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Volkswagen Golf R 2014 Review

By on 17 March, 2014 in Photography, Reviews

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This is the Volkswagen Golf R 2014 Review by Jean-Paul for It was an impulse buy, or should I say personal lease. I got this Volkswagen Golf R 2014 on a personal lease deal through The purchasing process was quick and easy with secure and perfect delivery to my door.  I’ve taken delivery of this vehicle on Friday 14th March, since then driven it for about 100 miles, and these are my thoughts. You may not agree, you may agree, I encourage you to look and read, and if you feel like it, get involved share it, comment on it, let me know your thoughts. Not just on the car, but also on the photography. By the way, talking about photography. Don’t forget to click the photos, you’ll be able to see them full screen and at full resolution.

What is it?

It a Volkswagen Golf Mark 7. But not just any Volkswagen Golf, it is an R version. The looks at first glance is that of understated, if it wasn’t for the special Lapiz Blue paint it would be easily mistaken for any other normal Golf. But then again most people will only ever see the rear end, and realise this is special. Ok, reality check at first glance they may think it is a MaxPower or Halfords special, but when they hear it, and see it accelerate away, it becomes clear this is the real deal. So what is it? It is a superb all round and insanely fast family hatchback which will give you many miles of driving pleasure. It is insane and mental, it tickles you in all the right place.

It is a Golf, it is solid, it is good, it is well build. Just solid performance, but lets not kid ourselves it is still a Golf. Nothing wrong with that, but also not super exciting. As such I couldn’t give it 100/100.

My score: 85/100

 Driving and handling

You get in this Volkswagen Golf R 2014, put the key in the dashboard, turn it, and it spring into life with swoop of the dials, and a low down burble of noise. Subtle but it is there. Yes, instantly you know this is no ordinary golf.

VW Golf R 2014 Performance Specification

Engine: 1998cc four-cylinder, turbocharged
Max power: 297bhp @ 5500-6200rpm
Max torque: 280lb ft @ 1800-5500rpm
0 – 60mph: 4.7-sec
Top speed: 155mph (limited)

The DSG gearbox is relentless, it is so quick, and fast. It does it with a nice crackle and pop from the exhaust as well. The engine revs just climb like there is no tomorrow. It is epic. But that was with the driver profile selection in the Normal setting. When you change this to Race everything changes, it is no longer a fast hatchback, it turns into an insane thoroughbred, one that turns before you realised you wanted to turn, the revs go so quick that I wouldn’t know how I would change gears fast enough if I didn’t have the DSG option. The sound volume goes to 11, it roars, it pops, it just goes.

Wow, this really is something special. The grip is better than superglue, it just goes forward, the steering is perfectly weighted, the gears changes are smooth and fast. It really comes together…

I’ve taken it up English country lanes, on dual carriage ways, on the Motorway, and into Central London. It drives and handles beautifully. The suspension is standard with no DCC damping trickery, and absolutely just fine. My Roadhawk HD in-car camera is the perfect barometer for comfort, since if it crashes or hit potholes it records ‘events’. It is silent and smooth.

I’ve also taken it into eco mode, and fuel consumption gets rather good at mid-thirties. And then ACC, it is brilliant. A standard feature in the UK, and I hate to admit, but the car is a better driver than me.

My score: 95/100

On the inside

The inside, what can I say. It is a Golf! The interior quality is fantastic, it is silent, it is well screwed together, there aren’t many hard plastic areas. It is a very comfortable place to live. There was an issue in the UK where VW UK stated that the Race Cloth seats were all black, this unfortunately isn’t true. It is dark grey centre pieces, and a lighter grey Alcantara bolsters. But you know what, I’m actually glad it isn’t all black. This looks great, makes the cabin a bit lighter. The seats are very comfortable, and easily adjusted.

Boot space is less than other Golf’s, personally I don’t notice it. It is absolutely fine. Last weekend, I had my photo and video gear in the boot and it easily swallowed a Billingham 555 Khaki Canvas Camera Bag with my medium format camera and lenses, a Billingham Hadley Pro Canvas Camera Bag with my m43 cameras and lenses, a GoPro Hero 3 Plus Camcorder in its bag and accessories, my 3 Legged Thing Brian Tripod, an Epson Wireless Projector and Draper Mobile Projection screen. Yes, boot space is just fine.

And then there is the audio side of things, I’ve just got Composition Media system. I think it is great, it integrates well with an iPhone 5S, came with the lightning cable breakout. But no USB breakout cable, that is extra cost. Amazon also sell the USB breakout cable.

The sound system is pretty decent, fair enough not at the Harmon Kardon levels of the Mercedes GL my wife drives but still pretty decent.

All in all, the interior is well sorted, it is comfortable, it is well put together and it is classy with no too many buttons or weird design dials. I like it.

My score: 90/100

All about the image

Controversial subject however it is a reality, live is about image. Live is about how things look. Naturally we cannot be responsible for other people’s perceptions, so this is a totally subjective view in this Volkswagen Golf R 2014 review.

I like the image. The image of the Golf I’ve always found quite inoffensive, and difficult to associate with any particular affiliation or social standing. It is at home in any street, and you can easily be at home at the poshest hotel, or go to the local rubbish tip. Actually I dropped someone off at the Intercontinental Hotel in Westminster (London) this afternoon, and the staff were having a good look at it.

And from a client perspective, it is just a Golf. It is not extravagant, it has five doors. It doesn’t send out the signal that they are paying too much for you to drive in a fancy car. In fact some might not like the image of the R as it is subtle, very subtle in my opinion. There are a few styling clues, and you can’t get away from those exhausts, but even so it is all stylish and subtle.

I’ve always liked the image of a Volkswagen Golf, and the Volkswagen Golf R 2014 reviewed here is no exception.

My score: 90/100

Volkswagen Golf R 2014 Review – Verdict

So what is the verdict, well considering that I got this one on an impulse and did not test drive it before ordering it on a lease contract for two years, I’m glad that I love it. It is just so much fun to drive, from little traffic light sprints, to country side runs, to motorway comfort. It is just such an all-round car which is very refined, but when switching to Race mode and pushing it, it turns into an insane hooligan. Great fun, so my final score for this Volkswagen Golf R 2014 review is;

JP’s fun factor: 100/100


Volkswagen Golf R 5dr DSG Lapiz

Volkswagen Golf R 5dr DSG Lapiz

What is it?


    Driving and handling


      On the inside


        All about the image


          JP's Fun Factor



            • - It's insanely quick for a hatchback
            • - Well screwed together
            • - Photo gear fits in the boot
            • - DSG Auto gearbox is fast and smooth
            • - It's got four wheel drive


            • - No USB port without Navigation Pro
            • - Getting 40MPG requires impossible constraint
            • - Alu look mirrors aren't aluminium
            • - Aircon is off in eco mode
            • - Avoiding getting points on my license will be hard


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