2022 Volkswagen Golf R review: An even hotter hatch

The Golfing R is mighty offended from just about each and every angle. Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The Golfing R is mighty offended from just about each and every angle.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

We must depend our lucky stars that Volkswagen even made the decision to convey the eighth-technology Golfing to the US. Just after decimating the reasonably priced German car’s lineup for 2022, only two variants remain destined for our amber waves of grain: The hopped-up GTI and the even-hoppier Golfing R. The previous Golfing R was entertaining, but it failed to really feel like it was truly its very own car or truck. That’s adjusted in the model’s most recent technology, where by this very hot hatch has eventually appear into its very own.


  • Intense style
  • Intense powertrain
  • Intense almost everything, definitely

You should not Like

  • Dumb cup holders
  • Once in a while dumb telematics

Blue plaid? You should not thoughts if I do

If you’ve got by no means observed, VW’s effectiveness hatchbacks are coloration-coded, with the GTI leaning heavily on crimson and the Golfing R relying on blue. That visible differentiation is a little bit far more noticeable this time close to, thanks in substantial part to a dazzling-blue strip that spans the width of the front conclusion, which continue to has a little bit of the ol’ sloping-brow search thanks to the new fascia. There are lots far more visible variations that established the GTI and Golfing R even further aside from 1 another, like the Golfing R’s far more intense bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels and the not-so-substantial-I might-contact-it-obscene rear wing. Merge that all and you have a Golfing R that eventually has some visible bark to match its chunk. The new search is quite visually intense, whilst it truly is well worth mentioning that the wheels and wing on my take a look at car or truck are part of an Efficiency Package deal, so you may well be capable to skip ’em if you choose. (The early take a look at car or truck revealed right here is basically a European-spec design, and it truly is unclear at this time if VW will give this devices as an possibility or if the company will just bundle each and every US-spec car or truck with it.)

The inside has a several key variations, but it truly is largely the same experience you get in lesser Golfing variants. R-distinct touches include hundreds of blue contrast stitching, diverse dashboard trim and an superb pair of sporty front seats with integrated headrests and bitchin’ blue plaid inserts. The seats by themselves usually are not so tight as to alienate areas of the American current market, but they are continue to supportive in the ideal methods when the driving gets spirited.

If not, the cabin is just as welcoming and functional as it is on the GTI. The door pockets are carpeted for your enjoyment and will hold lots of junk, as will the glove compartment, but the middle armrest’s cubby stays way too compact for, say, a purse. There is a distinctive location in advance of the shifter for your cellphone, which you can near into its dock for maximum distraction avoidance. The trunk will hold lots for a car or truck of this dimension, way too, with about 13.five cubic feet of storage on give. The only actual usability bummer is the cup holder, which attempts to be intelligent with going areas, but generally ends up incapable of accomplishing its job, specially if you deign to have two drinks up front at as soon as.

Constantly hustlin’

The previous Golfing R’s effectiveness constantly felt Ok, but by no means wonderful, like it was a GTI that had long gone to a tuner for some more pep in its step. That improvements with this 2022 design. The honkin’ tailpipes out again give far more than a delicate trace that there is anything strong underneath the hood, which in this situation is a two.-liter turbocharged I4 putting out 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

For these keeping observe at property, that’s 27 hp and thirty lb-ft bigger than its predecessor, and boy, howdy is that bump immediately visible. Irrespective of generate manner, the motor and its seven-speed twin-clutch automatic thrust me along on a wave of lower-conclusion torque, seemingly by no means needing to eclipse three,000 rpm to get me up to regardless of what speed I require. But when the time is ideal, the motor will hustle at bigger revs, screaming its four-pot tune to the outside earth. Shifts in both instructions are lightning fast and devoid of clunks or other adverse attributes. It all just is effective.

Each and every 2022 Golfing R arrives with adaptive dampers and steering, so car or truck generate settings must really feel the same across all illustrations. Convenience manner does a decent job in day-to-day use, with lots of out there electricity underfoot paired with a suspension that soaks up some, but not all road nastiness — just after all, the alloys are significant and the 235/35R19 Pirelli P-Zero summer tires are slender. Activity firms almost everything up, and it truly is my preference for spirited driving — VW’s, way too, as this placing is the default manner when starting off the car or truck. Race is a little bit way too, um, racy for most American backroads and is most likely ideal reserved for observe times. But no make any difference the fundamental modes, the Golfing R feels like a distinctly distinctive design this time close to, presenting full-assed effectiveness that feels an full tier over the GTI.

The previously talked about optional Efficiency Pack also adds Nürburgring and Drift modes the former sets the car or truck up specifically to cope with Germany’s legendary Nordschleife racetrack, and Drift eases up on traction regulate even though generating confident the rear axle gets as substantially electricity as it can. There is also an Person manner if, like me, you want most of Sport’s positive aspects without having the detriment to journey high-quality.

Is the new Golfing R economical? Yeah, I might say so. The EPA has yet to launch estimates for this new design, but for context, the previous 1 managed 23 mpg city and thirty mpg highway, which isn’t really terrible for a impressive AWD very hot hatch. The figures may well development southward offered the further oomph, but powertrain progress staying what it is, I’m confident VW managed to keep quite near to the aged figures. In my time used not grinning like an fool in switchbacks, I see highway figures ideal close to thirty.

Like the aged Golfing R, as soon as you slide into the driver’s seat, all that issues is owning entertaining. And you should not fret, entertaining is not tricky to appear by.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Infotainment mainly a hit, but some misses

Now that I’ve experienced VW’s most recent, flashiest infotainment technique in two diverse cars and trucks, I can see previous some of Find Pro’s frippery and experience its rough edges. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are onboard, and it truly is apparent that VW understands the development toward smartphone mirroring, for the reason that its native infotainment technique quite substantially appears to be like CarPlay on its 10-inch screen. The hardware boots immediately, but if my fingers are way too quick, the technique can start out tripping about by itself, treating 1 tap like two or just straight-up ignoring my requests until it feels like it. All those encounters are several and far between, and things could quite properly adjust for the much better by the time the initially cars and trucks arrive in showrooms later this yr, but it truly is well worth mentioning. Two USB-C ports up front indicates products charge immediately, but if you choose a trickle, a Qi wireless pad is ideal beneath ’em.

VW Team has been a longtime proponent of electronic gauge clusters, and the story stays the same right here. A 10.three-inch electronic cluster gives up an spectacular quantity of models to peruse, changing what details gets your eyes’ priority. You can perspective a full-monitor map or investigate audio possibilities in better element, but I choose to depart the readouts in a far more conventional gauge manner. A head-up screen even further lessens distraction by beaming car or truck speed, speed restrict indicators and far more ideal to your peepers.

Volkswagen may well have long gone a little bit overboard on touch capability, however. The steering-wheel buttons function as both touchpads and common buttons, which can guide to some uncomfortable function on the volume slider. The weather regulate is totally electronic, which can be frustrating, way too, as it indicates swapping through menus to adjust prevalent features like lover speed. Temperature and volume controls are accessible on sliders beneath the screen, but for some reason, they usually are not illuminated at evening.

Ideally, 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 charge? I have no notion. The outgoing Golfing R was by now a hair about $forty,000 when it was discontinued again in 2019, and offered the newfound capabilities and electricity in its successor, it truly is most likely that the charge of entry will rise. That’s a tall question for a Volkswagen Golfing, even 1 as spectacular as this. But then once again, a Honda Civic Variety R is just about $39,000 these times, and the VW does really feel far more high quality, so possibly that’s just what state-of-the-artwork very hot hatchery prices presently. For a male raised on cheap very hot hatches, that’s continue to a tricky capsule to swallow, even however this new design will not likely be confused with a one.8-liter Golfing anymore.

If you do determine to choose a dive into the deep conclusion, the 2022 Volkswagen Golfing R is immensely rewarding. It’s a hoot and a half on any road, straight or curvy, and now far more than at any time, it feels like a design that can stand on its very own as a accurate effectiveness car or truck.