An intriguing question this one. Which is the best buy, a Golf R or a Golf GTI. I guess most people have already decided and are in one camp or the other. However it is one question that is brought up in the chat columns more often than most. Only around 4K pounds separate these machines.
We all know that the Golf R is one of the best sports all-rounders out there. An astonishing car capable of 4.9seconds from 0 to 62mph and a top speed limited to 155mph all from it’s 2 Litre Turbocharged, 300hp engine. The Golf GTI is well down on power producing 220hp, with 0-62 coming up in 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 152mph.
Other than outright power the GTI seems a match for the R being only 3 miles per hour down. However it is the 0 to 62 times and beyond that demonstrate the difference in real world performance, the GTI being 1.6 seconds adrift. In reality the GTI would not know which way the R went, the difference in acceleration being so pronounced, but it is also in the way the power is delivered that characterises the difference between these two cars. The R climbs through the gears choosing how to apportion the power between the front and rear axels, mostly it is seamless and without slippage. In the GTI you have to hang on for dear life as the traction control struggles to control any slide. And there will be!
All this said though whilst I would not consider the GTI myself, because I find the R’s power intoxicating, James, video coming up, actually said he would sacrifice some of the power in the R to liven up the driving experience, which he claims is almost too perfect in the R. Certainly you have to have your wits about you if the road is marginally slippy in the GTI and even in the dry when exiting a side road quickly it can be a hairy experience.
So is it excitement you want of the kind that has your heart in your mouth regularly or do you like to know that the car you drive is incredibly fast but will take care of you in almost all conditions. Remember all you have to do is select Race in the R and you can have all the excitement you want.