The Straight Pipes: LOVE & HATE! 2023 VW Golf R 20th Anniversary Review

LOVE & HATE! 2023 VW Golf R 20th Anniversary Review

Posted: 2023-08-25 12:00:27
Author: TheStraightPipes
2023 VW Golf R review by The Straight Pipes. The Volkswagen Golf R 20th Anniversary is putting down 315 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque from a 2L Turbo 4 cylinder. At $52,395 CAD, would you take it over the Toyota GR Corolla, VW GTI, Honda Civic Type R, Acura Integra Type S, Subaru WRX, some old Subaru WRX STI?

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The Straight Pipes Video Transcript

I’m Jacob I’m hearing and we are going for a drive 20th anniversary Golf R with launch control oh All right she’s pretty quick this is our first DSG review horsepower and door 315 horsepower 295 pound-feet of torque from a 2-liter turbo four-cylinder yeah lots of torque 15 extra pound-feet of torque with the DSG and honestly it’s kind of paired very well with this engine in this vehicle we had previously

Reviewed the manual version when this car launched and we did really like it but now in the DSG version I also do really like it the way that it drives we’ve got a lot of complaints after living with this car for a little bit longer but uh but cliche Corner would

You take the automatic or the dishy or the manual right now because I’m having a lot of fun just chucking this thing in in Nurburgring mode I’m gonna go DSG but when you have just as much fun I would but like man this thing rips with paddles it’s just it’s always going to

Be more fun with a manual and yes I would rather have it what if you lived in Europe would you take take the issue oh good one he made the joke okay they don’t get manual in Europe because Europeans can drive manual yeah apparently uh but yeah so we have DSG

Which is also the only way to have launch control because you can’t actually get launch control on the manual I would still go manual yeah I mean we’re at this point in the automotive world that manuals are dying and everything’s going to EVS you might as

Well get a manual gas engine while you can but we still get drift mode in the DSG version which is cool which is really cool and then can we make it not Auto up shift in the dsgs yes we can however I’ve only found it to work in

One setting and that is again special or Nurburgring mode so I’m going to hang off the limiter form shift all right oh traction is not fully off wow it was in ESC Sport and now it shouldn’t automatically up shift Why is it automatically upshifting I’m in manual yeah bro this is how it worked before okay let’s go to a stop analyze our situation all right okay so it’s doing it now correctly which is what the same mode I was already in so maybe when you switch to

Nurburgring and reset the AC anyways Nurburgring ESC off paddles yes and then it doesn’t automatically up shift thankfully which the previous generation no matter what you did would force you to Auto upshift if you had the DSG maybe it’s just a software glitch Yuri because we’ve got an infotainment system that is

Horrendous to use I’ve tried my best to get used to it and I just can’t and I’ve even got Volkswagen CEO on my back patent me on the back patent us on the back for complaining so much in the previous GTI and Golf R reviews if we

Were the first with the id4 to show how silly this whole infotainment was with the non-illuminated buttons and all that stuff but I don’t want to keep pooping on this infotainment let’s let the CEO do the pooping for us he has apparently said that it has frustrated customers

From the drive article he went as far as saying that these frustrating Interiors definitely did a lot of damage among loyal customers so a lot of people just didn’t want to buy the car or hated the car because of the infotainment and I get that I hate the car because the

Infotainment yeah basically they’re going to attempt to fix it with all of the cars in their lineup but it’s starting with the I think the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan yes I think we saw some spy photos and it looks like there’s no more hard buttons there’s just more touch buttons on the screen

That are up more often I have no faith that anything’s going to be solved yeah and if going by the way a Volkswagen handled Electrify Canada Electro America where now everyone is switching over to NACA Chargers because it all works so poorly you know yeah and like I’ll just

Give one little scenario well there’s many scenarios in this infotainment where it’s bad but having apple carplay on which is wired or Wireless which is nice I tried to use the very small icons but I had to rest my hands on the climate control while I’m driving and

Then the climate would pop up and then I can’t press the buttons in apple carplay because it’s all blacked out and then I press and then it’s just it’s very frustrating to use and then I tried to use voice because again it’s got all that stuff and I’m like well I play 90s

On nine for me I don’t know try it hey Volkswagen play SiriusXM 90s on nine Did you mean 90s online all right you know it didn’t work last year hey Volkswagen play Tick Tock radio on SiriusXM SiriusXM channel 3. I guess yeah you can’t play channel three all the right what’s limited edition three it’s not channel three that’s no it’s not yeah you cannot play

Channel three on this stupid infotainment still live after over a year when I complained and told people yeah nobody fixes anything anyways let’s move on to the infotainment to get back to it later this car drives so well and I actually really enjoy actually driving it and touching the

This part of the steering wheel with the paddles I hate touching this part of the steering wheel you’re glad you left driving for one second am I right to the crappy buns okay it’s the same funds that we have for your climate in the middle and then also on your lights on

The left yeah and then pressing the R button for race mode which is really nice to have that quick access is also a touch button but it is nice to have that because then you don’t actually have to press your mode button down here which

Both do the same thing sort of uh but then you have your custom and then you can customize everything this also has adaptive suspension which is really good and the amount of customization you can do while you’re not driving is really really nice yes everything’s important they don’t want you to get distracted

Using the infotainment while driving yes but the variability of the suspension there’s so much to it that like right now for driving in Comfort which we are it is so comfortable and then it does get considerably stiff in race mode it’s very comfy I like it I like it I could

See why a lot of people want a daily list especially with foremost in all-wheel drive and since this is a 20th anniversary edition we got a lot of differences in the outside and in the inside area I’m gonna name and name them for me I

Want to know we have blue mirror caps I see them I do notice them they look cool we have a 20 on the door sick blue R logos everywhere including the key fob nice I like that and we have black wheels which is kind of unfortunate actually I hate black wheels and the

Sunroof is actually included in the place yeah well no it’s just I thought it was gonna be tinted blue it’s included in the price oh that would have been cooler and then we get carbon fiber on the inside wait wait wait is it carbon fiber or is it carbon fiber

Depending on which section of the website you go to one of them says carbon fiber and the other one says genuine carbon fiber so we don’t know to me it does look fairly real but I could also see it being fake thanks Dr Evil for writing the uh thing

On the website and guess how much all of that costs extra on top of a regular Golf R five thousand six hundred dollars Canadian bargain of twenty five hundred dollars oh nice it’s not bad and you get something super special which all the Volkswagen people I’m sure love because

You got to differentiate yourself at the Volkswagen car meets and whatnot which uh would have been a lot cooler if you just got a previous gen manual with one of the cool colors yeah shout out that spectrum color uh Instagram page which is still the best mark seven mark seven

And a half those are I can’t believe how amazing that was with all the colors I know I’m sure that was super expensive but like man was that not the best thing ever let’s get you in here to complain about more stuff with this infotainment I’m sure so before you start driving I’m

Gonna record you attempting to turn off traction control but not through the favorites because it wasn’t favorited when I got in the car it took me way too long so Yuri go for it you’ll never find it it’ll take you way too long uh vehicle obviously no that is definitely

Not it wait could it be there we’re gonna have to fast forward this if it takes too long Yo I give up this is the worst design car in the world ready you’re gonna be like oh I guess that’s sort of somewhat makes sense vehicle spin breaks brakes oh my God yo what uh yeah isn’t that crazy Oh yeah soft watch and the reason I had to find that is that it won’t let you do launch control with traction fully on that was a great job finding that yeah it took me forever thank you we get some backfires there or what oh yeah crackles and Pops

Probably got to be lower on the RPMs oh they’re they’re popping they’re just boomy should we listen to it from the outside [Applause] it’s kind of nice that these are Factory paddles and not like paddle extensions like people do on older Volkswagens and Audis exactly because they’re like the

Correct size I think that’s tacky yeah yeah I remember the small they were in the previous ones yeah okay why is this green because you’re in Nurburgring special mode is it tied to that color to that mode yes so if you want to be in a

Race mode you’re blue or if you want drift mode you’re fully red activate drift mode and then all your icons turn red which are very hard to see oh yeah that hurts my eyes yes it does but now you’re in drift mode yeah which sends 100

Of the power to one of the wheels at the back after splitting it up 50 exactly yeah but it does get a little bit of oversteer on some exits sometimes I had fun with the manual mode at the track doing donuts yeah so this is pretty

Comfy up here there you go are you comforting these seats yeah these seats are lovely like you could live in these road trip no problem go to the racetrack they still have enough bolstering these are great how about the back seat for Jacob a little tight for me actually

Like surprisingly tight how about the trunk space for Jacob uh really good no no real complaints back there probably a little tricky to feel like a baby stroller back there but definitely this is nicer than like an old two-door GTI would have been yes just like you had to

Abandon yours when you had your kid yes which my brother is now abandoning because he’s having it and I found that we do have some cool ambient lighting and we got a little heart for mood so we got some presets put me in Euphoria please It shifts so quickly this is this is a very nice if I need a non-manual card like very very good at that other than this whole benefit yeah the base class is nice too I like the gauge cluster yeah oh and then press your view button which my favorite one is the large

Center tack that’s the one uh that’s cool that’s cool a little shifter yeah little dinky ships it’s like a 911 yeah yeah I mean I get it you don’t need all that room for everything no it’s kind of nice to have this open clears up rooms

For the cup holders which seem to fit a uh water bottle kind of Wiggly squiggly yeah they’re kind of Wiggly and flimsy and I feel like this should be a little bit more grip on that plastic so I don’t really like it’s got a cool gimmicky

Thing that comes out and then you got a normal Square ish one for Fiji bottles or whatever all right advisor test I’ll give you I’ll give you 10 bucks if you can if you can rip it off three I’m not gonna try two one hey a little summer if I like that I

Like this cover too how it’s like it’s a little bit of light in but it’s not full black yeah it’s diffused and then as for the rest of this interior it’s actually just more mostly just cheap Plastics but as you’d expect from a hot hatch okay uh

Looks do like the looks I do yeah yeah I’ve seen some lowered ones ripping around and like this with the white with the blue accents and stuff like it looks pretty cool yeah good looking car still prefer previous gen but I mean if you’re rocking DSG and you’re hitting the auto

Op shifts and being able to turn traction all the way off and like couldn’t get a drift mode like I totally get why you’d go for this and now let’s just because you can get this in manual the type S is out and it’s around ish

The same price point I go Type S yeah obviously like that is that is a fantastic car with a normal infotainment system I don’t need all-wheel drive yeah and the car drives great doesn’t need launch controls only available in manual and is limited production hard to get

This one’s not as limited but also kind of hard to get so you probably go to if you were shopping for one of these or even an Acura Integra okay back to the Lux these black wheels man golf bars in the past have had some

Of like the coolest wheels and gtis yeah even though the first one that we reviewed had nicer Wheels than this yeah and what would be the Continental recommended tire for a Golf R the extreme contact sport 02 and then yeah while my hands are on this wheel I love

This material the steering wheel I feel like Volkswagens all the gtis all the golf artists have always had like amazing feeling Wheels yes like exactly where your hands are 99 of the time it’s kind of perfect and a pretty decent head-up display yeah okay also nice to

Have to match this beautiful wheel what should we put on the floors because people are going to be driving this in Winter they’re going to be tracking in dirt do they want to ruin and rot out their cars this particular one is a 20th anniversary edition so you want to

Protect it with a set of tux mat go to the straight pipes because they definitely have some for the GTI and Golf R which the same car technically sort of but this is like a collector’s model so you want to like preserve it for the future probably all

Right with everything out of the way is that everything out of the way that’s everything are you ready to get to the price yes hit me with it this one is 52 395 dollars Canadian cheaper than a Type S and it comes with all-wheel drive that’s where the value comes in and it’s

The only one available with the dsv and I guess with all-wheel drive rip STI that never came with a non-manual same with the Focus RS gr Corolla which doesn’t come don’t know a non-manual but at least we have another STI replacement sort of which competes with this because

It has all-wheel drive and then even the Hyundais are still they’re so front wheel drive yeah they’re not I don’t think they’re going to go all so yo I mean they kind of got the market cornered on I need all-wheel drive and non-manual yeah that’s it if you want this you’re forced

To live with this infotainment but honestly what I’m gonna say is if you can wait wait for them to fix the infotainment because they have admitted that they’re going to fix it and that’s the worst part of this whole car everything else is actually pretty damn

Great what if they fix it even worse there is always that possibility so then you can buy a used one of these to even less thanks for watching guys let us know what you think of the DSG it drives great and I love the transmission yes launch control fantastic if you want to

Go fast from zero this is the one to get