Category: Volkswagen

Can the BMW 128ti usurp the Golf GTI from its throne?

We compare the facts and figures! 

We recently drove the new 128ti on its debut in Mzanzi towards the end of February, read about its road test here: Since BMW recently launched their new 1 series (F40 generation) hatchback in 2019 there has been speculation of a variant that would rival the likes of the local hot-hatch king: the Golf 8 GTI (which was locally delayed to the third quarter of 2021 because of a global shortage of semiconductor chips). The new Front Wheel Drive 128ti is what they brought to the party, but how does it stack up against the formidable GTI? 

The highly anticipated M135i was seemingly a bit of a let down to the automotive press (, leaving much to be desired from its predecessor. However the 2-litre 4 pot 128ti could be the right variation for Bavarian die hards wanting a fun, affordable hatchback. While it rejects the norms of BMW’s typical hatch lineage, none of its forerunners have ever embraced the true recipe for a funky hot hatch, until now. That being said, any brand that spends time and budget developing an FWD hot hatch will stack it up directly against the GTI in the hopes of being a worthy adversary, so how does the BMW do:

BMW 128ti

2.0T 4cyl turbo, 195kW and 400Nm

0-100 6.3 seconds (claimed), 250km/h (limited)

5.7l/100km, 158g/km


FWD, 8 speed automatic

R687 418


2.0T 4cyl turbo, 180kW and 370Nm

0-100 6.4 seconds (claimed), 250km/h (limited)

6.2l/100km, 168g/km


FWD, 7 speed dual clutch automatic

Pricing is TBC

While the numbers marginally favour the Bavarian hot hatch (on paper at least), the GTI will continue to enjoy its cult status in our local market. While we are yet to test the new Golf 8 which is expected to arrive very soon, our opinion is that the BMW may just be a more engaging and complete package to drive for enthusiasts. It is lighter, slightly more powerful and makes use of an engaging mechanical diff. Both are well specced with standard equipment already included at their base price points and both have top speeds limited at 250km/h. VW’s desirable cult following of this segment are where BMW would have fallen short, but shrewdly instilled a form of heritage by reinvigorating the Turismo Internazionale (TI) nameplate that was so prominent with the brands success in the late 1960’s.

BMW has taken a stride into a new direction with the 128ti, and by doing so they have leapfrogged some of the competition in the front-wheel drive hot hatch market. Until we can make direct comparisons between the two, we believe the GTI may have met its German match.

VW Facelifts its Tiguan Family SUV

Since its 2016 arrival, the second-generation VW Tiguan has proven to be a very successful seller, capturing families in need of a large Crossover SUV and providing rival to the likes of the Toyota Rav4, Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5. South Africa’s deep brand Loyalty to the VW and the strength of the products almost instantly meant Tiguan grew to be one of the class leaders with accolades to boot, including the 2019 Family Car of the year award.

2021 VW Tiguan facelift

Easily recognisable as a Tiguan the looks have been updated and now the more angular front lines (similar to the Golf 8) new front bumper with additional venting and cooling complete the front end rather fittingly. The overall look appears to be small changes that have enhanced and modernised the overall appearance- at the rear, the light clusters retain the same design. Still, they now feature LED lights, and the rear bumper is slightly more sporty with chrome exhaust like inserts.

2021 VW Tiguan Interior and Specs

The newest updates to the interior are the new MIB3 infotainment system, the updated steering wheel design with the same touch slider configuration as the climatic control to replace the buttons. The updates to the Tiguan’s driver connectivity features have advanced to the same standard on seen on the New Golf 8. Newer Gen features like We Connect Go, Wireless Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto and a 480-Watt Fender Premium Sound System ditching the potent Dynaudio System of before.

2021 VW Tiguan Passive and Active Safety.

Being a New VW Product, the focus on Safety in both passive and Active measures is extensive. The latest version of VW’s ACC- adaptive cruise control, now makes use of the Sat-Nav systems and Front-Mounted Camera to understand speed zoning and can adjust the vehicle speed accordingly. The System can take over full autonomous control (braking, steering and acceleration) at speeds of up to 200kph. Cross-traffic alert, emergency braking, and park assist features on the New Tiguan as part of the optional specification.

2021 VW Tiguan Drivetrains

The South African engine lineup has yet to be confirmed but is likely to mirror that of the New Golf 8, which abroad offers an entry-level 1.5Litre Turbo petrol in either a 96kW or 110kW states of tune. The 2.0TSI Turbo petrol will likely feature 180kW’s with a full cream Tiguan R as the range-topper. A 2.0TDI variant will be carried over from the current lineup.

2021 VW Tiguan In South Africa

The new VW Tiguan will arrive in South Africa towards the beginning of 2021 with the more focused Tiguan R Performance variant offering 235kWs and 420Nm. Power will be delivered to the road via 4-Motion AWD via a 7-Speed DSG gearbox.

Is the new VW GOLF GTI TCR too Expensive?

VW Golf GTI TCR Price in South Africa

VW recently released the official pricing, spec and availability for the new Golf GTI TCR – you can read that here.

With a price of R669,000. some are saying that this vehicle is too expensive. While 669k might be expensive for a standard Golf GTI, it’s worth remembering that there’s nothing typically normal about the TCR.

Front of the VW Golf GTI TCR

For starters, the Golf GTI TCR will be available in limited numbers, less than 300 to be exact. This alone brings uniqueness and prestige to a vehicle that demands a higher price tag. On top of this, its the last “7” GTI variant to be released, which has a certain sentimental appeal.

This is similar to when the Clubsport S arrived in South Africa and for a short while, values shot up. For all we know, the TCR could start demanding prices north of 800k on car listing websites such as or This is market-driven value and if people are willing to pay for the last, limited-edition Golf 7 GTI, the prices will reflect that.

GTI TCR Performance

Another factor to include here is the GTI TCR isn’t just a superficial Golf 7 GTI. Power output is rated at 213kW and 380Nm. This is much higher than the Golf 7.5 GTI, Clubsport and on par with the Clubsport S. Before the release of the 228kW Golf R, this power output would have been on par with that model as well. With launch control, a 5.6 second 0-100 km/h time is very impressive from a FWD Hatch. The TCR has also undergone chassis and suspension tuning to increase handling performance as well. Effectively, if you’re giving more performance, you can ask for more money.

VW Golf GTI TCR Wheel

It’s also worth considering the standard spec list that comes on the GTI TCR. Dynamic Chassis Control, driving profile selection, Active Info Display, Climatronic air-con and Parallel Park Assist are all included in the price tag.

Premium Alcantara sports seats, as well as other Alcantara interior bits and bobs such as the door inserts, are also included, this is something that can’t be specced on a standard GTI!

Golf GTI TCR vs Hyundai I30 N

Now let’s talk about the competition. One vehicle stands out in particular, that’s the Hyundai i30 N that recently arrived in South Africa. The i30n has or should I say had, a unique offering here. That being a sporty front-wheel-drive 5-door hatch, producing 202kW & 353 Nm. The Golf GTI TCR not only beats the i30n on power output, but also pricing. The Hyundai i30 N starts at R679 900, R10k more than the TCR. With the GTI backed by a cult following in South Africa, have VW just null and voided any possible desire in consumers to buy a Hyundai i30 N? Maybe. The only thing the i30n has going for it is the 5-year warranty and 7-year roadside assistance.

Hyundai i30n South Africa

So there you have that, that’s why we think the VW Golf GTI TCR is not too expensive in South Africa. Considering the GTI Clubsport’s were selling for north of R600k ( spec depending) when launched in SA. We feel the more exclusive, more powerful and finely tuned TCR justifies it’s price tag. However, sometimes when you fiddle too much, you break it. Will the TCR live up to the Clubsport’s fantastic driving experience? time will tell.

VW Golf GTI TCR Specs & Pricing in SA

The side of the VW Golf GTI TCR in Tornado Red

A while back we announced that the VW Golf GTI TCR will be coming to South Africa. Much anticipation has been drawn around the final edition of the current Mk7 range and the TCR aims to usher the next-generation Golf 8 in with a serious bang. The TCR will provide just 300 owners with a chance at Limited Edition Golf bragging rights and the most powerful GTI ever. The exodus for the Mk7 Range serves as a reminder to the 40 128 Units sold in South African Markets, with 13 230 or 33% making up GTI sales. Long Story short, we South African’s love our Golf’s and even more so the now cult icon that the GTI nameplate has become.

The Front of the VW Golf GTI TCR in Tornado Red


The Golf TCR muscles its way to the top of the range with 213kW and 380Nm driven through the front wheels. Power is delivered via a 6-Speed DSG gearbox and with the launch control active should be good for 5.6Seconds to 100Km/h. South African spec vehicles will feature the 264Km/h increased top speed. At launch, the choice of one of 3 paints: Pure White, Pure Grey and Torando Red will serve as the only spec option available. As Standard, the spec is as follows: Panoramic Sunroof, Alcantra TCR embossed Seats, Dynamic Chasis Control, Park Assist, and Active Info Display. Matte black mirrors, front splitter, a larger TCR rear spoiler and diffuser hint to the rapidness the hatch promises. South Africa will receive only a 5-door version.


How does the Golf GTI TCR compare to a Golf R? A quick look at the stats should help you understand the TCR is not the fastest accelerating Golf, given the FWD grip limitations, but the lighter chassis and increase in power aims at a more driver-focused vehicle. The steering and spring rates have been sharpened, and a front locking differential aims to reduce understeering and directness at the nose. The TCR serves as a GTI base with the GTI bit turned up as high as possible. The TCR is a much sharper and more dynamic with the lighter chassis and revisions to the front-end grip. Will the TCR live up to the standards set by the Clubsport? Only time will tell!

The Front of the VW Golf GTI TCR in Pure Grey

Golf GTI TCR Pricing in South Africa

The VW Golf GTI TCR costs a reasonable R669 000, and orders to begin in May, with the cars scheduled to arrive at dealers in July. The TCR will come inclusive of a three year 120 000km warranty and 5-year 90 000km Volkswagen Service Plan. All 300 owners will get special model demarcations on each car and ownership certification.

Volkswagen Touareg R

Having been scheduled for its global debut at the Geneva Motorshow, the new fast Touareg with the full-cream R treatment has some interesting indications towards the VW electrification plans of the future. Power is provided not from the expected VAG 4.0Litre V8, but instead a smaller V6 TSI engine with the Plugin-Hybrid system.

Externally the R gets some additional blacked-out vents, grill and trimming and the R-Line visual package in combination with Range Optional, Black style package with the combination of 20-inch Suzuka wheels, finished in black with the optional 22Inch Estoril alloy in either black or burnished black.

The Focus behind the R distinction is the Performance focus and The R promises some Serious numbers. The Turbocharged 3.0Litre V6 producing 250Kw engine is combined with a 100Kw electric motor for a combined 340Kw and 700Nm, driven to all four-wheels via 4-Motion permanent AWD. Not forgetting its SUV routes drive is through an 8-Speed automatic with a centre locking diff with what VW has dubbed asymmetrical torque distribution which can split power 70/80 front to rear. The Hybrid motor and battery system feature an E-Mode which allows for speeds up to 140Km/h (dependant on charge) in a full EV mode.

The key internal differences with the Performance variant of the Touareg is specification through both through the options list and as standard. Finished in the standard black leather with contrasting crystal grey stitching, with “R ” insignia on the head restraints denoting the exclusivity that is R’s interior equipment treatments.

The use of aluminium in the door inserts, high gloss Black finishes to the centre console and the optional Vienna leather for the comfort seat option. A redesigned heated Multi-function steering wheel, and the aluminium door sills with more ‘R‘ insignia, function as constant reminders to the understated presence the ‘R‘ treatment has given it. Specification remains mainly unchanged from the standard model with the Innovision Cockpit featuring the 12-Inch Digital instrument panel, 15-Inch TFT touchscreen Infotainment System, standard Light LED matrix headlights, panoramic sunroof and 4-zone Climatronic climate control.

Premium SUV is always an exhibition of the latest tech and the list of Active, Dynamic and passive safety is long and inclusive. Adaptive Travel assist or Cruise control up to 250km/h driver autonomy, self-parking aids for trailers, 4-Motion permanent AWD, lane keep assist, sign recognition, the list is extensive. The critical difference between top-spec Toureag R and the rest of the range being the Hybrid Drivetrain has created the need for some changes to the car as a whole and the addition of features. The access to displays on the energy reserves, flow and supply to the drive train as this changes via the digital cockpit.

VW Touareg R

The R promises serious performance contention and Hybrid electrification benefits that make the R an exciting prospect in the highly contested fast SUV market.

We drive the Volkswagen Amarok Canyon V6 – It’s Fast!

Volkswagen Amarok Canyon V6 Driven Review

I’ll be honest, I don’t want to be that Bakkie guy.  As an Englishman in South Africa, words such as “Bru”  and “Voetsek” have already been adopted into my language. I feel like I’m holding onto my culture by the skin of my teeth and owning a bakkie would simply tip me over the edge, another tick on the scorecard.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to own one.  I see all the benefits, the practically &  space along with the offroad ability and pulling power, I also think they look pretty cool and really slot into the “South African” lifestyle pretty smoothly.

VW Amarok V6 Canyon Edition

Sadly, after spending a week with the Volkswagen Amarok V6 Canyon addition, I’m fighting a losing battle. I’ve always been a fan of the Amarok, in my opinion, it’s one if not the best looking bakkie on the road and up until recently I’d never properly sampled the V6 variant.

So what’s the Amarok Canyon edition all about?

The first thing you’ll notice about thE Volkswagen Canyon Amarok V6 is the ‘Honey Orange exterior paint, it’s exclusive to the Canyon. I’m not the biggest fan of this color, but from those I’ve asked, it seems a fan favorite.

Black exterior trims such as the door handle, radiator grille,  widening wheels arches, new design matte black styling bar and matte black side tubes add a nice contrast to the exterior color and improve the look. I’d love to see this spec with a white exterior color…but I don’t think that wish will be granted.

VW Amarok V6 Canyon Edition rear

Finally, the Amarok canyon has massive arches, and I personally don’t think the 17″ Aragua alloy wheels fill said arches enough. In comparison to the vehicle, the alloys look small. The addition of bigger alloys or a meatier offroad tyre would really compliment the overall style.

The Amarok features an interior with technology more likened to one of its passenger vehicles rather than its commercial range, and the honey Orange theme is carried through with hints and splashes of the color in the seats, stitching, seatbelts and steering wheel.

How does the Volkswagen Amarok V6 Canyon Drive?

If you’re worried about lack of on-road performance when buying a bakkie, The Volkswagen Amarok Canyon V6 will cure your sleepless nights.  With a 165kW and 550 N.m available all the time, the Amarok doesn’t hang around. It pulls like a trooper from the get-go, and in-gear acceleration makes the vehicle very pleasant to drive on the open road. On top of this, the 3.0 V6 has an over-boost mode,  which produces a hefty 180 kW and 580 N.m for 1o seconds when you put your foot to the floor. Do this from stand-still and you’ll be a little taken aback – we were!

VW Amarok V6 Canyon Edition Driving

It’s very well known the Amarok is one of the comfiest bakkies around and this is no different with the V6 Canyon version. What’s even more impressive is that the Amarok runs a conventional leaf spring suspension setup, similar to that of many other ” workhorse ” orientated bakkies. The Amarok’s lifestyle competitors such as the Nissan Navara and Mercedes-Benz X-Class use a 5 link suspension system which is known to be much more comfortable and more passenger vehicle orientated. Having said this, the comfort margins between the Amarok and its direct competitors are negligible to say the least.

Coincidently, I needed to move around 30 boxes when I had the Amarok on test and the vehicle didn’t skip a beat under load and the braking was on point. I especially enjoyed the protected rear bin, it’s hardwearing and smooth making it a breeze to slide boxes and other items in and out.

The Volkswagen Amarok Canyon V6 runs with a permanent 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system which seems very capable. My only gripe would be that the gearbox is sometimes a little delayed when putting it into reverse and this causes the vehicle to roll forward slightly, and a letter from my body corporate asking why I ran over the newly planted bushes…

Volkswagen Amarok Canyon V6 Pricing in South Africa

Coming in at R799,000 the Amarok is not cheap, but what modern lifestyle bakkie is? For that price you get a very complete vehicle that can service you from a lifestyle, safety, family & work orientated lifestyle. There’s plenty of power on tap, along with creature comforts and luxuries to keep everyone satisfied. It’s my pick of the bunch and while I can’t imagine why you would need a faster Amarok, the 190kW version heading to our shores soon is really going to take the cake.

The Volkswagen Amarok Canyon V6 comes standard with a 3 year/ 100 000km manufacturer warranty, 5 year/ 90 000km Genuine Automotion Service Plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Comparison Vehicles

Other vehicles you may consider:

The turn of the Dark Horse – VW’s plans for 2020

VWSA recently made use of the Premium drive experience as a catch-up and information session for South African Media, and TheMotorist was in attendance. The Premium drive made clear, numerous elements with respects to the dubbed Premium products and product range nevertheless. While combining the event with being introductions to the Dark Label versions of the Toureg, smaller sibling the Tiguan and the Lesire bakkie of the year Amarok Grand Canyon powered by the 190kW 3.0TDI v6 that makes it the most rapid and Amarok in V6 still the most desirable in class. The fact of the matter is VW is smashing it with respects to South Africa and the market. The T-Cross is the best selling in class, beating excellent offerings; from Kia Seltos, Hyundai’s Creta and H2 Haval’s as the value offering. 

The understanding that 22.7% of all vehicle sales locally was VW’s tally.
The year ahead is apparent with the mission towards autonomy. Throughout the year various test Golf 8 mules have been spotted Globally and even in SA, following its 2020 Q4 launch.


With Golf 8 in standard and GTI, GTE and GTD having been revealed ahead of their official Geneva debut. The MK8 GTI boasting 180kW and 370Nm with a performance pack variant with a likely 221kWs-Both unit receiving power from the familiar EA888 powerplant with a 6-speed manual as standard and the option for an updated drive-by-wire DSG box. GTE will also keep its 1.4Litre turbo petrol with the electric motor assistance. The dual powertrain is suitable for a GTI matching 180kW, and 400Nm.No acceleration or performance figures have been revealed for the performance variants, which interestingly enough will be the first offerings to reach our shores with the new Golf 8. The swansong for the Mk7.5 GTI platform the TCR which was confirmed for March will arrive before the new model later in the tyre with a few of the 300 units making there way to South Africa with a 700k plus price tag, 5.6 Second 0-100 and 264Km/h top speed.

Tiguan and Toureg Black Edition

The recent “Black style pack” offering to the Tiguan and Toureg offerings have allowed for slight tweaking to the familiar faces, that transform and add some serious aggression and volume to the vehicles. In Tiguan guise, the R-Line kit takes on black air intakes, a new updated front grille, black window trim and side-mirrors, black roof rails, and sports suspension. 19″ Sebring” alloy wheels remain the only option for the comfort, while the larger 20″ Suzuka alloy defaults the Highline. 


The move to electrification by VW in South Africa is growing to be a considerable movement and investment from VW into support and infrastructure. This is garnered the need for a fleet of Press E-Golf’s and the Later 2021 launch of the ID.3 EV vehicle. The idea is the E-Golf and launch of WE Connect intelligence vehicle connectivity will usher the era of smarter cars with remote access to diagnostics and vehicle information. This being key to EV ownership, given the need for access to charging and how this process is intuitive.

Is the New Volkswagen T-Cross a budget Tiguan?

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross Driven Review

We drive the new VW T-Cross in South Africa

With consumers always in search for something new, exciting and different – the current crop of crossover vehicles on offer in SA tend to tick the correct boxes for many. This segment gives you vehicles that look like small SUV’s, some of which are actually quite capable off road, whilst others can merely climb Sandton pavements. Other brands simply offer funky styling that screams adventure and #livingyourbestlife. Mainly aimed at a younger professional audience, crossovers need to be a value proposition to those who may not want a fully-fledged SUV but have outgrown their hatchback. Enter the new Volkswagen T- Cross.

Watch our VW T-Cross Review Video here:

Volkswagen T-Cross Front

The name suggests it all, this Volkswagen is a bigger Polo on steroids, with a unique look to it that is both striking and good looking. Having driven it on launch and spending time with a bright orange unit on test for a week, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is one impressive vehicle. Surprise surprise, another good Volkswagen – you’d swear this company sells thousands of cars in South Africa per month. Sarcasm aside, the new T-Cross is built on the MQB platform, giving it dimensions that fall within a Tiguan and a Polo. Having team members of varying proportions, no one complained about the size offering of the T-Cross. Instead, as a cyclist, I was able to ditch the bike rack and simply drop the back seats – unlocking 1281litres of storage space, enough for my roadie to sit comfortably. When the back seats are up, you’ll have 455 litres, which should be enough for all two and a half children of yours.

Volkswagen T-Cross Back

Inside the T-Cross is the usual Volkswagen story. Quality materials. Plastic yes, but durable plastics that don’t seem cheap. Depending on the specification you choose, you can customize your dashboard. For instance, the Energetic Orange unit we had on test, featured an orange dashboard and some fine metal bits – creating a quirky and premium feel. Technology-wise, the unit we had featured Apple CarPlay, a decently sized infotainment system, Bluetooth, USB, aux and whatever millennials want in a vehicle. Starting up the T-Cross you’ll notice the rasp of a 3-cylinder engine. Being a boosted engine, you’ve 85kW/200Nm mated to a 7 speed DSG gearbox. This configuration is nice for day to day driving and when the vehicle is moving the power on offer is reasonable and offers enough for cruising and overtaking, our only complaint would be that on pull off and low-end acceleration, the T-Cross can be sluggish at times. Apart from that, we really can’t fault it from a driving perspective. The T-Cross is comfortable enough for long journeys, it’s effortless to drive and it even has an element of fun in it. It has a likeable personality to it that is reflected in its overall design.

If you do find the 85kW variant lacking when it comes to power, do not fear. A 110kW version is coming to South Africa in the near future which will offer more usable power throughout the rev range and will be even better suited for the open road. We’ve had the pleasure of sampling this engine in the new Audi A1 and that version turned out to be the pick of the bunch for us. Aesthetic wise, there’s a range of colours to choose.  Favourites such as Reflex Silver Metallic, Pure White and Deep Black Pearlescent, can be selected. For those looking to express themselves more, options such as Makena Turquoise Metallic, Flash Red and Energetic Orange are available – with matching interior trim as well.

The T-Cross is no Tiguan, but it certainly bridges the gap between VW’s hatches and SUV’s by providing more space and flexibility at a good price point. Out-grown your Polo but a Tiguan is out of reach? Your answer is the T-cross.

Volkswagen T-Cross

It may sound like we’re singing the praises of this car strongly, but the fact is that the German outfit has delivered time and time again on price, reliability, and product across the range. Nothing has changed with the T-Cross either, they just seem to understand the consumer and deliver on the wants and needs of South Africans.  They say the “proof is in the pudding”, VWSA has already sold 850 units in the first week due to pre-orders and aggressive marketing campaigns. Need we say more?

Volkswagen T-Cross Pricing in South Africa

The 110kW model will be available from the first quarter of 2020, while the entry-level 70kW T-Cross will be available in the second quarter of 2020.

1.0 TSI 85kW Comfortline DSG®       R334 600

1.0 TSI 85kW Highline DSG®             R365 000

1.5 TSI 110kW R-Line DSG®               R403 500

The T-Cross comes standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, a 3 year/ 45 000km Volkswagen Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.

Learn more here.

Watch Our Video Here: <iframe width=”835″ height=”470″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

Volkswagen Golf R Technology

Volkswagen Golf R Technology

There was a time and stage when a radio in a car was an accessory – an optional extra that had to be fitted by a specialist and at an extra cost to the owner. The “wireless” in question first started out as one horrid, singular speaker in the footwell beneath the dashboard of the vehicle that had a timbre much akin to that of a gentle band, mumbling through a pillow while sitting in the corner of an echoey bathroom. The world was then blessed with the luxury of ‘stereo’ which in essence sounded like two of these mumbling pillow bands, but now at opposite ends of this echoey bathroom. Suffice to say, we have come a Lon way since then and as the telescopic ariels and shoddy sound-quality disappeared, the “audio system” developed too into what is now simply known as infotainment. The more perceptive of you would have figured out that infotainment is an amalgamation of the two words ‘information’ and ‘entertainment’ – wow, what a time to be alive!
Take Volkswagen’s new Golf R, for example. This is the perfect example of a sensible, practical and perfectly capable everyday vehicle which just so happens to have the latest and greatest in ‘infotainment’ available as an option. This is neatly integrated into the vehicle and works seamlessly in conjunction with what VW call the ‘Active Informalities Display.’ Essentially, this display is a 12-inch high-resolution screen that sits behind the steering wheel where one may traditionally have found the analogue instruments. This display is customisable by the driver and can show all kinds of relevant information – the speedometer and rev-counter will even move to either side of the display to make more space for the map when using the satellite-navigation system.
Vehicle settings can also be controlled and changed via the optional 9.2 – inch Discover Pro touchscreen system which is really great from a usability and user interface perspective.  The system is really easy to navigate and contains clean menu’s and infographics to aid the user in whichever process or function they are trying to use. The Discover Pro system also features gesture control technology. Gesture control is able to decipher certain gestures which you my make in order to change to the next song playing through the vehicle’s optional Dynaudio audio-system – which compromises of 9 high-performance speakers, front and rear 2-way loudspeaker sets and a discreetly mounted dual voice coil subwoofer which is all powered by a 400-watt digital amplifier. In short, it sounds really good.  The gesture control worms a charm, however, if you’ aren’t happy with the VW interface, connect your iPhone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
On top of this, almost all the information you could ever need regarding the vehicle can be displayed on the touch screen. If you’re conscious of fuel economy, then VW’s think blue trainer can be activated, aiding the driver in driving more economically. Our favorite option is the sports display, which displays live digital gauges on metrics such as power, torque, boost levels and G-force.
In terms of safety tech, the Golf R also features more commonplace premium features such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control which is radar-controlled and makes sure you are always keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front while maintaining and adjusting speed. Also available is Blind-spot assist and Rear Traffic Alert which monitors traffic that is approaching the rear of the car when reversing and notifies the driver is necessary.  All these features go a long way to adding to the premium feel of the Golf R and go along way in keeping you safer on the roads.
So there you have it – gone are the days of plastic oranges on ariels and space-consuming 8-track upfront. The Golf R has got you covered with all the tech you could ever need – incredible audio quality, clean and concise maps, and a user interface that doesn’t frustrate the living daylights out of you as do the majority of OEM systems do. Few buttons, legible text and responsive software are a simple recipe for success in this instance.

5 Reasons why you should buy a 228kW Golf R

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?

It’s Iconic

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.

Volkswagen Golf R Badge

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.