2022 Volkswagen Golf R review: An even hotter hatch

The Golfing R is mighty indignant from just about just about every angle.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

We must depend our blessed stars that Volkswagen even decided to carry the eighth-era Golfing to the US. Following decimating the reasonably priced German car’s lineup for 2022, only two variants keep on being destined for our amber waves of grain: The hopped-up GTI and the even-hoppier Golfing R. The former Golfing R was entertaining, but it did not feel like it was definitely its personal auto. Which is adjusted in the model’s most recent era, exactly where this warm hatch has eventually arrive into its personal.


  • Intense model
  • Intense powertrain
  • Intense every little thing, genuinely

Do not Like

  • Dumb cup holders
  • From time to time dumb telematics

Blue plaid? Do not intellect if I do

If you’ve never found, VW’s effectiveness hatchbacks are coloration-coded, with the GTI leaning heavily on purple and the Golfing R relying on blue. That visual differentiation is a little bit far more noticeable this time all over, thanks in huge aspect to a bright-blue strip that spans the width of the entrance finish, which still has a little bit of the ol’ sloping-brow glimpse thanks to the new fascia. There are a great deal far more visual differences that set the GTI and Golfing R even further apart from a person an additional, like the Golfing R’s far more aggressive bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels and the not-so-huge-I’d-connect with-it-obscene rear wing. Merge that all and you have a Golfing R that eventually has some visual bark to match its chunk. The new glimpse is really visually aggressive, despite the fact that it can be worth mentioning that the wheels and wing on my examination auto are aspect of an General performance Package, so you may possibly be in a position to skip ’em if you want. (The early examination auto revealed listed here is in fact a European-spec design, and it can be unclear at this time if VW will present this devices as an possibility or if the firm will just bundle just about every US-spec auto with it.)

The inside has a few essential differences, but it can be mainly the identical encounter you get in lesser Golfing variants. R-precise touches include hundreds of blue contrast stitching, various dashboard trim and an fantastic pair of sporty entrance seats with integrated headrests and bitchin’ blue plaid inserts. The seats them selves usually are not so restricted as to alienate pieces of the American industry, but they’re still supportive in the ideal approaches when the driving receives spirited.

Normally, the cabin is just as friendly and practical as it is on the GTI. The doorway pockets are carpeted for your enjoyment and will hold a great deal of junk, as will the glove compartment, but the middle armrest’s cubby remains far too compact for, say, a purse. There is certainly a special location in advance of the shifter for your telephone, which you can near into its dock for optimum distraction avoidance. The trunk will hold a great deal for a auto of this sizing, far too, with about thirteen.five cubic ft of storage on present. The only real usability bummer is the cup holder, which attempts to be clever with moving pieces, but typically ends up incapable of doing its position, specially if you deign to have two drinks up entrance at after.

Always hustlin’

The former Golfing R’s effectiveness always felt Alright, but never wonderful, like it was a GTI that experienced absent to a tuner for some further pep in its stage. That changes with this 2022 design. The honkin’ tailpipes out again give far more than a delicate trace that you can find a little something strong below the hood, which in this scenario is a two.-liter turbocharged I4 placing out 315 horsepower and 310 pound-ft of torque.

For individuals maintaining keep track of at property, which is 27 hp and thirty lb-ft higher than its predecessor, and boy, howdy is that bump quickly obvious. Irrespective of generate method, the engine and its 7-pace dual-clutch computerized drive me together on a wave of low-finish torque, seemingly never needing to eclipse three,000 rpm to get me up to what ever pace I need to have. But when the time is ideal, the engine will hustle at higher revs, screaming its 4-pot song to the outside the house planet. Shifts in both of those directions are lightning swift and devoid of clunks or other damaging characteristics. It all just performs.

Each individual 2022 Golfing R will come with adaptive dampers and steering, so motor vehicle generate settings must feel the identical throughout all illustrations. Comfort method does a decent position in day by day use, with a great deal of readily available electricity underfoot paired with a suspension that soaks up some, but not all highway nastiness — right after all, the alloys are big and the 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summertime tires are skinny. Activity firms every little thing up, and it can be my preference for spirited driving — VW’s, far too, as this location is the default method when beginning the auto. Race is a little bit far too, um, racy for most American backroads and is possible best reserved for keep track of times. But no matter the fundamental modes, the Golfing R feels like a distinctly distinctive design this time all over, featuring whole-assed effectiveness that feels an complete tier over the GTI.

The formerly pointed out optional General performance Pack also adds Nürburgring and Drift modes the previous sets the auto up specially to cope with Germany’s legendary Nordschleife racetrack, and Drift eases up on traction control while producing sure the rear axle receives as substantially electricity as it can. There is certainly also an Specific method if, like me, you want most of Sport’s gains without having the detriment to ride good quality.

Is the new Golfing R economical? Yeah, I’d say so. The EPA has nonetheless to release estimates for this new design, but for context, the former a person managed 23 mpg metropolis and thirty mpg freeway, which isn’t poor for a potent AWD warm hatch. The figures may possibly pattern southward given the additional oomph, but powertrain growth staying what it is, I am sure VW managed to remain pretty near to the outdated figures. In my time spent not grinning like an idiot in switchbacks, I see freeway figures ideal all over thirty.

Like the outdated Golfing R, after you slide into the driver’s seat, all that issues is acquiring entertaining. And you should not worry, entertaining is not really hard to arrive by.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Infotainment largely a strike, but some misses

Now that I have expert VW’s latest, flashiest infotainment procedure in two various cars, I can see past some of Uncover Pro’s frippery and encounter its tough edges. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Car are onboard, and it can be very clear that VW understands the pattern toward smartphone mirroring, mainly because its indigenous infotainment procedure pretty substantially seems to be like CarPlay on its 10-inch display screen. The hardware boots swiftly, but if my fingers are far too rapidly, the procedure can start out tripping around by itself, dealing with a person faucet like two or just straight-up disregarding my requests until it feels like it. All those ordeals are few and far concerning, and things could extremely very well alter for the far better by the time the 1st cars arrive in showrooms later this calendar year, but it can be worth mentioning. Two USB-C ports up entrance suggests products charge swiftly, but if you want a trickle, a Qi wi-fi pad is ideal beneath ’em.

VW Group has been a longtime proponent of electronic gauge clusters, and the tale stays the identical listed here. A 10.three-inch electronic cluster delivers up an remarkable range of styles to peruse, switching what facts receives your eyes’ priority. You can watch a whole-screen map or investigate audio choices in increased element, but I want to leave the readouts in a far more classic gauge method. A head-up display screen even further decreases distraction by beaming motor vehicle pace, pace restrict indicators and far more ideal to your peepers.

Volkswagen may possibly have absent a little bit overboard on contact capability, although. The steering-wheel buttons purpose as both of those touchpads and normal buttons, which can direct to some awkward get the job done on the quantity slider. The local weather control is entirely electronic, which can be annoying, far too, as it suggests swapping by menus to alter typical functions like supporter pace. Temperature and quantity controls are accessible on sliders beneath the display screen, but for some motive, they usually are not illuminated at night.

With any luck ,, some of the Golfing R’s technological kinks are ironed out right before its official US debut.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

So, how substantially will the Golfing R expense? I have no thought. The outgoing Golfing R was previously a hair around $40,000 when it was discontinued again in 2019, and given the newfound features and electricity in its successor, it can be possible that the expense of entry will rise. Which is a tall question for a Volkswagen Golfing, even a person as remarkable as this. But then once more, a Honda Civic Form R is just about $39,000 these times, and the VW does feel far more premium, so possibly which is just what point out-of-the-art warm hatchery charges currently. For a male raised on reasonably priced warm hatches, which is still a difficult tablet to swallow, even although this new design will not be perplexed with a 1.eight-liter Golfing anymore.

If you do decide to take a dive into the deep finish, the 2022 Volkswagen Golfing R is immensely satisfying. It truly is a hoot and a half on any highway, straight or curvy, and now far more than at any time, it feels like a design that can stand on its personal as a legitimate effectiveness motor vehicle.