Almost-New Buying Guide: Volkswagen Golf R

VW Golf Ring "Cult" is overused in automotive journalism. But to describe golf? There are no other words

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Golf R was how quickly it started showing up on the roads in serious numbers after its launch in 2014. Of course, the cheapest option, the three-door owner's manual, only cost about £4000 more than the cheapest GTI (£30,000 compared to £26,000) and, remember, this is the age of the PTP when such differences only result in a denser monthly payment. But Volkswagen has also been pushing the new hard-incentive model.

As a result, today, used golf RSs are almost as plentiful as used KTIs, with prices starting around the £11,000 High Miller. However, from £14,500 where solid 14-reg cars with 50 miles start.

There are manuals and threedoors in the mix, but the vast majority are five-door automatics (sevenspeed DSGs). Due to its relative small number and special attractiveness, a three-door is, sort of, more expensive than a five-door, but it has a cast-iron service history and impeccable condition.

Production-wise, the automatic and manual versions of the three-door are split 50/50 whereas, given its wide reach, the five-door RS are predominantly automatic. If you have a desire for a three-door sporty look, be aware that access to the rear seats is naturally more difficult - a fact that, over time, may come to bother you more than it does now.

Color is critical. This is subjective, but many people think that R looks best in blue, which, fortunately, is the most abundant color. On more recent cars, turmeric yellow (similar to gold) splits opinions and is rarely, but worth considering if you have an eye for future resale. Black and white are as safe as home and play 'r' m-auto character.

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With so many used RSs to choose from, the right options will help the car to stand out. Among the more desirable is the adaptive chassis control (ACC), which offers comfort, normal and race modes. Despite its name, the comfort still feels rather flimsy, but that's the price you pay for the harsh "R" response.

Other choices include leather, climate control, a windshield boosted by Dynaudio - all right, it will loosen your seals and a panoramic sunroof. Optional 19 inch Pretoria alloys are appreciated, but check their condition first. The standard landing sound drive that boosts the engine note is good, but, in 2017, Volkswagen made a sports exhaust package available for $2975.

Preferably though with all these options, don't let the right car slip away for a few goodies as the R is already well installed as standard, with sports running gear, four-wheel drive, 18-inch alloys and xenon headlights, not to mention good acoustics. system. For 2016 the car received a soft makeover, getting a 10bhp boost, LED lights, a new media system and some subtle styling changes. Underneath it all though, it was the same big performance deal.

Need to know

Providing automatic transmission DSG fluids and filters have been replaced at 40-mile intervals. Although this generation of DSGs are not prone to the same problems that earlier versions suffered, it is also important that the gearbox is properly maintained. The Haldex clutch needs service every three years.

If fitted, check optional 19" Pretoria Alloys for damage as they are subject to deflection. Its replacement is very expensive.

In 2016, the Golf R got an extra 10bhp, taking it up to 306bhp, but by the end of 2018, it was bumping back to 296bhp to meet WLTP's new emission limits.

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The three-door version is still available on the 2019/19 Reg but has been dropped for the 2020 model year as a replacement for the MK8 Golf R beckons.

Our choice

Volkswagen Golf R DSG 5-door: with five doors and an automatic transmission, the R is the ideal high-performance all-rounder. In fact, the auto covers 0-62 mph sprints 0.5 seconds faster than the manual ones. The test vehicle car returned 28.7 mpg overall.

wild cards

Volkswagen Golf R 3-door: three doors and a box isn't exactly wild, but given that there are more cars than two-by-one manuals and five-doors more than three-doors, four to one, at least they're lean.

The ones we found

Golf R 2014 3-door, 115,000 miles, £11,295

2015 Golf R 5-door, 65.000 miles, £14,995

2017 Golf R sat 5-door, 37000 miles, £19,695

2018 Golf R 310PS 5-Door, 31,000 miles, £21,999

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