Ignition Episode 6: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R

By Trevor Dorchies | March 09, 2012
In the latest installment of Motor Trend's Ignition series the 2012 Volkswagen Golf R is put through its pacing to see if the hot hatch deserves the "R" badge. The 2012 Volkswagen Golf R is a step above the GTI, with a 256-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. The sixth episode of Ignition follows associate road test editor Carlos Lago up serpentine roads that snake through the mountains around Los Angeles as he find out just what the Golf R is made of. As Lago logs more time behind the wheel of the German hatch he finds it to be a solid player in its respective segment but is missing a key feature. With a price as tested tag checking in at $36,895 Lago raises a few good questions about just why the price is set where it is. We don't want to spoil the video so you'll have to watch what missing feature really chaffed Lago. The 2012 Volkswagen Golf R isn't as fast as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR but costs about the same. The interior is nice enough to make the already high-zoot GTI blush, but still isn't exactly what you'd expect for a $37,000 car. Nevertheless, Lago directs the Golf R through windy mountain roads before making his way to a test track. Watch the video below to find out why and be sure to check out Motor Trend's YouTube page.

Source: YouTube


While I can understand Lago's comments, I don't agree with them. The Golf R may be the same price as the Lancer...but the Lancer is a soulless car accented in typical Japanese fashion with too much plastic and as well the Lancer leaves you raw and chaffed with its unrefined ride as a daily driver. The Golf R is crafted in true R fashion BUT not true R pricing. Everything he complains about is acceptable for a car at only 36K. If I were paying GTR prices or Audi R prices, then I would have a problem. The price difference between a standard GTI and the R is also acceptable. AWD, More horses, better brakes and suspension for only a few thousand more than a GTI is a bargain in my book. The handle and drive of the R is also noticeably better if only a few fractions of a second faster. The AWD lends for a great drive as you carve into corners then launching you back into the straight away. If a few thousand dollars is your concern between the GTI and the R, then buy the GTI. That is truly a great car. If a unique, exclusive car that truly handles as if it were 20K more expensive is appealing to you, then buy the R.