The Lockdown series continues with me and my 2 driving buddies, Alfred & David, also sharing our experiences, comments and reflections of the different cars we have owned.

David’s 14th car, brings us to our first 4WD “hot hatch”, the VW Golf R. The “all rounder”, the benchmark that other try and emulate. Some are more track focused such as the Renault Megane R.S. or the Ford Focus RS but off the track in daily commute can be a chore.

The Golf R is a 9/10ths car. It does well on the track, on the weekend mountain squirt and to the shops carrying out daily duties, fully compliant, comfortable, well finished and special.

A liveable day to day 4 door, genuine 4 adult seater, that can bring out the boy racer in you yet give you that feeling of protection and high limits with the 4WD grip. Feeling like you’re on rails that quickly brings out the best in your driving and a grin from ear to ear.

What the beauty of this hot hatch is it can be a bit of everything to all drivers. It also falls in as one of the most enjoyable and fun cars I have driven.

If this reminds you of a special car you have owned please share your experience or just name it or just “like” ours.

#mynextcarbuying #melbourne #automotiveadvocate #lockdown #carsweowned #volkswagen #vwgolfr #volkswagengolfr #golfr #4wd #turbo

2017 Golf R series 7.5
213kW 380Nm 7 speed DSG
0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds

With the MX5 I might have written that you don’t have to have aggression in a sports car. But this car taught me the joy of POWER! The almost instant response and the ease in which this car puts that power down has been a real eye opener. I can now see how drivers get addicted to power and trapped in an endless cycle of always wanting more. But the ability to break the speed limit in well under 5 seconds is more than you could ever use on public roads. Then again, I would love to try it on a track.

The other revelation was the DSG gearbox. You can see from my list of cars I have a serious bias for a manual gearbox. But when I tried the new wet clutch 7 speed DSG in this car I was blown away. It is still able to potter around in the traffic with gentle ease but the precision and ferocity of gear changes when driven in anger is astonishing. I had to pick the DSG just to experience the whip cracking up shifts during hard acceleration. Sorry Richard, the ZF auto in the BMW is excellent but when you push it really hard this gearbox is snappier.

The real surprise for me however was how good four-wheel drive is. I was sceptical at first but I found the system in the Golf R nimble and playful on the limit with unbelievably good traction, wet or dry. But it still retains a sense of fun when you are ragging it round corners.

I have to say I’m now a big fan and would not shy away from buying another car with 4WD. Of course, rear wheel drive will always remain king.

Richard comment:

Beautifully said, especially about the gearbox. I agree if you couldn’t have a brilliant DSG like the Golf has then second best would be the 8Spd ZF conventional transmission. So, no offence taken. Yes, the Golf R is another car with its AWD that put a huge smile on my face as you instantly tapped into the power, the sound as you rip through the gears.

The handling and assuring 4WD makes you want to go faster and faster through the gears. It gives you such confidence in all conditions as you do feel like you’redriving on rails. The beautiful centred driving position with the comfy and supportive sports seats give you a sense of total control and limitless grip. Power is king especially when you can use it and grip is your friend. My FPV F6 was fast but had to be respected in the hills and the power was not totally useable.

So, another gem in your driving garage David. The bar keeps getting raised.

Alfred comment:

The Golf R holds a special place as a very, very, very hot hatch. It has the grip and grunt but doesn’t give anything away as a luxury, high tech desirable quality car in its own right.

Practical and ergonomic for 4 people with a unique Jeckle and Hyde personality. The Golf R has the ability to be an everyday drive and then with a shift in driver attitude, a full on serious sports car. Providing all the useable and tractable power you could ever wish for or have the ability to use.

Oh yeah, and it looks shit hot in that blue colour of yours David. The car inspires immediate confidence within a couple of minutes of driving it. It allows you to push your driving ability beyond levels you imagined yourself capable of, while infectiously driving you to go harder to try and find the cars limits and the courage to go there.

An iconic drive and holds a uniquely powerful podium position in our virtual garage ala your benchmark choice of vehicle ownership. I think up Lake Mountain it would be up the rear of any Porsche anyone would care to challenge you against. This car is the exception to my view of balance of power and handling, as sometimes you want that tractable power and then more power to be king of the mountain to challenge the exotics at 20% of their price.

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