2014 Volkswagen Golf R – Australian pricing & specs

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Australia has followed the launch of the GTI Performance with the all-wheel drive Golf R. Powered by the same 221kW/380Nm 2.0 litre turbo used in the Audi S3 the Golf R is priced from $51,990 with a 6-speed manual, or $54,490 with a 6-speed DSG.

In the Volkswagen Group stable we think a Golf R with 6-speed manual looms as the value pick. It’s $8000 less than an S3, which does offer a manual gearbox but as a no cost option, that is, a manual S3 is the same price as an S3 with an S tronic gearbox.

The Golf R offers full leather seats as a $3150 option, whereas leather is standard in the S3. There are other spec differences too, but that’s perhaps the biggest standout when comparing the two.

In comparison with its Golf stablemates the R is the only that offers ESP Sport, as the VW press material explains:

When the driver presses this switch briefly, Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) switches to the “ESP Sport” mode. In very fast driving with lots of bends—such as on a race track—the ESP system reacts with a delay, which enables even more agile handling properties. When the ESP button is pressed for longer than three seconds, the system is fully deactivated…

More details can be read in the suite of press material available for you after the break, which includes the full Australian press kit.

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen’s Fourth Generation Golf R Arrives in Australia

  • High-performance Golf with DSG blasts 0–100km/h sprint in 5.0 seconds Golf R makes its debut with a new 4MOTION all-wheel drive system and progressive steering

Melbourne, 10 April 2014. Volkswagen Australia completes its market introduction of the new Golf range with the fastest Golf ever. The fourth generation Golf R arrives in Australia with greater performance, more innovative technology and a higher level of standard equipment than ever before.

206kW TSI engine
Like the current Golf GTI, the Golf R is powered by further advanced engine design of the four-cylinder EA888 series, which in this latest iteration, receives modifications to enhance power output and fuel economy, similar to a development programme of a motorsport engine.

Compared to the 162kW GTI engine, the following components of the 206 kW engine were modified or completely redesigned: the cylinder head (together with exhaust valves, valve seats and springs), pistons, high-pressure injection valves as well as the turbocharger. These modifications, coupled with a host of advanced driving technologies, lifts the Golf R to new levels of excitement.

4MOTION all-wheel drive
Now a legendary feature in the Golf R, the latest generation 4MOTION system is coupled with a six-speed gearbox that has a reinforced clutch and short-travel shifting. Further perfected by enhancements such as the Haldex 5 coupling, activated even before any wheel starts to slip, eliminating nearly all traction loss. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, forward propulsion comes primarily from the front axle, and the rear axle is decoupled. This basic drive layout saves fuel. However, the rear axle of the Golf R can be variably engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary. This is done via a Haldex coupling, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.

XDL makes tracking in bends more precise
The Golf R is equipped with XDL at the front and rear axles. This extended attribute, part of the electronic differential lock, brakes the wheels on the inside of a bend during fast driving through bends, optimising steering behaviour. In the latest version of this technology, known as XDL, this functionality is applied to a larger range of dynamic performance – making the vehicle more agile even when the car is not in accelerating. When the car is being driven fast, as soon as the electronics detect excessively light loads on wheels on the inside of a bend, the hydraulics of Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) apply brake pressure to this wheel to restore optimal traction.

Driving Profi le Selector with Race mode
The Driving Profile Selector is a new feature of the Golf R, a standard component of the adaptive chassis control fitted to the hot Golf. Five programmes are available: “Eco”, “Normal”, “Individual”, “Comfort” and the special “Race” mode especially tailored to the Golf R. In “Race mode”, damping is increased and engine response and shift points of the (optional) DSG are configured to be even more dynamic.

ESP Sport
In keeping with the Golf R’s performance heritage, the new Golf R is equipped with the “ESP Sport” function as standard. The system is activated by a two-stage switch on the centre console. When the driver presses this switch brief ly, Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) switches to the “ESP Sport” mode. In very fast driving with lots of bends – such as on a race track – the ESP system reacts with a delay, which enables even more agile handling properties. When the ESP button is pressed for longer than three seconds, the system is fully deactivated for professional driving on a race track – this deactivation is only available in the Golf R and not in any other models of the Golf series.

Golf R makes a statement
On top of its enhanced performance, as the flagship model in the Golf range, the Golf R is distinguished by multiple visual design cues. From the matte chrome mirrors to the motorsport-inspired 19-inch ‘Cadiz’ wheels on the car’s muscular exterior, to the customised sports seats with ‘R’ badging and pedals in brushed aluminium, the Golf R sets new standards for not only the Golf range, but for other performance cars, too.

The new Golf R – Pricing*

  • Golf R 6 Speed Manual – $51,990
  • Golf R 6 Speed DSG – $54,490


  • Panoramic electric glass sunroof – $1,850
  • Vienna leather appointed upholstery – $3,150
  • Driver assistance package – $1,000

*Prices quoted are Manufacturer List Prices excluding dealer delivery charges, which may vary from dealer to dealer and statutory charges, which vary from state to state.


16 replies on “2014 Volkswagen Golf R – Australian pricing & specs”

Everything about this car is great aside from that awful ‘sound actuator’. It makes the engine note sound completely fake. The new note from the 2.0T also pales in comparison to the previous generation E888.
Can’t win!

On paper a base-spec R is $8K less than a base-spec S3. If you don’t care about extra frills or the badge why wouldn’t you buy an R?

I am not sure that the $4000 difference in ORC for an S3 and a Golf R with leather qualifies as “about the same price”. I think I am with Liam – Golf R without leather and leave $7k in the bank maybe ?

$3k for leather is a bit bloody steep especially as VW Australia only gives you the 1 colour option. UK specced Rs have 3 different leather trims to choose from.

I test drove an S3and golf R after one another the audi looked slightly better inside but not that better if you get the Audi you have to buy the saline it’s a no brainer however this puts the car significantly more expensive 8000 and the rear headroom in S3 is stupidly low the sound of the golf is far better and it felt so much better to drive. So I bought a golf R which I picked up last week no regrets it’d awesome. Also the extra were worth it. Got trade discount and picked one up with all three option including sunroof leather and the safety package for 63400 the audi was 72000 and did not include magnetic suspension. Therefore golf is a no brainer. Also the golf r looks better in real life than the photo the audi looks the same.

Good stuff Snowy, I’m with you, the S3 is a station wagon, not a hatch like the golf. As evidenced by the fact there is a D pillar in the audi and not in a golf. Shame neither car comes in 3 door, the decision may be different then, for me at least.

Ok so I test drove the Golf R and Audi S3 with Performance Pack (both in DSG) this weekend back to back. I’m in the dilemma of maybe spending the tiny bit extra for the S3. Prior to my drives I watched about a million youtube reviews even non-English ones from Europe that pitted the both cars against each other and some other rivals. One thing I read consistently was that the Golf R was setup quite differently to the S3 and it felt like it handled better and was much sharper on the steering. I just felt that so hard to believe as I thought under the skin both cars were exactly the same.

Until you drive both back to back you will not realise how more alive as a drivers car the Golf R is. It’s just so much sharper and sportier to drive. You can totally deactivate the ESP as well, the S3 will not deactivate completely. The S3 also is setup to understeer much more than the Golf R (this is what I found during some fast changes of direction).

Even though the specs might not show it, the S3 just felt like a slightly heavier car. Only a weigh bridge back to back comparison can prove this, but driving both that’s what I felt.

The Golf R also sounded much meaner, It felt like the Golf R had less sound deadening that the S3. Also those who say the sound is artificial it is not. The BMW cars have an artificial sound that is digitally produced though the cars speaker. The Golf R just pipes some induction noise into the cabin via a physical means. It’s all analogue if that makes sense.

Where the S3 was better than the Golf R was in interior design and a slight advantage in the feel of quality. I think Audi makes the best interior in the world, simple and elegant. The diamond stitched leather seats were suburb. I also preferred the S3’s dial gauges and cluster. By no means am I saying the Golf R’s interior was below standard, it’s not. It’s quiet outstanding compared to every other vehicle in class including the M235i. It’s just that the S3 is one step ahead.

Just to let people know I’ve been cross shopping and have driven the following. I’m just mentioning the negatives I found that were deal breakers for me.

A45 – (Slow DSG on downshifts, jarring ride on local roads and way too expensive).

M235i Auto & Manual – (Floaty chassis, not as sharp, steering can be a little vague, needs lsd, brake feel not the best, too expensive pricing has been creeping up and up).

EVO X Manual – (Poor quality interior except for seats, jarring ride but not as bad as A45, slowest in a straight line and felt it, uninspiring engine sound, lack of decent standard kit, poor fuel economy made worse by tinny fuel tank, gear ratios not flexible enough, over revs on the freeway).

WRX STI MY15 – (Uncomfortable seating position, tiny footwell, could never get comfortable in this car, feeling of an extraordinary long bonnet when looking out from car felt weird, excessively long front over hangs, interior quality better than EVO but poor compared to other cars mentioned, some details in the engine bay like hose connecting turbo to intercooler really poorly constructed to address issues like hoses rubbing, interior of boot also poorly constructed looked like something out of a $10K Chinese built car, engine performance felt the most laggiest of the bunch and a real disappointment).

S3 DSG – (Felt a little too soft and boring to drive, Performance Pack should be standard for the price, not able to totally disengage ESP completely, engine noise sounded muted)

Golf R DSG – (The only disadvantage I could find was no auto folding/heated/auto dipping side mirrors, there is not even an option to select them as you can in the S3 and seems weird because they are virtually identical mirror to the S3).

In summing up, I found the Golf R wasn’t only the best all rounder from a drivers car perspective but it ticked all the boxes for me. It is super fast in a straight line, amazing around corners, total grip, super steering, adjustable on the limit, comfortable enough even on poor roads and the horrible task of peak hour traffic driving. Good on fuel for a performance car (even with bluemotion turned off). One thing I loved is how easily launch control is to engage and use. You would embarrass so many cars in traffic like duels with this. No need to break the speed limit either.

I was never a VW fan, and I had test driven a brand new S3 about 5 years ago and wasn’t that impressed with the driving experience. But this new Mk7 Golf R really impressed me beyond believe. I’ve mostly owned manual RWD cars in the past, but my burnout and rear sliding days are over. I much prefer the grip an AWD performance car can provide in all weather and road surface conditions. My dream car one day is to build a light weight early 70’s replica 911 S/T but that maybe a long long way away. As a daily driver now a Golf R will do just fine.

Just as aside note, I also test drove a Golf GTI PP car, not because I was interested in buying one but because a demo just happen to be there at the dealer and was offered a drive of the car. I read a lot about how the GTI is a better valued alternative to the R etc etc etc. In away it is and it isn’t. It depends how much value you place on sheer grip and being able to put all the power your car has to the road. No matter what you can always make the GTI loose traction and spin its tyres in different conditions depending on how hard you are pushing. I personally do not like that feeling of wheel spin in a FWD car. No matter what I did and how stupid I got I could not make the wheels loose traction in R. For me even if the R was $20K more than a GTI I still would chose the R over the GTI if that was the only choice I had.

Hope my comments help anyone looking at the same cars that I did with the same dilemma. Ultimately everyone will have a different opinion and needs from a performance car. For me after driving them all the Golf R impressed me the most. Test drive as many as you can and definitely play with the settings on the car. In some of them the different settings made a dramatic difference to the way the car felt.

Thanks for taking the time to post those comments Christian.

Interetsing too about the ESP, IIRC on the Mk6 Golf R you couldn’t totally disengage ESP but on the 8P S3 you could. Seems odd to see that has now reversed.

I’ve owned a few Sti’s over the years (prior to hatch). After moving away from the performance scene to be a mature responsible father for the past 6 years the itch returned. I test drove the ’15 sti and liked it. I like the torque hit and felt its a purpose built drivers car that would be fun for club days on circuits but just not daily driving.
The R dominated magazines I was reading and tempted me into a test…
I’ve just placed an order. Grip sound steering feel and comical power and dsg combo made it a no brainer for me.
Best part is at the push of a button it goes from manic track car to wifey transport to shops. Wolf in sheeps clothing works for me. (I owned two gsr lancers in the 90’s 🙂
Now the impatient wait for delivery!

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