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Performance Heroes: VW Golf R Mk7

Why the Volkswagen Golf R Mk7 deserves to be recognised as an all-time automotive great...

Since its release in 2014, the Golf R has fast become one of the most sought after hot hatchbacks on the market and became the first petrol-powered performance Golf to outsell the GTI in the UK - nearly 7% of all Golfs sold in the UK between 2014 and 2019 were of the R variant. However, despite its undeniable success in almost all markets, Volkswagen have retired their flagship Golf in anticipation of the release of the all-new, 330bhp Mk8 Golf R, and it's about time that we reflected upon what made the old model a true performance hero.

In terms of performance, the Mk7 Golf R was never lacking. Powered by Volkswagen's 300bhp, 2 litre EA888 engine, this unassuming family hatchback was capable of accelerating from 0-60 in under 5 seconds and topped out at an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Furthermore, the Golf R was fitted with 4Motion, Volkswagen's fantastic four-wheel drive system, as standard, allowing the driver to exploit the car's plentiful power safely in all conditions.

(Image Credits: Luke Thornton)

(Image Credits: Luke Thornton)

It's not just the power that leaves a lasting impression; the Mk7 Golf R is as capacious as it is quick. Even in hatchback form, the Golf R is easily capable of carrying four passengers in great comfort - the seats are supremely comfortable and, as in all modern Volkswagens, the overall interior build quality is superb. However, do bear in mind that the 4Motion system does somewhat encroach on the luggage capacity - 37 litres of boot space are sacrificed in the name of speed. Having said this, the boot is still over 90 litres larger than in an equivalent Ford Focus RS.

If this isn't sufficient, Volkswagen also built an estate version of the Golf R (albeit without the option of a manual gearbox) with over 600 litres of luggage capacity with the rear seats up and over 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down. Furthermore, the boot load lip is low and the seats fold flat, making this space far more versatile than in many other small estate cars.

In truth, there is no one reason why the Golf R is a performance hero - it is the combination of its raw power, relentless reliability and genuine usability that makes it such a fantastic machine. In short, its eclectic mix of performance and practicality is what makes the Golf R a five star car.

What do you think of the outgoing Golf R? Comment down below!

To read about the new VW Golf R, visit https://drivetribe.com/p/everything-we-know-so-far-about-G32bCcvyS-6LRrza4NyTGA?iid=Dh5PIi-1RuuvH7nCsf4MYA

Its eclectic mix of performance and practicality makes the Golf R a 5-star car

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Comments (4)

  • definitely a great car, only issue is the manuals clutch sucks

      9 months ago
  • I agree it is a great car.

      9 months ago
  • Definitely a loss, I preferred the more analog evo but these are performance bargains.

      9 months ago
  • It’s definitely a wonderful car, mother beats a turbo charged agile torpedo.

      9 months ago