VOLK­SWA­GEN GOLF R

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

Not the R’s forte, but it’s got qual­ity trim, satnav, twin-clutch auto, key­less en­try and go, qual­ity USB and Blue­tooth equipped sound, sports leather steer­ing wheel, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, elec­tric park brake, tinted and in­su­lated win­dows and a sports ex­haust. The VW wins on re­sale at 58 per cent and the first six sched­uled ser­vices stretch to six years or 90,000km and a to­tal of $3162 — $527 a year.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The most fre­netic 2.0-litre turbo (206kW/380Nm) cou­pled with DSG trans­mis­sion claims five seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint. Fuel use is im­pres­sive, av­er­ag­ing 7.1L/100km. Front­bi­ased AWD com­bines with adap­tive damp­ing, sports sus­pen­sion and vari­able-ra­tio steer­ing to pro­vide a bal­anced and tal­ented chas­sis.

DE­SIGN

Con­ser­va­tive and sub­tle but it’s a hand­some hatch nonethe­less. There are brood­ing bi-xenons and LED lights, trim tweaks, 19-inch al­loys and re­duced ride height. Prac­ti­cal­ity abounds, with ad­e­quate room for four adults and a rea­son­able boot. Com­fort­able and sup­port­ive seat­ing par­tic­u­larly favours front oc­cu­pants.

SAFETY

Five ANCAP stars. Seven airbags, tyre pres­sure mon­i­tor­ing, sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol, auto-dim­ming mir­ror, driver fa­tigue de­tec­tion, rain-sens­ing wipers and auto head­lights. The park­ing sen­sors front and rear team with a well-ex­e­cuted rev­ers­ing cam­era.

DRIVE

This is a quick lit­tle hatch — 100km/h in 5secs is se­ri­ous squirt but it’s so smooth as to make it feel easy. Seam­less gearshifts, clever AWD and a rea­son­able ride add to the un­fussed aura, which is equally at home on a coun­try back road or a school carpark. Lack of a true man­ual change is dis­ap­point­ing.

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