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    1. n00b
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      John cooper works turbo mini
      03-17-2017 01:22 PM #1
      Heya;

      I’m new to this forum. I do not yet own an R but am shopping now. Here is the where it is now. My plan was to get a GTI. After adding up the build, it became obvious the R was a reasonable bump from it. You know VW probably sold quite a few R’s that way. My question is about the driving experience. As I am sure you know, you cannot test drive the R (which I did not know), so I am asking if any of you have driven the GTI before you drove or took possession of your R? If so, how do they compare? When one climbs into an R after driving a GTI, is the resulting emotion a happy wow this thing is fun or a terrifying scream of this thing is scary? I was kind of hoping the R would be just more of what the GTI is, rather than a whole beast more than I can relate to. I just don’t want to be caught off guard. I presently drive a John Cooper Works Mini with around 220 horsepower, so that is sort of my personal benchmark for a performance hatch.

      Blessings,
      vDamon

    2. Member
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      2016 Golf R + Tech Pack
      03-17-2017 03:01 PM #2
      Go to another dealer and go test drive one. When they first came out dealers did not want to let you test drive it however now it should not be an issue.

    3. Member
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      2016 Golf R Lapiz Blue DSG/DCC, 1997 4Runner Limited elocker/3" lift/32s
      03-17-2017 03:27 PM #3
      Agreed that you should call around for a test drive. The minute they hem and haw that will tell you that they're stuck in last year and are likely going to be marking up the R still too.

      Your original question though; I test drove the top of the line GTI (Autobahn PP) to get a feel for the R. It was actually a decent comparison for the sake of a tame test drive. It'll give you a rough idea, just imagine faster and more refined.

    4. Member isoprene's Avatar
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      2016 Golf R Tech/DSG
      03-17-2017 03:37 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by LoneMeme View Post
      I test drove the top of the line GTI (Autobahn PP) to get a feel for the R. It was actually a decent comparison for the sake of a tame test drive. It'll give you a rough idea, just imagine faster and more refined.
      ... and no wheel spin. (I did the same test drive experience).

    5. Junior Member Benz627's Avatar
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      03-17-2017 03:46 PM #5
      My dad bought a GTI shortly after I got my R, so I've driven them back to back several times, both manual transmission cars.

      The R feels more substantial than the GTI, not that it feels bigger, but it definitely feels a little heavier and somehow more premium, even though the interiors are basically exactly the same. The GTI feels like it has better turn in and is more flickable into corners, but the R understeers less through the corner and pulls harder out of corners.

      The biggest difference for me is the gearing, the GTI is geared a lot longer than the R. For example, on the highway, the GTI can rip up to redline in 3rd somewhere in the 80s or 90s, but the R will be in 4th or 5th by 90mph. I assume they do this to try to keep the R on boost, where the GTI doesn't have nearly as much lag because of the smaller turbo.

      Also, the dealer I bought my R at currently has over a dozen on the lot instead of a waitlist like I had to deal with, so I think you can probably test drive them now.
      Last edited by Benz627; 03-17-2017 at 03:50 PM.

    6. Member
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      03-17-2017 03:51 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Benz627 View Post
      My dad bought a GTI shortly after I got my R, so I've driven them back to back several times, both manual transmission cars.

      The R feels more substantial than the GTI, not that it feels bigger, but it definitely feels a little heavier and somehow more premium, even though the interiors are basically exactly the same. The GTI feels like it has better turn in and is more flickable into corners, but the R understeers less through the corner and pulls harder out of corners.

      The biggest difference for me is the gearing, the GTI is geared a lot longer than the R. For example, on the highway, the GTI can rip up to redline in 3rd somewhere in the 80s or 90s, but the R will be in 4th or 5th by 90mph. I assume they do this to try to keep the R on boost, where the GTI doesn't have nearly as much lag because of the smaller turbo.

      Also, the dealer I bought my R at currently has over a dozen on the lot instead of a waitlist like I had to deal with, so I think you can probably test drive them now.
      I'd have to imagine that weight difference you're feeling is real since the AWD system adds quite a bit of junk in the trunk (literally and figuratively). The R is thiiiiicckk.

    7. Member TIGSEL's Avatar
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      03-17-2017 04:11 PM #7
      Find a used R, they should be able to let you test drive it.

    8. 03-17-2017 11:35 PM #8
      There is a huge difference between the two in my opinion. Drove the GTI and R back to back last week, both with DSG. The R puts the power down and the GTI doesn't. This coming from a guy who wanted the Carrera 4S and got the Carrera S instead. I've been driving a lot of cool vehicles lately looking for a replacement for my X6M coming off lease and I LOVE the R, pretty sure I'm going to get it and do a stage two tune. Even in comparison to a new Cayman S and M4 I drove recently, The Golf R is amazingly dialed in and so fun. The Macan GTS felt similar in a lot of ways which is high praise.
      Last edited by str8line; 03-18-2017 at 12:22 AM.

    9. Member isoprene's Avatar
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      03-18-2017 12:30 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by str8line View Post
      Drove the GTI and R back to back last week, both with DSG. The R puts the power down and the GTI doesn't.
      The final nail in the coffin for me with the GTi was doing a launch control start on a not-perfectly smooth back road. The car was bucking and squealing as the tires fought for grip... my wife said "Is is supposed to do that?".

    10. Member
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      1999 Passat gone 2008 R32 gone -2016 Golf R
      03-18-2017 09:47 AM #10
      If you change cars every few years I'd throw expected resale into the equation. You'll probably find it easily makes up for the R's higher price.

    11. Member shovelhead84's Avatar
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      03-18-2017 10:05 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by VDamonGolfer View Post
      Heya;
      When one climbs into an R after driving a GTI, is the resulting emotion a happy wow this thing is fun or a terrifying scream of this thing is scary? I was kind of hoping the R would be just more of what the GTI is, rather than a whole beast more than I can relate to. I just don’t want to be caught off guard. I presently drive a John Cooper Works Mini with around 220 horsepower, so that is sort of my personal benchmark for a performance hatch.

      Blessings,
      vDamon
      Don't be afraid of the R. It will surprise you in terms of giving you a smile, but not shock you with fear. The power delivery is well within the limits of control in nearly all instances. The Golf R feels built first around the idea of a daily driver and it lives well in the arena. If you want more from it, it will provide on demand.Secondly, it frolics in the land of sport and track. The GTI is a great car and very fun. I have had GTIs, Jettas, R32s, Passats, Beetles.....blah blah blah... The R series cars (Haldex) had one thing in common in comparison to all the other FWD Volkswagens I have owned. Predictability in performance. The GTI is fun and great to drive. However, road conditions and power delivery become essential calculations in the driving experience. The R will eliminate concerns of pulling into traffic and make you look forward to possible snow storms.
      PAST: 1970 Beetle | 1986 Golf 2.0 | 1996 Jetta 2.0 | 1998 318ic | 2002 Jetta VR6 | 2003 GTI VR6 | 2008 R32 VR6 | 2013 Passat TDI | 2013 Golf TDI | 2014 Beetle R-Line | 2015 Jetta 2.0 |
      PRESENT: 2016 Golf R | 2016 X3 XD35i |

    12. n00b
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      John cooper works turbo mini
      03-20-2017 08:22 PM #12
      Thanks;

      I suck at these forum things and will just reply to you every. 2 dealerships so far won't let me test drive. Still looking around. Am rather convinced I am going with the R anyway, based on so much good press. And the comfort question. I am sure I am cool with the performance (and will probably still boot it up not too long from now anyway), but how is the comfort with the adaptive suspension? Wow, that is really comfy for something so dedicated, or well, its a performance car and I have to expect a bit of pounding. ? The reviews about the suspension seem a bit divided. Most say the car is all day comfort, while others place it a bit more along the lines of the Focus RS. OH, and can you put the engine into high performance mode and still leave the suspension in a comfort mode (custom setting), for fun all day easy going? And I am committed to a manual.

      Blessings,
      Damon †

    13. Junior Member
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      17 Golf R, 12 Golf TDI
      03-20-2017 08:46 PM #13
      Even in race mode its not very stiff, and its comfortable. This car rides nothing like the rs.

    14. Junior Member
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      2107 Golf R, DSG, Oryx White
      03-20-2017 11:44 PM #14
      Do as Tisgel suggests (and what I did); find a used R at a dealership in your area to test drive. I see one at Sonnen VW in San Rafael. Unfortunately DSG, but a better comparison than test driving a GTI.

    15. Member smoothsix's Avatar
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      03-21-2017 01:19 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Benz627 View Post
      My dad bought a GTI shortly after I got my R, so I've driven them back to back several times, both manual transmission cars.

      The R feels more substantial than the GTI, not that it feels bigger, but it definitely feels a little heavier and somehow more premium, even though the interiors are basically exactly the same. The GTI feels like it has better turn in and is more flickable into corners, but the R understeers less through the corner and pulls harder out of corners.

      The biggest difference for me is the gearing, the GTI is geared a lot longer than the R. For example, on the highway, the GTI can rip up to redline in 3rd somewhere in the 80s or 90s, but the R will be in 4th or 5th by 90mph. I assume they do this to try to keep the R on boost, where the GTI doesn't have nearly as much lag because of the smaller turbo.

      Also, the dealer I bought my R at currently has over a dozen on the lot instead of a waitlist like I had to deal with, so I think you can probably test drive them now.
      Yeah. The R feels a bit more solid, a bit more composed. It's not going to scare the bejesus out of you. It's just a bit more urgent in power delivery, and none of that wheelspin ****. I drove a base GTI and lit up an inside wheel without even thinking about it while rolling onto the throttle on corner exit. Total no sale.

      The gearing is fractionally shorter on the R, but not by that much.

      Most places won't "let" you test drive an R, but I'd still insist on it anyway. At the very least they should let you take it for a spin before you sign the paperwork. Get most of the way through the sale if that's what it takes, but they'll let you drive it.
      Quote Originally Posted by Dravenport View Post
      this thread is a mess, I can't tell if it's full of trolls or idiots and I'm not sure it matters

    16. Member
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      03-21-2017 11:53 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by VDamonGolfer View Post
      Thanks;

      I suck at these forum things and will just reply to you every. 2 dealerships so far won't let me test drive. Still looking around. Am rather convinced I am going with the R anyway, based on so much good press. And the comfort question. I am sure I am cool with the performance (and will probably still boot it up not too long from now anyway), but how is the comfort with the adaptive suspension? Wow, that is really comfy for something so dedicated, or well, its a performance car and I have to expect a bit of pounding. ? The reviews about the suspension seem a bit divided. Most say the car is all day comfort, while others place it a bit more along the lines of the Focus RS. OH, and can you put the engine into high performance mode and still leave the suspension in a comfort mode (custom setting), for fun all day easy going? And I am committed to a manual.

      Blessings,
      Damon †
      Comfort is definitely comfortable and not at all rough like even a stock racer boy car. It's not Cadillac comfortable, but it's not too far off. Maybe someone in the Bay Area on the forums can let you take a test drive in theirs? If not, I'm not positive, but I think if you are involved in the sales process at a dealership past the point of working out your finances and proving to them you're a serious buyer, they will let you drive the car before you sign on the dotted line. I could be wrong since I bought mine out of state, but I could have sworn that was part of the deal for others who were able to buy theirs locally.

    17. n00b
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      John cooper works turbo mini
      03-28-2017 06:09 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by LoneMeme View Post
      Comfort is definitely comfortable and not at all rough like even a stock racer boy car. It's not Cadillac comfortable, but it's not too far off. Maybe someone in the Bay Area on the forums can let you take a test drive in theirs? If not, I'm not positive, but I think if you are involved in the sales process at a dealership past the point of working out your finances and proving to them you're a serious buyer, they will let you drive the car before you sign on the dotted line. I could be wrong since I bought mine out of state, but I could have sworn that was part of the deal for others who were able to buy theirs locally.
      thanks man;

      Got someone who offered a test drive. Nonetheless, still convinced I will be very happy with the purchase. Going with black. Car will be parked outside, so need a really solid cover. Also planning some engine mods. Never done engine mods and thought a boost in power would be fun. Not sure of what tuner to go with. I realize this is not the tech thread, but if. you have had good experience with a company or companies, feel free to chime in. I'm even looking into stage 3 of something. Don't see myself changing the suspension, but maybe the brakes along with the clutch eventually.

      Blessings,
      Damon †

    18. 03-28-2017 08:54 PM #18
      I made offer on my new R over the Dealers web site. They accepted after a little negotiations so I went to pick up having never even rode in a Golf before. On the way to the dealer I was wondering if I will be disappointed or it would be about what I was expecting or would it blow me away. I must say after the 100 miles drive home I was blown away. The quality and tightness of the vehicle was way more than I expected. It is Audi level for sure. I never got down on the car too hard but I could tell it was like a caged tiger. The car had little things like overhead lights for back seat passengers and a light in the back by the hatch that impressed me. And the radio/media controls were very premium. Oh and those seats, WOW!
      Best seats I've ever had in a sports car. I've owned 2 Corvettes, 2 Mustangs, a Porsche 944 and a Honda CRXsi in the past and this car is as much or more enjoyable to drive as any of them. I am pretty sure you won't be disappointed with the R.

    19. Member
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      03-28-2017 09:29 PM #19
      the first time i ever drove a golf or even a volkswagen for that matter was about an hour after i committed to buying my 2016 R. papers signed, the whole deal.

      sometime after you buy the R, maybe a few week or a months or a year, you'll read a post online about how someone's not quite sure if they should get an R. you'll hit the reply button and say, 'just do it. you'll be fine.'

    20. Member wildhare's Avatar
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      03-28-2017 09:58 PM #20
      I come from a modded GTI and there's no substitute for 4-motion (AWD)!!!

      You live only once... go for the gusto!
      "German car only knows force!"

    21. Member Ross1013's Avatar
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      03-29-2017 01:47 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by VDamonGolfer View Post
      As I am sure you know, you cannot test drive the R (which I did not know), so I am asking if any of you have driven the GTI before you drove or took possession of your R? If so, how do they compare?
      I drove both, and there's no comparison IMO. I would not have bought a GTI at any price. ~$3300 off the R made it an easy choice. It has the eagerness and raw speed of any other super-sport compact, but the way it builds and maintains speed is Porsche-like.

      Quote Originally Posted by LoneMeme View Post
      I'd have to imagine that weight difference you're feeling is real since the AWD system adds quite a bit of junk in the trunk (literally and figuratively). The R is thiiiiicckk.
      The R is lighter than the Focus RS, STI, and EVO.

      Quote Originally Posted by str8line View Post
      There is a huge difference between the two in my opinion. Drove the GTI and R back to back last week, both with DSG. The R puts the power down and the GTI doesn't. This coming from a guy who wanted the Carrera 4S and got the Carrera S instead. I've been driving a lot of cool vehicles lately looking for a replacement for my X6M coming off lease and I LOVE the R, pretty sure I'm going to get it and do a stage two tune. Even in comparison to a new Cayman S and M4 I drove recently, The Golf R is amazingly dialed in and so fun. The Macan GTS felt similar in a lot of ways which is high praise.
      Agreed. I have lots of seat time in things like the 1M, Cayman R, R8/8, RS5, E92M, various 911s. The R feels just as 'dialed-in' as you say, just as special, and just as well-packaged/thought-out as any of them.

      Quote Originally Posted by Urlik View Post
      If you change cars every few years I'd throw expected resale into the equation. You'll probably find it easily makes up for the R's higher price.
      This too.
      Past: '06 Accord V6, '95 Taurus SHO, '01 ITR, '98 Civic HX CVT

      Quote Originally Posted by jamerican1
      Dude, you know you're like the opposite of a purist, right?

    22. n00b
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      John cooper works turbo mini
      04-01-2017 06:37 AM #22
      Ccbulldog: “I’ve owned 2 Corvettes, 2 Mustangs, a Porsche 944 and a Honda CRXsi in”

      cky3396: “you'll hit the reply button and say, 'just do it. you'll be fine.’”

      Wildhare: “I come from a modded GTI and there's no substitute for 4-motion”

      Ross1013: “It has the eagerness and raw speed of any other super-sport compact, but the way it builds and maintains speed is Porsche-like.”

      Good news is, I’m believing you. Thanks for the encouragement. I am getting the feeing I am gonna be shocked then spoiled by the car. Without trying sound too saccharine, which is a word I do not believe I have ever written in a post.

      Blessings,
      Damon †

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