Evaluation: 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs 2022 Volkswagen Golf R | Automotive Critiques
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON – Three years in the past, I printed on this web site a comparative evaluate of the enduring VW Golf variants and posed a easy query: are you extra Golf GTI or Golf R? Three years later, I could not assist however reopen the controversy on the event of my first contact with the brand new 2022 mannequin.
See additionally: Comparability: 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI vs 2019 Golf R … on the Ice!
However, in contrast to that first check drive again in February 2019, as a part of which the 2 Golfs confronted off on a frozen lake within the stunning Lanaudière area of Quebec, this rematch came about on dry floor, with the vehicles even carrying summer season tires, an choice on the GTI’s Efficiency variant which may curiosity closed-course driving fanatics, by the way in which. The Golf R, then again, comes normal with these stickier tires.
And to prime it off, Mom Nature was in an amiable temper as we got down to check drive the 2 compact sports activities vehicles – situations had been unreasonably beneficial situations for mid-November. Even higher, this primary contact in southern Ontario allowed me to find the 4 variations of the one two Golfs nonetheless in service on our continent, every of them obtainable with two or three pedals.
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Probably the most mature Golf ever?
Let’s get one factor straight immediately: the outgoing seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf, which first debuted right here in 2014 as a 2015 mannequin, was already a benchmark within the compact automobile phase for its all-around high quality, consolation stage and even total efficiency. All that went for the mannequin’s two sports activities vehicles, the GTI and the R. It was no doubt, on its deserves, essentially the most profitable Golf in historical past.
For 2022, the Golf (and all its variants) is now not part of the North American lineup, which now consists solely of the model’s iconic Golf GTI and its AWD counterpart, the Golf R. The latter has already been round for 20 years, bearing in mind the R32 deliveries marketed within the U.S. previous to the title change in 2010. So no extra “common” Golf! Volkswagen’s response these boo-hissing the transfer by pointing to the Jetta and Taos as noble options.
Volkswagen’s badge of honour because the instigator of the compact sports activities automobile motion is as soon as once more put to the check, particularly for the reason that many loyal followers of the Golf are adamant that these two vitamin-packed Golfs shouldn’t lose their distinctive character.
On the floor, the 2 Golfs do not change a lot when it comes to their fundamental formulation – which means the GTI stays a nimble two-wheel drive sports activities automobile, whereas the Golf R provides 4Motion and a model powered by the identical turbocharged 4-cylinder because the GTI.
However there’s just a little extra than simply that behind the sensible however sporty outer shell. As an illustration, there’s the combination of an nearly totally touch-sensitive dashboard, for instance. Or the addition of units designed to enhance the car’s efficiency, such because the Automobile Dynamics Administration system, which, like an orchestra conductor, manages a number of of the automobile’s parameters, together with the self-locking differential, the digital stability management, and the rebound of the adaptive dampers on the Efficiency mannequin, all to align with the actions of the individual behind the wheel.
This small, innocuous technological element can also be current within the more-powerful Golf R. The engineers even went as far as so as to add three modes to the present ones: Race, Drift and Particular (which even incorporates a drawing of the well-known Nürburgring circuit.
New look: which one to decide on?
In comparison with its predecessors, the design of the brand new GTI is definitely just a little daring. The distinguished grille now that includes on the entrance is nothing just like the traditional method of the final two generations. From a private perspective, I discover the GTI extra unique in comparison with the Golf R’s extra sober bumper, which might be as a result of absence of fog lights within the space. The GTI retains its purple stripe and G-T-I badge, whereas the rear finish is extra restrained.
Certainly, with the redesigned headlights (harking back to these of the model’s SUVs) and the model’s crest lodged in the midst of the tailgate underneath the VW, regulars will discover new touches however will not be too disoriented. Even the format of the exhaust pipes hasn’t modified drastically, regardless of the more-muscular pipes. The GTI has two mufflers, whereas the R has two twin mufflers, so 4 pipes. The Golf R’s spoiler is bigger than the GTI’s too.
The Golf R additionally will get blue accents all around the exterior (entrance bumper, brake calipers, seat backs, and many others.), versus the purple theme within the GTI. On this regard, customers can play endlessly with the ambient colors supplied within the touchscreen.
The inside can also be a consider making the tough selection between a GTI and an R. Each variations clearly share the Golf VIII’s inside with its redesigned dashboard. The air flow nozzles have been repositioned decrease so as to place the central touchscreen just a little larger, as have these touchscreen buttons at its base.
The finishes differ between the 2 Golf variants, however the essence is identical. The Golf GTI additionally presents fabric seats with the well-known checkered sample, plus leather-based upholstery on the Efficiency trim. That leather-based might be ordered with the less-expensive trims at no additional price.
Three variations versus one
The place the selection could also be just a little simpler is in how your selection will impacts your checking account! A base 2022 Golf GTI with handbook transmission instructions a value of $31,495. The DSG transmission bumps the invoice to $32,895, and you’ll order a sunroof and 18-inch wheels (as an alternative of 17-inch wheels) for $1,350.
The Autobahn version of the GTI is dearer at $34,995 ($36,395 with non-obligatory DSG) and may include a sunroof and 19-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance summer season tires and even a Harman-Kardon audio system for $1,800.
Lastly, the GTI’s highest tier is known as Efficiency and begins at $38,995 (or $40,395 with DSG, with the choice so as to add the panoramic sunroof for $1,250.
The Golf R, then again, is simply obtainable in a single model at $44,995 with the handbook transmission or $46,395 with the DSG, and the one choice is the panoramic sunroof for $1,250. Notice additionally that the perfect performing Golf is offered in solely three colors, in comparison with 5 for the bottom GTI and eight for the 2 higher-end fashions.
Admittedly, the financial distinction between a GTI Efficiency with DSG and a Golf R with a handbook transmission isn’t that nice, and that is maybe the place customers will hesitate. The client who selects a base GTI with handbook might be not excited about paying the additional $15,000 to improve to the R stage, however for the GTI Efficiency, the choice is harder for my part.
One engine, two transmissions and three energy ranges – which one to decide on?
Right here, it is rather less sophisticated. The 2 obtainable gearboxes are well-known. The patron caught in heavy visitors every day could also be tempted to verify the DSG choice, however the purist desires to deal with a stick.
The query then is whether or not the all-wheel drive is actually crucial. It is true that in relation to tackling a snowstorm, the Golf R leaves the GTI far behind, however when the roads are dry, the traction benefit is not as apparent. Except the Golf R’s new “Drift” mode is the element that ideas the client towards it.
There’s a distinction in energy between the 2 vehicles. The GTI features a number of horses this 12 months with 241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The Golf R, then again, can also be extra energetic with 315 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque (handbook transmission) or 295 lb-ft (DSG transmission).
Frankly, the GTI’s engine is greater than sufficient to fulfill the efficiency fanatic. In truth, to place into perspective simply how a lot the GTI has developed over the a long time, the 241 hp of the GTI is similar to the 240 hp of the 2004 VR6-powered Golf R32.
On the street
The undecided client owes it to themselves to place each variations of the Golf to the check. The Golf R is an entire automobile, well-adapted to the particularities of our local weather, however the GTI can get by simply high quality even when the chilly season units in.
In my view, I’ve to confess, I are likely to go for the GTI, first for its extra enticing value, however second as a result of it is nonetheless competent in all sides of front-wheel drive, and third as a result of I favor the sound of the engine. The Golf R’s is way from gimpy, however I’ve a delicate spot for the GTI’s tones, that are much less sharp than the R’s at excessive RPM.
Each gearboxes are similar, whether or not within the GTI or the Golf R; you need to select auto or stick both means. Whether or not you are an old-school driver or one who’s simply as completely satisfied to do with out the third pedal, relaxation assured that each present superb driving pleasure for a compact automobile as sensible as this Golf.
Acceleration may be very spectacular within the GTI, and just a little extra so within the R. The sporty steering wheel may be very comfy to carry and the first-row seats are supportive sufficient to maintain occupants in place as they take spirited turns. Braking is extra aggressive within the R, which has to cope with additional weight, however do not suppose that the GTI is a slouch on this regard.
The final phrase
Having to decide on between these two variations of the Volkswagen Golf is as tough as having to decide on between your favorite sports activities staff’s jersey and your favorite sports activities staff’s restricted jersey. Each offer you pleasure and pleasure, however one has a “je-ne-sais-quoi” that the opposite doesn’t. The Golf R is a formidable machine tailor-made to Canada, however the Golf GTI is (nearly) as formidable! The excellent news for patrons is that both means, you get selections: Volkswagen presents a number of variations of the GTI… and two of the opposite!
The driving pleasure of the 2 Golfs
The added energy
The general high quality of the execution
We like much less
The cancellation of the common Golf, regardless that the Jetta and the Taos
The tactile nature of the sprint (it takes some getting used to)
The marginally-too-square knob on the handbook transmission lever
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2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R photos