Golf R Lease
We recently test drove the mighty Mk7.5 VW Golf R. With the new Mk8 R about to hit the roads, we wanted to have one last blast before we do our review on the new version.
The Mk6 Golf R was launched back in 2009 following on from the R32 models. In 2013 the Mk7 arrived and in 2017 received its mid-life tweaks to become the Mk7.5.
Firstly, I want to say how much I love this car! It has plenty of performance, looks great and it is also a practical car. It is still a Golf after all! What’s more, it’s an incredibly easy car to drive normally about town or if you want to get a bit crazy on the back roads this little pocket rocket sticks to the road like glue with its 4Motion drive.
Can’t wait to try the new one!!
The Golf R is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine (2.0TSI) producing 296bhp and 280lb ft of torque. It uses VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system to ensure maximum grip when putting your foot down.
So, what is the engine like to drive?
Press the ‘start button’ and it fires up with a slight burble from the quad pipes. All of the last cars came in the Auto (DSG) gearbox only whereas you had the choice of manual or auto in earlier models. Emissions regulations ruined that for us!
Like any auto-box, you have various settings you can adjust to suit your driving style. Eco, Comfort and Race modes. For everyday driving the Comfort mode is what most will use. You will get a good mix of power, economy (well sort of) and noise from the exhausts. Driving sensibly, this will feel much like any other Golf on the roads.
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Select Race mode and notch the gearbox in to Sport and the car comes alive. The exhaust burble gets noticeably louder and when driving you will notice the car revs higher and feels sharper all round.
You can drive the car in full-auto mode or if you want to have a little more fun, you can try out the flappy paddles for semi-automatic gear changes. I find using the paddles makes better use of the cars power.
From a standstill the car will launch off extremely quickly and will rev higher using the paddles than it will in auto. The all-wheel drive gets you off the line without wheelspin which adds to the kick you are given when you plant it.
I’ve never actually driven a manual Golf R but I’d imagine it’s a fun set up to have. Personally, for me, I’ll stick with the DSG box for my everyday driver but if it was a weekend toy, a manual does sound appealing!
VW quote a 0-60mph acceleration time of 4.7 seconds and I have no reason to doubt those figures! Plant your foot to the floor and all 4 wheels launch you off the line in a heartbeat and the needle will hit 60 in no time and it’ll keep going all the way to 153mph! This is a Hot Hatch alright!
What about MPG’s and running costs?
If you’re worried about MPG’s, cars like these maybe aren’t for you. Unbelievably VW reckon the car will do 39.2mpg on the combined cycle. Anyone who actually achieves this either needs a medal or shown where the accelerator is as I don’t think that will be achievable. In fact, I don’t think getting anywhere near that is achievable.
The problem here is that you buy a hot hatch as you want a car you can have a bit of fun in. It’s got 300 odd brake horse power. That’s why you bought it so why wouldn’t you use it? Problem is, using that power will cause your mpgs to plummet and we reckon you’d be doing well to maintain a figure in the high 20’s but it’s likely to be lower if driving the car hard.
Servicing costs shouldn’t be extortionate compared to supercars offering similar performance. However, expect to chew through tyres quicker and factor in replacing 4 at a time rather than 2. Insurance costs are likely to be high also and especially for younger drivers who will inevitably be attracted to owning one of these!
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. We reckon this is one of the best all-round hot hatches on the market. German build quality, plenty or power, grip and sounds good. Best of all it is extremely comfortably, practical and looks the part without being over the top.
Benefit In Kind Tax (BIK)
This wouldn’t be your typical company car but that’s not to say you couldn’t put it through your business. We are yet to do one on a business lease but have supplied plenty on Personal Contract Hire (PCH) or Personal Contract Purchase (PCP).
Government incentives have made hybrid and electric vehicles a more attractive option for those driving company vehicles. Full electric cars incur Zero BIK tax in the 2020/21 tax year and only 1% in 21/22 and 2% the year after that. Petrol and diesels cars are being edged out it may seem but let’s have a look at some figures.
BIK - Petrol Vs. Petrol/ Electric PHEV
Below we have shown the difference of two similarly spec’d VW Golf’s, The Mk7.5 Golf R and the new Mk8 GTE Plug-in hybrid.
|Benefit in Kind||£13,170||£2,157|
|Tax payable at 20%||£2,634||£431|
|Tax payable at 40%||£5,268||£863|
So, what this tells us is that a 20% income tax earner can expect to pay £2,634/ year in BIK tax on the Golf R compared to £431/ year in the GTE. To break that down in to a monthly figure, it equates to £219.50/m Vs. £35.92/m. Twice this for someone in the 40% bracket…£439/m Vs. £71.84/m.
WOW – BIG SAVINGS to be had by the driver then!
This is maybe a pointless exercise to carry out on a Golf R as it’s not typically used as a company car and the driver likely won’t care about this as it’s not a factor but there will be people out there paying the taxman for the pleasure of having one of these as they’re company driver.
Our tagline is #DriveSmart and doing so can save you (and your business) a lot of money by choosing the correct company car. It may seem confusing but we’re here to help advise you on what options are available and what is best suited to your needs.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. Company car? Nah – this little beauty is better suited for a personal vehicle that you can have fun in. No one wants to be taxed hard on anything in life and especially not on a car you bought for fun. The GTE may be down on power but it’s no slouch. It makes more sense if you’re looking to keep BIK down.
The Golf R comes pretty well spec’d as it is. However, one thing we would suggest is upgrading the alloy wheels from the standard 18” to the 19” shown in our review. Sure, it makes for a sightlier bumpy ride but this is a hot hatch, if you want something more refined look elsewhere!
The bigger rims greatly improve the look of the car like they would any car and that’s what these things are all about. Going fast and looking fast.
Leather seats are an expensive option which personally we wouldn’t pay for. The upgraded R seats looks good and are very comfortable.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. Don’t go crazy with the extras as you don’t need to. Upgraded wheels will do the trick. Save your money and go have some fun!
The Golf R looks a bit more subtle than the likes of Honda Civic Type R or Megane RS Trophy. It’s a more mature looking car and that appeals to a lot of drivers.
You get the R styling on the bumpers, side skirts, wing mirrors, alloy wheels and the quad exhausts which look the business.
There is a good choice of metallic paints as well as the popular solid Pure white.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. The ‘R’ looks the business. Beefy looks and sporty styling without going over the top. The Golf in general is a classy but simple design of car and VW has styled the R to keep that general theme but adds some flavour to show this isn’t a run of the mill car. We are big fans of how the car looks!
On the inside you get upgraded R seats and a Flat-bottomed steering wheel. Besides a few ‘R’ badges the interior car is much the same as any other Golf. This isn’t a bad thing as the plastics and other materials used are of high quality and have a nice feel to them.
As this car has reached the end of its life cycle, some of the interior functions do seem a bit dated but this is to be expected. The new MK8 Golf will see the introduction of a new dash, interior and infotainment system to keep up with the competition.
We’d be a fan of the seats that come in this car and would suggest avoiding paying a premium for leather unless you really wanted it. It’s expensive and we think these seats are extremely comfortable and well finished.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. Being an end of line model, it’s beginning to feel a bit dated but to be expected. Saying that, it’s well finished, comfortable and better than most of the competition.
Options & Accessories
Being a top spec model, you don’t really need to add much to these cars but as always, the manufacturer will have overpriced goodies for you to add in as you please.
CARMERCIAL’s thoughts…. This is a hot hatch that doesn’t need anything but you to go drive it and have some fun. So, go do that!
The VW Golf R has been an incredibly successful hot hatch and the recipe has continued in to the new Mk8.
You get a car with around 300bhp and a 0-60 time of less than 5 seconds. All-wheel drive grip and not over the top running costs. These Golf’s will keep up with pretty much anything on the road, only cars costing 2 or 3 times the amount getting away from it.
In our eyes, the Golf R has been one of the best all-round hot hatches on the market. Its such a fun car to drive and you can flick from lunatic mode to comfort driving in an instance. It’s practical too and will cope with whatever you can throw at it.
It’s not the cheapest hot hatch out there but it’s not the dearest either. It’s a German car so you would expect to pay a bit more and it’s worth every penny!
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#DriveSmart with a CARMERCIAL Lease