5 Reasons to buy a 228kW Golf R
The quintessential Super-hatch – the Volkswagen Golf R, is a true all-rounder and an exceptionally appealing package, however, in today’s ultra-competitive performance vehicle segment, there are so many options to choose from. So why, then, might one consider the original, the legend – the Golf R?
Well, it’s iconic. There’s no denying the Golf’s cult status as the benchmark vehicle within its segment. Add to this a little more poke, and you get the GTI which is arguably one of the best-balanced vehicles one can buy. But if you’re looking for something just a little more special, well then the Golf R is for you. It’s everything that the GTI is, but turned up to eleven, and we like things when they are turned up to eleven…
Great for daily driving
It’s perfectly civilized on a daily commute – its refined and comfortable and honestly, cars don’t get easier to drive. It’s compact dimensions also mean that it’s a doddle to park and you’ll never find yourself struggling to squeeze your pride and joy into a parking bay. Throw in the optional Dynaudio sound system (you should do this) if you’d like for your tunes to be delivered with the same aplomb as the supple ride in comfort mode.
Have a dog, cat or animal that may need to be placed in the rear of your vehicle? Well the Golf R is the consummate hatchback – with 1 233 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded, it’ll swallow just about anything you throw at it. It also has clever little hooks in the boot onto which you can hang your shopping parcels.
The only thing worse than being stuck in traffic, is being stuck in traffic in a performance car that gulps down the fuel, regardless of how fast you may or may not be moving. The Golf R is fantastically frugal when pottering around, yet has the performance on tap to decimate most cars on the road.
Performance & Styling
Which brings us to the whole point of this car, because let’s be honest, a standard Golf can do all of the above, too. 228 kW and 400 N.m are what’ll be unleashed if you give it some welly. 0-100 km/h is sorted out in 4.6 seconds and thanks to the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, and while there might be little-to no drama when launching, the sheer force of the acceleration coupled with the R’s delicious exhaust note makes for some spine-tingling stuff!
Add to all of this a smattering of R badges and a spectrum of snazzy hues from garish yellows to alluring blues and the package is complete. It really is a recipe for hatchback perfection that few, if any, can come even close to matching. In short, the R is comfortable, usable, practical, economical, blisteringly quick and undeniably desirable.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
Those of you who are avid Motorists will recall that when we had the Golf GTI Clubsport on test some two years ago, we were all rather fond of it. Sure, it lacked the sniper-precise front-end of the Honda Civic Type-R and all-out track focused nature of Renault’a then aged Megane R.S 265, but as an all-round package and daily driver, the Clubsport really took some beating. It was rather special, too, when one considers that only 58 were bought into South Africa. In fact, Sam has one. Its red, and we love it.
Just this week at the Festival of Motoring, held at Kyalami Racetrack, Volkswagen South Africa announced that they will be bringing 300 Golf GTI TCR’s to Mzanzi. Yes, it’s another limited edition Golf GTi, but this is somewhat of a final hoorah for the long in the tooth but still completely wonderful Golf 7.
213 kW and 370 Nm from the familiar EA888 2.0-litre motor is sent to the front wheels with the TCR being touted as the fastest GTI ever, blitzing the 0-100 km/h dash in just 5.6 seconds.
Visual differentiators from the standard GTI are a whole lot of black things, namely the wheels, roof-spoiler, mirror caps and the front splitter. It also has ‘TCR’ decals on the rear doors.
Pricing and local specification hasn’t been confirmed but it’ll supposedly be priced at less than R700 000 when it arrives on local shores during the first quarter of 2020.
Will it be as special and exciting as the Clubsport? We are excited to find out…
Polo Vivo Sound Edition
Here’s what is unique on the Polo Vivo Sound Edition
If there is one thing we know about the youth of today, it’s that they love their music. They also love the Polo Vivo, as it’s an affordable, stylish and reliable vehicle. The issue with the Polo Vivo and other affordable hatchbacks is that they often lack in the sound department. So then, we’re sure many will welcome the introduction of VW’s latest Polo Vivo.
Volkswagen South Africa have told us that a special edition varient of the Polo Vivo will be available. From September 2019, will see the introduction of the Polo Vivo Sound Edition – a special edition of South Africa’s best selling passenger vehicle. Having sold 17 672 Polo Vivo’s between the beginning of the year and the end of July it’s quite clear that the Vivo is a firm South African favourite.
Another firm favourite here in Mzanzi is some good tunes while driving, and what better addition could there be to the Vivo than a premium 6-speaker audio system, complete with sub-woofer and app connect.
Visually, equaliser decals, 16-inch anthracite Rivazza wheels and mirror-caps finished in Energetic Orange will distinguish the Vivo Sound Edition from other run of the mill Polo Vivo models.
The Polo Vivo Sound Edition is based on the 1.4-litre Comfortline Manual and as an optional extra, the Black Interior Styling Package can be had at R2 500 which features an anthracite headliner and sun-visors, privacy glass and leather steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake lever.
It’ll be available exclusively in Pure White, Limestone Grey and Reef Blue and will retail for R220 000 with a 3 year/120 000 km warranty and 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.
A Volkswagen Maintenance Plan as well as Service plan are available as options. Check it out here!
Volkswagen Golf R the Super Hatch!
While the idea of owning a supercar and, at a push, driving supercar everyday may sound fab and glamourous, the reality of the situation is that no-matter where in the world you live, they aren’t particularly practical things. Sure, some of them have more luggage space than others and with independent suspension this and adaptive damping that, the majority of them are actually rather comfortable as “runabouts” – however, as a package, the supercar is still heavily flawed.
What you need, then, is a hot-hatch – but let’s face it, if you’re the sort of person who has become accustomed the accelerative forces of V12 and V8 supercars, a Golf GTI, as lovely as it is, is hardly going to have you by the seat of your pants before setting your hair on fire…
In essence, there really is only one car for the job here – the Volkswagen Golf R. Offering unrivalled build-quality, not just at this price point but at any, superb practicality, impressive efficiency and all the creature comforts you could ever hope for, it really does live up to its legendary name as the super hatch to beat. Having been the consummate super hatch since its launch in 2013, the facelifted 7.5 Generation Golf R has just received one final update for the South African market before the introduction of the Golf 8 in 2020.
Now with the full 228 kW from Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged motor being fed to all four wheels through Volkswagen’s advanced 4Motion AWD system, the Golf R is capable of catapulting itself to 100 km/h in a mere 4.6 seconds. While this figure is hugely impressive on paper, its far more impressive in reality. The Volkswagen Golf R hurtles itself at the horizon with breathtaking ferocity and then keeps going.
So we know that it’s fast and well built, but just how practical is it? Well when one considers that an average supercar has around 150-litres of awkwardly shaped luggage space, the Golf R’s 340-litres (1 233 – litres with the seats down) is humungous. What’s more, this space is wide, long and has a low boot ledge so as to avoid awkward fumbling when taking objects out of the boot. The boot floor isn’t too low either, which is nice.
In addition to more kW, the Volkswagen Golf R now receives the option of a lovely factory fitted Akrapovic Exhaust system. How lovely you may ask? Well, it snarls, crackles, pops and adds a raucous nature to the R which we felt may have been missing from the car in the past. Couple this with the R’s addictive induction noise, turbo flutters and wastegate whooshes and you have yourself a characterful and somewhat antisocial demeanor to it. See? Lovely.
One can also option the R with black brake calipers which go nicely with the additional black trim bits that the 228 kW Golf R now comes with.
Speaking of those black trim bits, while the Volkswagen Golf 7 has been praised since its introduction for the fact that it is able to stand out from the crowd when you want it to, or blend in when you don’t, these minor changes to the R’s exterior really do set it apart from the ‘run of the mill’ Golf R’s.
The eye-candy doesn’t stop at the door, though. Hop into the cabin and you’ll be greeted with Carbon-fibre look bucket seats and a thick rimmed, meaty steering wheel that feels so great in the hand when exploring the upper limits of the R’s superb chassis. The familiar 12.3-inch Active Info Display replaces traditional analogue instruments and features slick, crisp graphics and an impressive Dynaudio sound system can be had for those audiophiles who aren’t sufficiently pleased by the Akrapovic exhaust system.
Dynamically, the Volkswagen Golf R has always struck the perfect balance between engaging and exciting, yet perfectly manageable. It has an uncanny ability to make even the most novice of drivers seem like driving aces and thanks to its AWD underpinnings, is very forgiving should the driver run out of talent. Of course, this is the sort of driving that will never be done on the daily commute, and thanks to the DSG Gearbox, traffic and pottering around town are lapped up with aplomb. The adaptive dampers provide superb feedback when in the sportier modes, and then absorb the bumps brilliantly when in comfort, but without being wallowy or crashy.
The Volkswagen Golf R really is the vehicle for all seasons and the super-hatch for all people. Whether its hair-raising performance you’re after or a stylish cruiser with a banging audio system, it really does tick all the boxes that you could ever want ticked. The only question is, now – what colour would you take yours in?
Pricing and specs:
2.0 TSI R 228 kW DSG R681 000
228 kW/400 N.m
5 year/90 000 km Service Plan as standard
3 year/120 000 km warranty
12-year anti-corrosion warranty
15 000 km service intervals
Golf R 228 kW Akrapovic exhaust system
If you didn’t know, Volkswagen South Africa have updated the Golf 7.5 R. This will most likely be the last variant of the 7th generation Golf R we’ll see in South Africa until the Golf 8 arrives. The feature update to this vehicle is that we now get full power. Yes, South African Golf R’s now produces 228kW which falls in line with the European models, compared to the 213kW models originally available in South Africa. Along with this big change are some minor exterior tweaks in terms of lips and diffusers. There’s also another really exciting addition, the optional Akrapovic exhaust system.
Akrapovic systems are quite popular among the German brands here in South Africa, especially the likes of the Golf GTI and Golf R. They’re extremely high quality, aid performance and sound great. The problem with fitting one of these aftermarket systems to cars under warranty is that it can often cause issues if a warranty claim arises, the difference here is that the Akropovic system available for the 228kW Golf R is manufacturer fitted, thus it’s approved by VW South Africa.
After spending a week with the 228kW Golf R, I can say that the Akrapovic pipes really are a nice addition to an already decent sounding vehicle. What’s impressive about the system is that there’s no exhaust drone when at driving at a steady speed – such as on the highway. In fact, I’d go as far to say that there isn’t much additional noise when cruising and this is a big positive.
The difference is noticed on acceleration, upshifts, downshifts and overrun. When accelerating a more aggressive, raspy sound can be heard from the Akrapovic tips. Upshifts incur a loud vrpraa and the pops, bangs and bubbles heard on overrun are simply delightful.
If you’re worried this system will be too loud, don’t be. It’s very tasteful and while it’s noticeably louder outside the vehicle, inside the cabin it blends nicely with the engine and induction noise and isn’t obtrusive or annoying when your foot isn’t buried into the floor – we know this probably isn’t much of the time.
For us, if you’re buying a 228kW Golf R, the Akrapovic system is a must and really is the finishing touches to an already very well rounded performance vehicle.
To give you a better insight into the sound, here’s a clip of the Akropovic pipes fitted to the 228kW Golf R at standstill.
The Volkswagen Touareg Just got better. Meet the V8 variant.
One could argue that the Volkswagen Touareg gained legendary status from the moment VW’s then brand new model hit the road in 2002. This was due in part to its shared underpinnings with Porsche’s also then new Cayenne, but also due to the fact that it was available with a stonking V10 TDI motor.
The second generation Touareg saw the much loved and mechanically troubled V10 axed for a more potent and frugal V8 TDI, which may not have had the same character as the V10, but golly gosh was it torquey and it suited the Touareg’s subtle yet attractive looks perfectly.
Fast forward 17 years from when Volkswagen’s now flagship was launched and the top-spec Touareg is back, now with VW AG’s 4.0-litre turbodiesel V8 which meets Europe’s latest 6d-TEMP emissions standards. With 310 kW and 900 N.m on tap, you can imagine the look on the face of a man who has just bought a BMW X5 M50d when you smoke him at the traffic light in your Touareg…
But of course, we don’t condone street racing and obviously, V8 Touareg’s will be more likely to be found towing caravan’s than scaring BMW’s on a Tuesday evening.
Compared to the V6 models, the Touareg V8 TDI includes air suspension, an electronic boot lit, comfort seats, an anti-theft alarm system, stainless steel pedals and the “Light & Sight” package (including automatically dimming exterior mirrors and automatic headlights) all as standard.
The Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI is due to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, there’s no word yet on South African availability, so time will have to tell whether or not X5 M50d driver’s will need to be looking over their shoulders, for their caravan, of course.
Ok’salayo, new Golf R has more PAH!
If you drive a first generation Volkswagen Golf 7 R, by now you should be over the fact that your colleague that drives a 7.5 R has nicer looking lights and slightly different bumpers. That colleague also has slightly more power, 15kW to be exact. That colleague probably rubs it in your face, reminding you that they drive a facelift and you drive an old car.
What comes around goes around.
If you’ve had to endure the smugness of a Golf 7.5 R driver, you’ll be happy to know that a new, more powerful update has been made to the car. Now, Golf 7.5 owners will have to deal with having the “slower” old car, as their colleagues drive the “new” 228kW version. A further 15kW has been added on top of the 213kW you got before.
Yes, finally VW has given us a Golf R that produces the same power as our friends overseas. For a long time we’ve had detuned versions of the Golf R, due to our apparent low fuel quality. As journalists, we always questioned this because the Audi S3 which is the same car, produced “full” power in SA. Anyways, that’s an argument for another day.
For now, all we know is that the 228kW Golf R will differentiate itself with black badges and a new titanium exhaust system, also in black. Yum. The Golf R also come standard with Active Info Display – meaning you have a digital dashboard. Overall, on the outside the Golf R doesn’t look much different from the current model, so 7.5 owners won’t have too much to worry about. But we all know how it goes, a 228kW Golf R driver will stay say ok’salayo (but still).
228kW Golf R Pricing in South Africa
2.0 TSI R 228kW DSG R676 000
The Golf R comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan,
3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.
Meet the Volkswagen T-Cross, VW’S first ever small SUV aimed at urban life and living. Based on the MQB platform, the T-Cross is much more compact than the Tiguan. From the first images we have seen the T-Cross looks fun and funky. While I’m not a fan of the rear, it has a fairly cute overall appeal. T-Cross is shorter than the T-Roc, making it better for city living. Its 4-metre length still provides enough space for 5 people, with the rear row of seats being able to slide 14cm to provide more leg room or more luggage space.
Four engine options are available, three petrol and one diesel. The two 1.0 TSI three-cylinder petrol engines generate 70 kW and 85 kW. T The top of the range model features a 1.5 TSI four-cylinder petrol motor producing 100kW. The singular diesel offering comes in form of a 1.6 TDI four-cylinder engine producing 70 kW. While the T-Cross is a small SUV, I worry that the two 1.0 TSI engine options won’t provide enough meat and leave the T-Cross feeling a little sluggish. Time will tell in this regard.
Standard tech on the T-Cross comes in truckloads. Safety systems such as Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring, City Emergency Braking System, the lane keeping assistant Lane Assist, Hill Start Assist, the proactive occupant protection system, and the Blind Spot Detection lane change assist system with the integrated Rear Traffic Alert are all standard. The Driver Alert System, adaptive cruise control and park assist are all optional extras. VW say the T-Cross has the ” highest level of networking and connectivity with the outside world”. We don’t exactly know what that means as yet. What we do know is the T-Cross comes with 4 USB ports. You can never have enough USB ports.
Production of the T-cross will take place in Navarra at VW’s Spanish Volkswagen. BY 2019, Volkswagen is set to invest some one billion euros there to assist the strong growth in the market of compact SUVs, with a 10% increase in job creation.
Volkswagen T-Cross in South Africa
The good news is that the T-Cross will be coming to South Africa in 2019. We don’t have pricing yet but we think the T-Cross will have a great appeal if the pricing is right. T-Cross will add to VW’s ever expanding range of SUVs. Whilst it varies around the world, in South Africa we now have Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg.
VW Arteon 2.0 TSI
Sitting low, with a multitude of thin, sharp horizontal chrome lines across the front and focused headlights, the Arteon is one of the most striking front ends I’ve ever seen on VW. It’s an attention grabber, a stop and look twice kind of car that wouldn’t look out of place in a Transformers movie. Regular sporty sedan by day, universe-saving electromechanical robot by night – I suppose we can only dream.
However, as striking as the Arteon is, its persona is stealthy. On the streets, one would call it a “sleeper”. Sleepers are dangerous and can be the source of much embarrassment in front of your mates or worse, bae. You’d want to be careful if you find yourself underestimating one of these at a set of lights as the Arteon’s 0-100km/h time might be somewhat surprising. Yes, with a Golf R engine, 4motion and 206kW on tap, the Arteon will hit those magical three figures faster than a Golf GTI – 5.6 seconds to be exact.
While it does share the same architecture, you’d be wrong to think the VW Arteon 2.0 TSI is simply a “bigger” Golf R. The first couple of times I put my foot down I felt I wanted more, was the Arteon sluggish? If I had actually looked down to see how fast I was travelling I would have realised that the Arteon isn’t sluggish at all, rather a quiet and comfortable cruiser with heaps of power and all the bells and whistles you’d expect to find in a luxury vehicle.
Funny story, I’d had the Arteon on test for around 3 days when I was asked, “ What car is this?” Before I could even spit a word out, my dear wife chirped up “ It’s a Mercedes”. She’d only ever rode in the vehicle at night and never really paid much attention to the badge, so after lovingly correcting her, I asked her why she thought this. Her reasoning’s were due to the Arteon’s looks, technology and build quality. My wife is accustomed to cars of all shapes, sizes and price ranges so for me, this sums the Arteon up.
If you’ve been enticed by the likes of a 4 Series gran coupe or A5 Sportback then you should probably open your eyes and check out the VW Arteon 2.0 TSI too, because it offers something a little different while rivalling in performance and quality.
Whether the Arteon sells well in South Africa or not depends largely on how it is perceived. The owner of a Golf R or GTI doesn’t need to jump ship when they are ready to take a step out of hatchbacks and into something bigger, whether that’s a SUV or in this case, sedan. I don’t want to delve too deep into this, as my college Richard Nwamba talks more about this subject here: Take Off Your Blinkers: Volkswagen Arteon Driven. At the end of the day, a badge isn’t the be all and end all.
For me, this specific Arteon offers a great all-round package. There’s no arguing that it looks fantastic, but not only that, it appeals to the guy inside of me that likes a little speed and performance as well. It can be fun when it needs too, but also a fantastic cruiser when you want it to be with plenty of kWs and comfort for the open road.
Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI Pricing in South Africa
VW Arteon 2.0 TSI – R699 900
The new Arteon comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km Maintenance Plan, 3 year/120 000km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service Interval is 15 000km.