- Nov 2014

TheMotorist drives the Volkswagen Golf R & Audi S3

So if you’re a young executive with a taste for R500K + hatchbacks, you will be pleased to know that the VW group has got not just one, but two choices for you.

Enter the Volkswagen Golf 7 R: Starting at R499 900, that’s without sunroof, metallic paint and a few other options and who buys such a car without a sunroof? Come on! So one with reasonable spec will tip you over the half a bar mark, anyways. How does it drive?

To begin with the new Volkswagen Golf R has 206Kw and 380Nm of torque, it seems like VW woke up since its last Golf R which had its little brother the GTIĀ  breathing down its neck. This car though claims to sprint to 100km/h in 5 flat, big claim right? Well its believable, the car is very quick off the mark and yet very manageable too. What’s nice though is that it’s a seamless experience, especially with the 4-motion suspension system that this car has, it makes it a proper point and squirt machine, no drama no scariness. It also has a lot of character, it makes nice noises on the up shifts and it generally sounds deliciously meaty too. As mentioned the car is equipped with the 4-motion suspension which is bias to the front end but brings in the help of the rear wheels when things get hairy. It also has a diff that locks up to ensure that power is being utilized effectively, the result? A well balanced chassis that allows you to push the limit. I was happy to see a lack of intense under-steer, of course it’s there, but not so much that it ruins the experience. So handling? Very good!

Interior space: Well it’s a Golf and we all know that many haven’t complained about the size of a Golf. In fact it’s probably one of the best spaced hatches you can get. On this model the interior is more premium and sporty, silver and black gloss feature and it feels “bad-ass” I must say. The seats are comfortable but still offer good support for those high speed bends you’ll be enjoying. The way Volkswagen styled this car on the outside makes you think that they listened to the pleas of their customers to give the Golf R more life, well they listened. She’s beautiful, strong angles, nice lines, shiny 19 inch wheels and last but not least, four exhaust pipes! Fitting a car with four exhaust pipes is a risky thing because it will either look great or it will look um…east of Johannesburg like, but in this case, they got it just right. It’s funny, the colour of the car counts, if it’s blue it looks great, red, yes please! But white somehow makes it plain, but what do I know? I wear brightly coloured socks so don’t take my opinion too seriously.

These cars like all cars nowadays are built to be fuel efficient and the new Golf R is not lacking in that department, the car has the start stop feature which forms part of the “Bluemotion Technology” equipped in the car which includes things like energy brake recuperation, in simple terms, its more environmentally friendly than the previous model so if you’re driving nicely you will see a decent reading on the l/100km display but hoon the car a little and it changes for the worst obviously . I like this car but I don’t like its price tag, it just seems weird seeing this kind of pricing on a Golf.

Enter the Audi S3: Ok to save you time, let’s say this. If you take the Golf R, make it a little bit more expensive, add 15Kw of power, give it either a two door or a four door Audi body and top it off with a standard maintenance plan of which the Golf does not have. Mix it all together and voila, that’s the S3. Excuse me for being brash but these cars are literally siblings, engine? Same, suspension? Same, owner? Same! In my opinion if you’re a more VW orientated person, buy the Golf, if you’re an Audi lover, get the S3. Audi offers two versions, and is perceived as the more premium of the two but in reality it’s like you’re choosing between two very hot twins, one is blonde and is extroverted and the other is brunette, slightly taller and is a bit more docile, the choice is yours.