in the city bar quite a few long runs (germany etc) hence my 32mpg average.


I thin its quite a good family car, my kids are 7 and 2, but I know at some point they will want more space in the back (me and my wife are 6 ft 1 and 5ft 9).

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On 23/06/2021 at 09:30, DSarge said:

An interesting read. And I thought I could be the only R owner never to have used the launch control!


Same - never launched mine either.


I'm no longer paranoid about my car. I park next to other cars in carparks, I was so precious about it at first but now it's like that baby who's grown into a young child getting knocks and bruises. I think after the first time someone reversed into it scuffing the front, and a couple of dents from other car doors pranging it, (oh yeah and that time a tractor came towards me on a country lane like he was in a gokart and forced me into curbing my alloys) I just started to take it on the chin - battle scars. Every car will end up with battle scars.


The worst thing about that person who reversed into my car is that it knocked the ACC radar off position, and it's never been the same again. I got it re calibrated a few months ago, but it stopped working again only after a few weeks - waste of money - but anyway, these days it doesn't work 90% of the time, yet sometimes it just randomly works. I still haven't tested it though since it stopped working after the recalibration. Just that sometimes I try pressing the ACC button and it comes on, rather than saying unavailable.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I see it's still for sale but now down in price. After negotiation and the cost of the 3 year service and MOT, it will probably make them a grand or so, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. The £28K they asked for the first week or so seemed somewhat optimistic ...



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My 2017 estate went up for sale a few weeks back for £25,995. I don’t know if the garage got that but it was sold within a couple of weeks. It was a crackin’ car though complete with DCC amongst other options. 

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8 hours ago, JonSW said:

Well, I see it's still for sale but now down in price. After negotiation and the cost of the 3 year service and MOT, it will probably make them a grand or so, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. The £28K they asked for the first week or so seemed somewhat optimistic ...




Mine was listed at £24,995 and sold last week. I see that it is now insured, so presume new owner has it on the road. Hoping that the owner turns up here....


Most interesting thing was the MOT. The last one I had back in Oct 2020 mention rear brake pads wearing thin. The MOT that the dealer did on 1st July didn't mention that at all, but did say that 3 of the wheels were "slightly distorted"

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