October 6, 2022
2022 Volkswagen Golf R.Emily Atkins /The Globe and Mail Diamonds are the glittering results of

2022 Volkswagen Golf R.Emily Atkins /The Globe and Mail

Diamonds are the glittering results of sizzling carbon atoms underneath stress. The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R is a shining results of stress, too, because the producer whittles down its lineup of vehicles in favour of SUVs.

The Mark 8 Golf R is a cultured, completed and refined model of the producer’s hallowed sizzling hatchback. Like a well-cut gem, the R is now sleeker than its predecessors, quicker and extra succesful.

For VW performance-driving lovers, that is excellent news, however comes because the automotive maker eliminates the fundamental Golf TSI from the North American lineup. In keeping with the corporate, the choice is strictly enterprise.

Gross sales of the Golf have been declining since 2010, when the Mark 6 Jetta arrived cheaper than the Golf and started to steal consumers, stated Thomas Tetzlaff, VW Canada’s supervisor of media relations. And now, with the corporate’s new deal with assembly market demand for SUVs, a selection needed to be made.

Manufacturing capability in Mexico is targeted on constructing the brand new compact Taos SUV, which means there was not a line accessible to construct Golfs for the North American market.

“With Golf demand in decline and Taos being a viable various for these clients, it made all of the sense on the planet to halt manufacturing of the Golf in favour of our latest compact SUV,” Tetzlaff stated.

Not like the plain Golf, demand for the efficiency Golf R and its stablemate, the GTI, stays excessive. The producer’s steered retail value of $44,995 means the 2022 R requires a critical dedication. That’s a reasonably important value for a sizzling hatch – a phase that’s historically appealed to youthful, much less prosperous consumers.

However the R appeals to a extra mature, well-heeled set. These are drivers who’ve grown up with pocket rockets, maybe, and nonetheless really feel the necessity for pace however with a number of extra refinements.

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That’s the place the R shines. It has twin personalities. On the one hand, it may be your grand touring automotive, road-trip prepared and cozy, with semi-autonomous driving options and fashionable conveniences comparable to mechanically dimming excessive beams, automated wipers, directional headlights and a well-designed, comfy inside.

However its different persona is unleashed with a few touches. Activate Race mode or have interaction Drift mode and your road automotive is remodeled right into a torquey, rocket sled with go-kart dealing with. It’s giggle inducing, and begs to be pushed on a race monitor.

The guide transmission on our tester is close to excellent, superbly easy and fast to shift. Even with winter tires, turning is exact and you may speed up out of corners much more shortly than you’d count on. The automotive’s driving dynamics are excellent, partly because of a brand new torque-vectoring system that may direct all the ability to a single rear wheel when wanted.

There actually is not any competitor that matches the Golf R. The Mercedes AMG A 35 has the same engine with a contact much less horsepower, however doesn’t provide a guide transmission and is considerably much less refined, even at a steered value of greater than $50,000.

As a cheerful driver of a 2012 Mark 6 Golf R, I took a take a look at the 2 aspect by aspect. The Mark 8 has virtually 60 extra horsepower and the driving dynamics are remarkably comparable. However if you happen to don’t want superior security methods and fashionable expertise to make you cheerful, shopping for a used R is likely to be the best way to go.

The driving force’s seat is energy adjustable, however doesn’t provide a excessive diploma of consolation or help, with a brief seating space and inadequate bolstering.Emily Atkins /The Globe and Mail

There’s rather a lot to be stated in favour of the simplicity of the older fashions. Particularly, they win palms down over the 2022′s button-free controls and absolutely digital cluster. That is the one place the place VW wants to return to the drafting board.

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Making an attempt to make use of the controls whereas driving is like taking part in contact display roulette. Purpose for an icon along with your finger and hope that’s the one you hit because the vibrations and bumps of the street are translated by the automotive’s stiff suspension into broad actions of centimetres, not millimetres. It’s a irritating sport, and never beneficial whereas driving.

No such points plague the analogue 2012. A current search discovered them priced between $15,000 and $25,000 on the used market. Nevertheless, one is likely to be more durable to safe than a brand new Mark 8. There are only a few on the market.

And if you happen to do discover one, it’s going to seemingly have been pushed onerous, with potential upkeep points lurking.

My automotive, with 150,000 kilometres on it, has been costing about $500 a yr for age-related challenges like damaged springs and oxygen sensors. Then again, I’ve benefited from VW’s former 12-year floor rust guarantee, with new doorways all spherical.

Choosing a brand new Golf R is the smart possibility. You get a brand new automotive, full guarantee, no surprises, extra energy and higher security. Plus, you possibly can select which of the 2 personalities you need to drive on any given day.

Tech specs

2022 Volkswagen Golf R

  • Base value: $44,995
  • Worth as examined: $46,245
  • Engine: 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder
  • Transmission: six-speed guide or seven-speed direct-shift gearbox
  • Gas economic system (litres/100 kilometres, mixed metropolis and freeway): 10.2
  • Alternate options: Mercedes AMG A35 4Matic, Subaru WRX STi

Seems to be

Sleeker and extra sculpted, the 2022 Golf R nonetheless echoes the distinctive form of its forebears. The brand new version’s roof slopes barely downward on the rear, eradicating among the boxiness of its predecessor, whereas retaining the spoiler and vertical rear window. It seems to be quicker now, and extra aerodynamic.

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Distinctly VW, the Golf R is austere, clear and visually quiet inside. Customizable, colored ambient lighting permits for an injection of persona that may vary from wild to demure. The driving force’s seat is energy adjustable, however doesn’t provide a excessive diploma of consolation or help, with a brief seating space and inadequate bolstering.

Distinctly VW, the Golf R is austere, clear and visually quiet inside.Emily Atkins /The Globe and Mail


The little EA888 two-litre engine within the Mark 8 has been tweaked once more to ship a robust 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s a large improve over the Mark 6, with its 256 horsepower and the Mark 7 with 296. However what issues is whether or not you possibly can really feel it, and the reply is sure. The automotive continues to be remarkably easy and refined, however if you goose the throttle, it responds vigorously.


The 2022 Golf R is loaded with superior security methods and semi-autonomous driving options comparable to automated cruise management, lane retaining and autonomous braking. Fortunately, these will be restricted to make the driving expertise extra direct, as they are often intrusive. Digital connectivity consists of Apple and Android palms free, though each refused to proceed taking part in music after a name was made.


Cargo capability stays restricted, though with seats folded down there’s loads of room for a motorbike or two plus gear. Because it at all times has, this small automotive fits a single, energetic particular person or a pair, however could be a good match for a household.

Cargo capability stays restricted, though with seats folded down there’s loads of room for a motorbike or two plus gear.Emily Atkins /The Globe and Mail

The decision

The 2022 Golf R outshines its predecessors with refined seems to be, higher energy and expertise. These advantages outweigh minor design flaws and go away little question that this can be a superior sizzling hatch, and well worth the cash.

Purchasing for a brand new automotive? Take a look at the brand new Globe Drive Construct and Worth Instrument to see the most recent reductions, rebates and charges on new vehicles, vehicles and SUVs. Click on right here to get your value.