By on December 28, 2021

Bradley Iger

2022 Volkswagen Golf R Fast Facts

2.0-liter turbocharged inline four cylinder (315 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm, 295 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm)

Seven-speed DSG automatic, all-wheel drive

23 city / 30 highway / 26 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

10.3 city / 7.7 highway / 9.1 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $45,440 (U.S) / $44,995 (Canada)

As Tested: $45,440 (U.S.) / $49,495 (Canada)

Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $1,850 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Let me start this by saying that I considered the previous Golf R to be the all-around best enthusiast vehicle available in its price range during its time on sale. That’s particularly high praise coming from someone whose performance tastes generally gravitate toward V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive coupes, but I think Volkswagen had achieved something remarkable with the Mk7. It was a car that had the dynamic chops to hang with some very serious hardware out in the canyons but didn’t need to shout about it from an aesthetic standpoint, and it also sacrificed very little in terms of daily drivability and practicality to get there.

Beyond the fundamentals, the Mk7 Golf R had other important elements sorted out too – solid interior materials in a well laid out and comfortable cabin, a class-leading infotainment system with a nice-sounding stereo – that sort of thing. Automakers can get away with phoning in some of that stuff when it comes to their top-tier performance cars because enthusiasts tend to have different priorities than mainstream buyers do, but Volkswagen didn’t half-ass it. This is all to say that the Mk7 Golf R set the bar pretty high.

All-new for 2022, the Golf R returns to North America rocking a new look and underpinned by a revised version of Volkswagen’s MQB platform. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant has been worked over as well, now dishing out a very healthy 315 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. With the help of key chassis updates and a new multi-plate clutch on the rear axle which can distribute up to 100 percent of the torque that’s sent to the back end to an individual rear wheel, VW development driver Benjamin Leuchter put down a 7:51 lap time on the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife with the car back in 2020. It’s a number that puts this hatchback on par with the 997-generation Porsche 911 Turbo, and a full 19 seconds ahead of the Mk7 Golf R that’s so near and dear to my heart.

Bradley Iger

There’s a lot of new technology onboard, too, and that all certainly bodes well for Volkswagen’s latest high-performance machine. But over the course of the week that I spent with the new Golf R, I discovered that the changes aren’t entirely for the better.

The Golf R has long been considered a stealthy alternative as far as hot hatches go, and the Mk8 remains much more aesthetically low-key than something like the Honda Civic Type R, but it’s far from boring. Visual flair is ramped up by way of a unique front fascia with big air intakes, a rear roof spoiler, a quad-tipped exhaust, gloss black trim, unique 19-inch alloys, and a performance-focused stance. The combination gives the Golf R a noticeably more aggressive look than the GTI’s (the only other version of the Golf now sold in North America) without resorting to anything outlandish, and I think it works especially well in this Lapiz Blue Metallic hue with the blue brake calipers.

The interior materials feel like a bit of a downgrade versus the outgoing car, though, but that’s indicative of the Mk8 Golf in general rather than the Golf R specifically. The sharp-looking, customizable 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro digital gauge cluster helps make up for some of that, and so does the 10-inch touchscreen display with VW’s MIB3 operating system software, which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both are outfitted as standard on the Golf R.

Bradley Iger

But the infotainment turns out to be one of the 2022 Golf R’s biggest weaknesses, and since nearly every one of the vehicle’s features is accessed through this system, the frustrations it regularly generates are ostensibly unavoidable. Unlike the MIB II system used in the Mk7 Golf R, MIB3 offers no physical buttons whatsoever. Instead, much like Cadillac’s Cue system from a few years back, all inputs aside from those made on the touchscreen itself are registered through capacitive touch sensors and acknowledged with haptic feedback. There’s no volume knob, no physical buttons to change drive modes, turn on the seat heaters, or skip audio tracks.

While this does provide the Golf R’s interior with a sleek, uncluttered look, it can be very cumbersome to use in practice. Beyond the fact that this interface design encourages you to look away from the road in order to find the function you need and confirm that the requested action has been done, touch inputs on both the capacitive buttons and the infotainment display itself often don’t register correctly, or at all. Something as simple as changing the HVAC fan speed is a multi-step process. Throughout my time with the car, I kept wondering why Volkswagen had chosen to create a problem where one did not exist before.

Bradley Iger

When you can ignore the tech flaws, the 2022 Golf R offers drivers a lot to like. Around town, the adaptive dampers do an excellent job of isolating the cabin from the big impacts that are common on LA’s pockmarked streets despite the fact that spring rates are up by 10 percent at all four corners. The default driving mode is Sport, but a softer Comfort mode can also be accessed by pressing the R “button” on the steering wheel and then selecting the mode from the infotainment display to mellow out the damping, throttle response, transmission behavior, and steering weight a little bit more if you want. The DSG generally does a good job of blending into the background when handling everyday tasks and delivers nearly seamless shifts, though the dual-clutch occasionally skipped a beat when transitioning from forward gears to reverse and vice versa.

Bradley Iger

Out on the winding tarmac found throughout the Angeles National Forest, the Mk8 Golf R’s performance seems to be defined more by the power on tap than the car’s handling prowess. Weighing in at just over 3,400 pounds, the new car is about 150 pounds heavier than the outgoing Golf R, but you wouldn’t know it based on the shove delivered from the powertrain. VW quotes an official 0-60 MPH time of 4.7 seconds, but behind the wheel, it feels like it’s probably several tenths quicker than that. Either way, it’s more than enough to dust a Civic Type R at a stoplight.

Bradley Iger

Hot hatches have traditionally been more focused on corner-carving than drag racing, though, and the 2022 Golf R has some clever party tricks to show off on that front as well. While the torque distribution remains split 50/50 front and rear, the new multi-plate clutch on the rear axle not only provides more sophisticated torque vectoring, it also allowed VW engineers to program in a Drift mode so that you can bring some power oversteer shenanigans into the mix if you so choose. I didn’t, but hey – you do you.

Bradley Iger

There’s also a Special drive mode that replicates the settings used by Leuchter to set that lap time on the Nurburgring, and that setting seems well dialed in for a good mountain road, too. But given their relatively low grip levels for summer tires and the overall numbness of the steering, even when weighted up in Race mode, I doubt the deed was done on the Hankook Ventus S1 evo3 tires that my tester wore. Bridgestone Potenza S005, Goodyear Eagle F1 Super Sport, and Pirelli Pzero PZ4 summer tires all appear to be factory fitments as well, and I’d probably opt for one of the latter if I was given the option as a buyer.

Bradley Iger

Even though the infotainment leaves much to be desired and it’s not quite as well-rounded as the outgoing Golf R was overall, there’s no question that this is the most potent Golf R built to date. The shift in focus from agility to horsepower might be kind of a bummer for some, but it’s the kind of performance that tends to be easier to exploit for a wider range of enthusiasts, and I think a good set of tires would go a long way toward improving the former anyway.

Bradley Iger

What’s New For 2022

Making its debut in the eighth-generation Golf this year, the Golf R scores a more aggressive new look and a revamped interior with new infotainment and a customizable digital gauge cluster. There’s also more grunt available from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a new multi-plate clutch that can shift all of the torque that’s sent to the rear axle to one wheel as needed, a retuned suspension with stiffer springs, and a Drift mode, among other upgrades.

Who Should Buy The 2022 Volkswagen Golf R

Those seeking a hot hatch with tons of power and plenty of real-world practicality who are also willing to shell out $45K for a Golf and are patient enough to get used to the MIB3 interface.

[Images © 2021 Bradley Iger/TTAC]

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44 Comments on “2022 Volkswagen Golf R Review: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back...”


  • avatar
    jmo2

    Overall a great review. That said none of your reviews touch on how well the various self driving systems work. This goes for your sporty car reviews as well as luxury SUV reviews. Corner carving on a mountain road is a sure Golf R competency but buyers will also spend a lot of time on long straight freeways and in bumper to bumper traffic. That goes doubly for the buyer of something like the Grand Cherokee. How well does the vehicle drive itself in stop and go traffic and on long road trips is a key selling feature these days. It would be nice to include it in your reviews.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “I kept wondering why Volkswagen had chosen to create a problem where one did not exist before.”

    wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scorpion_and_the_Frog

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @Bradley, nice writeup.

      @ajla, awesome comment.

      Related story:
      http://www.northerncherokeenation.com/boy-and-the-rattlesnake-story.html

      (I like to think it refers to cars dealers – and lenders of all types)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The ID4 has a similar setup for the center stack and switchgear, so I’d bet they’re trying to build in some commonality between models. On the one hand, that’s probably good news – it means the Golf/GTI lines are meant to stick around for a while. The bad news is that this just spreads the poor execution across a wider piece of the lineup.

      VW needs to fix this problem immediately.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    This car fails the “do I have to take my gloves off to turn on the seat heaters?” test.

  • avatar
    Kyree

    The unfortunate thing is that most people seem to like the touchscreen-does-everything paradigm, and automakers are pandering to those people more than to us.

    Case in point: I was in the service lounge getting the first oil change on our 2022 Outback Touring XT. For what it’s worth, all Outback and Legacy trims above the base models have their 11.something vertical touchscreen that handles most stuff, including ours. The new WRX gets it as well, which suggests that it will propagate through the Subaru lineup before long. The person sitting next to me in the service lounge had an Ascent, and said he and his wife would gladly trade their Ascent up for a new one as soon as the Ascent got the big touchscreen. I, meanwhile, dislike the big touchscreen, and wish Subaru had done something else. It wasn’t enough to make us write off the vehicle and pick something else, but it’s a big sore spot. But Volkswagen, Subaru and everyone else is catering to the kind of customer who wants their car to look and feel like an iPhone.

    So I, too, am disappointed Volkswagen chose to go this route, and on such an excellent driver’s car. Having to take your eyes off the road to turn on your heated seats or toggle off stop/start by poking, prodding and swiping really takes some of the enjoyment out of the thing, you know? And Volkswagen’s previous three-dial climate control setup was one of the most elegant in the industry. I had it on two cars. And even the refreshed Volkswagens that don’t have MIB3 seem to have more touch functions than before. My neighbor’s 2022 Tiguan SE has touch-capacitative controls where the Tiguan previously had buttons. It looks prettier *I guess*, but it’s a lot less functional.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      ***SUBARU WHOLESALE UPDATE***

      My mother’s 2018 Forester Limited which my brother and I found for her in 2019 is now worth almost $10K more than we paid for it used. We got it with 12K on the clock and she’s barely driven it since March 2020.

      I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

      2018 SUBARU FORESTER 4D SUV 2.5L LIMITED

      12/21/21 $32,000 7,832 4.5 4G/A White Regular Southeast Orlando
      12/22/21 $32,250 9,783 4.9 4G/A Gray Regular Southwest Dallas
      12/3/21 $31,500 12,510 3.7 4G/A Silver Regular West Coast Nevada
      12/14/21 $31,500 13,340 3.5 4G/A Blue Lease Northeast New England
      12/17/21 $33,250 14,693 4.7 4G/- – Blue Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
      12/1/21 $32,100 22,607 4.6 4G/A Silver Regular Southeast Orlando
      12/15/21 $28,600 25,707 4.0 4G/A Gray Lease Southeast Central Florida
      12/3/21 $30,000 25,941 4.8 4G/A Silver Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
      12/16/21 $30,000 28,863 – – 4G/A Red Regular Southeast Birmingham
      12/14/21 $28,000 29,633 3.8 4G/A White Regular Northeast Philadelphia
      12/9/21 $28,000 33,087 4.1 4G/A Silver Regular West Coast Phoenix
      12/2/21 $28,100 33,202 – – 4CY/A – – Regular Southwest myCentralAuction
      12/21/21 $28,700 33,203 4.4 4G/A Black Regular Southeast Georgia
      12/27/21 $29,000 36,120 4.7 4G/A Gray Regular Southeast Central Florida
      11/30/21 $26,750 38,736 4.2 4G/A Blue Regular Southeast Georgia
      12/13/21 $28,900 39,897 4.0 4G/A Blue Regular Northeast Pennsylvania
      12/9/21 $26,000 40,683 3.2 4G/A Black Lease West Coast Phoenix
      12/15/21 $29,400 41,358 4.7 4G/A Black Regular Southeast Central Florida
      12/22/21 $28,750 43,260 3.9 4G/A Gray Regular West Coast California
      12/15/21 $27,900 43,877 4.6 4G/A Silver Regular Northeast Pittsburgh
      11/30/21 $29,750 44,582 5.0 4G/A Green Regular West Coast Riverside
      12/2/21 $26,500 55,086 4.2 4G/A Red Regular Southeast Atlanta
      12/1/21 $25,200 61,748 4.5 4G/A Silver Regular Southeast Central Florida
      12/7/21 $23,500 73,477 4.5 4G/A Blue Regular Northeast Philadelphia
      12/3/21 $23,500 74,221 4.3 4G/A White Regular Northeast Pennsylvania

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree

        Yeesh. We’re definitely not getting rid of ours (and we paid MSRP for it in the first place), but those are crazy prices.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Could not agree more. Who knew newer Subarus could have double digit returns?

          Didn’t Corey have an older Forester and then dumped it for that amazing VW wagon?

          Since we’re on the subject, seems only one sold so far this year:

          2022 SUBARU OUTBACK 4D SUV 2.4L TOURING XT

          12/8/21 $40,000* 4,211 4.1 4G/A Black Regular Southeast Nashville

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            And I thought I did well when I bought my ’13 FXT for $5.5K off MSRP and then sold it, after three years and 27k miles, for only $3K less than my purchase price. This is bizarro world.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Indeed it is Dal, indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree

            Hmm. And black is one of the less-popular colors for the Outback. I really wanted the green, but we ended up with white.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @kyree: “The unfortunate thing is that most people seem to like the touchscreen-does-everything paradigm, and automakers are pandering to those people more than to us.”

      I thought I was the only one seeing that! Just two days ago, a 60 year I know, went to the touchscreen to turn on their defrosters. I pointed out that they had defroster buttons on their steering wheel and could use those, but noooo, they insisted on the touch screen. I do not get it? I’m as comfortable as you can get with touch screens having used them since 1979. I love big touchscreens, but not when I’m driving. Especially when you’ve got a physical button on the steering wheel, why??? The reason might be because this person has multiple cars and the screen is a sort of a common factor. I thought this was the only person like that.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “I do not get it”

        I’d say its lazy in action. Likely much cheaper and easier to draw a button on a home screen class in an SDK than to interact with those physical buttons. I recall the fun I had coding and troubleshooting devices via serial ports.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “28-Cars-Later” I’d say part of is cheapness. Same UI for all their cars and probably the same code. But, some functions do need to be on a touch screen. Suspension and driving modes work well. If a car has too many functions and you try to go with physical buttons for everything, it can look like the flight engineer’s console of a B-29.

          “I recall the fun I had coding and troubleshooting devices via serial ports.”

          I still have to do that sometimes with my FPGA accelerators. Still easier than having to hook up a logic analyzer.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “If a car has too many functions and you try to go with physical buttons for everything, it can look like the flight engineer’s console of a B-29.”

            I’m not seeing a problem there.

            “But, some functions do need to be on a touch screen.”

            I’m slowly putting my Volvo 244 back together, and I keep asking myself what other feature does a car offer that I could add (the Volvo 200 series is a car-hacker’s paradise)? Other than cooled or vibrating bucket seats (think I could do the latter), and a sliding sunroof (possible but difficult/expensive) I’m hard pressed to think of anything to add. Maybe the true 4x4s want an adjustable suspension but when I hear it I immediately flash mentally to “air ride”, then “air ride = bad” and grimace. Transmission modes? Its an automatic, other than “go fast now” how many modes does it need? Although I do like the hands free phone calls, ultimately its not *needed* but as Toyota demonstrated in my new car its possible to offer that without it being tied to the car’s main functions. I feel like they keep inventing options so they can tell the buyers, “hey look we have X now” when those options serve little real purpose.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “, “hey look we have X now” when those options serve little real purpose.”

            There is certainly some truth to that. Like driving modes. How many people are going to use those? In some cars extra functions are useful. Raising the nose for pavement instead of scraping. Detuning high performance cars so you’re not fighting a monster in slippery conditions. Traction control is great, but you need to be able to deactivate it sometimes. But, for a car that just needs to be basic transportation, you don’t need all the features.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            “If a car has too many functions and you try to go with physical buttons for everything, it can look like the flight engineer’s console of a B-29.”

            “I’m not seeing a problem there.”

            youtube.com/watch?v=N4pcIuo6Kbw

    • 0 avatar
      Mustangfast

      I see the problem as less around the touchscreen in the middle and more around the touch only buttons. The middle screen at least had the iPhone benefit of “changeable interfaces” that buttons can’t mimic, but as the steering wheel picture shows, the non buttons can’t change function, so how is that better than a real button? It’s not like they change function depending on drive mode or something. It’s like the ID4 window switch, a solution in search of a problem. These would earn any car with them a “don’t buy” for me no matter how good the rest of the car is.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Preach. Ironically, doesn’t your car have the “pay attention you fool’ alert system? Does that count if you’re too busy fiddling with activating the seat heater?

      That said, I’m hoping Subaru hybridizes the Outback in the next 2 years. I really love my ‘13, but want to see that Toyota family connection solidified. Are you enjoying yours?

  • avatar
    ollicat

    I seriously was thinking about purchasing but utterly HATE all the digital. What a lesson in “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

    • 0 avatar
      240SX_KAT

      The move to doing everything on the touchscreen is all about cost savings.
      How much do you think they saved by not having all of those nice to feel, backlit buttons with all the associated wiring and hardware to interface them to the CANBUS body modules? It probably paid for the the upgrade to the AWD system.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        ^^ This.

        Touchscreens are merely accepted by consumers – not desired. Exhibit A is the Tesla Model 3 – the poster child for skimpy interiors – which was done that way to minimize costs on their highest volume product.

        Knobs and indicator lights are complex and expensive, and all that development cost is easily bypassed by just giving the coders a little more work to do.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Does anyone know if the R’s brakes will fit under the 18″ wheels from the lower GTI trims? Those 19s look like you’d bend a few of them a year (not to mention blowing out tires) in any place with normal American roads.

    Other than that, this looks to me like the most desirable Golf R yet, although needing to use the screen to access the heated seats is a bummer.

    • 0 avatar
      The Comedian

      Based on wheel – size dot com 18” OEM GTI wheels will clear. 18” rims are available OEM on the Golf R in other markets.

      https://www.wheel-size.com/size/volkswagen/golf-r/2022/

      (Example: UK offers 18″ Jerez rims as the standard, 19” rims are optional.)

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      Dal – the GLI uses the front brakes from the Golf R as standard equipment. They should fit in any GTI trim level as well.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’d love to see an eye tracking study that compares how people use buttons vs. screens. I’m willing to bet very few people turn on their seat heaters or increase the driver side air temp without glancing over like they’d do with a screen.

    I get that a lot of people do things so instinctually they don’t even notice or remember that they looked down – even when they did. That’s why I’d like to see the actual (non survey/self reported) data.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree that would be very interesting to research. Sounds like another source of distracted driving.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        My bet would be that the vast majority of “distracted driving” is people texting. Any car tech based distracted driving is a tiny percentage of that.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Anecdata – My wife’s CX-9 is a nightmare to change radio stations, pick a different music source, select my bt connection over her wired Carplay connection (she plugs in for charging, not to use Carplay).

          I’ve had a similar experience with this ’21 Mazda as we had with the ’18 GLC (both leased). Too much interaction with a screen and menus. Too much distraction. Too much confusion.

          In my older 3 series, it’s all buttons. There is no screen. I connect my phone’s headphone jack and I’m off. Buttons for radio stations. Tidal and my music app are easy to navigate.

          My sense is that VW like every other carmaker thinks showing off technology on test drives makes people go ‘oooohh and ahhhh’. It doesn’t. It pisses me right off.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That’s one reason I didn’t get a Model 3 after the test drive. The center-display-does-all was very distracting even for simple tasks.

      In contrast, my 05 xB had center gauges, but they were up at windshield level and nearly in line with the view of the road. They didn’t bother me at all.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Well, horse-manure quality touchscreens aside, it seems that the Mk8 R is tuned to be much more rorty than the Mk7. With all due respect for this author, Baruth has opined on the Mk7 as a dull car, not anywhere near as lively as the Mk7 GTI, and certainly not worth the extra money. It’s all in his Hagerty columns or own website somwhere. He writes with great authority and with explanations that make sense until he veers off into politics. VW has changed the paradigm to make the R more exciting than the GTI. Finally. Then screwed up the switchgear. No sale.

    The torque vectoring rear axle uses a clutch on EACH rear axle, there, Mr Iger. Similar to Audi Ultra. You need two to split the torque correctly, one will never cut the mustard despite marketing men non-understanding. On the other hand, with one clutch on each rear axle, no clutch is needed at the forward transaxle to turn AWD on and off. The clutch on each rear axle engages to do that, as per the bidding of the ECU.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    Well, horse-manure quality touchscreens aside, it seems that the Mk8 R is tuned to be much more rorty than the Mk7. With all due respect for this author, Baruth has opined on the Mk7 as a dull car, not anywhere near as lively as the Mk7 GTI, and certainly not worth the extra money. It’s all in his Hagerty columns or own website somwhere. He writes with great authority and with explanations that make sense until he veers off into politics. VW has changed the paradigm to make the R more exciting than the GTI. Finally. Then screwed up the switchgear. No sale.

    The torque vectoring rear axle uses a clutch on EACH rear axle, there, Mr Iger. Similar to Audi Ultra. You need two to split the torque correctly, one will never cut the mustard despite marketing men non-understanding. On the other hand, with one clutch on each rear axle, no clutch is needed at the forward transaxle to turn AWD on and off. The clutch on each rear axle engages to do that, as per the bidding of the ECU.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    Get it with the 6spd manual, for the true enthusiast. Less to go wrong.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…All-new for 2022, the Golf R returns to North America rocking a new look”

    I’m not a Golf disciple, but every Golf/Rabbit going back to 1974 is instantly recognizable, and newer models all look the same to me.

  • avatar
    ltskinol

    Drove a new GTI last week. Do Not Want. The whole car epitomized everything wrong about modern cars – rubber band tires on giant wheels, awful touchscreen with a bunch of pointless options, not particularly fast and boring. A formerly-fun car now turned into an appliance.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    That sounds really impressive but it occurs to me:

    1. How many miles until the black magic they used to get 315 bhp from a 2.0L needs attention?

    2. Given the price point, shouldn’t this be an Audi?

    3. Given the price point, I think I’d be afraid to “use” this other than errands, groceries, and travel (I put about 600lb of stones in 4 trips in my IM, and routinely bring other heavy and/or dirty things home in it).

    I only bring up point #3 because the sell on this is a “practical track capable car” but I don’t see it used as such at all. So why pretend, or is it just “the world wishes to be deceived”?

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    This would have been on my short list for a purchase were it not for every single review panning the touch-based ergonomic nightmare VW has created. I’ll wait for the next version when they bring back physical buttons, which they almost certainly will do based on the reviews.

    This is like Apple removing HDMI, Mag-safe charging and SD card slots on the previous generation MacBook Pros, only to have to bring them back after users hated them and refused to buy them. You’d think companies the size of VW and Apple could avoid such rookie mistakes in product planning.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “This is like Apple removing HDMI, Mag-safe charging and SD card slots”

      I agree with you but I am dumbfounded by the fail you describe. How am I supposed to plug the MacBook into a projector or TV then (Hell I was pissed to lose VGA)? Ditto with SD cards, DSLRs are a sort of a thing and will remain so no matter how good the camera gets on their I-Gameboy.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    After my wife’s Skoda Octavia vRS Combi TDI was involved in an accident (she was ok), we looked at something with more compact exterior dimensions while offering more interior space. Our choice was a second hand polar white 2019 Mercedes-Benz B180 with basically all [important] options, including the widescreen MBUX digital touchscreen.

    I have always liked touchscreens because I feel they are quicker to use than dials (iDrive or the older Mercedes COMAND). My 2007 GL320 CDI 4Matic does not have touchscreens even though this technology was available in the day and operating its infotainment system is quite slow because of the lack of touchscreens.

    The beauty of the Mercedes system however is the voice commands, which respond quite well. Essentially I do not have to move a finger to select what I want, I can simply tell the system to select this, activate this, or change whatever and it will comply instantly. This is really quite a good system and in my opinion it is the most advanced and user-friendly infotainment system currently on the market, not only because of its ease-of-use, but also because the digital infotainment system layout is logical.

    So, pretty much everything has to or can be controlled via the digital touchscreen except for the A/C controls and some safety-related features (headlights, wipers etc.). The A/C controls features physical buttons – but – I can give voice commands to activate the heater, set temperature to this and blower speed to this – and the system will do it. Alternatively, I can setup the A/C controls via the physical buttons. I like both options.

    What I want to say is that I think touchscreens are good because they are efficient and responsive. And digital cockpits are the future because they can show so much more information in regards to trip status, navigation and so much more. I do not consider myself a technology geek, but I like where car interiors are heading in regards to digital/touchscreen interiors.

    By the way, the tiny 1.33-l turbo 4-cylinder powering this car amazes me. It has such amazing NVH qualities and I cannot detect any vibrations which you would expect from a 4-cylinder. It is also quite agile in acceleration. During acceleration there is a raspy 4-cylinder sound, but once you get up to speed the engine calms down. Even at 180 kph on the Autobahn the motor is pretty quiet (the wind noises can be heard, the motor not). The motor is a co-development between Daimler-Renault-Nissan. Fascinating technology.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    There was an article a few days ago on another auto site that asked the question that because GTIs are getting marked up by dealers to Golf R levels, who would buy the GTI? It was such a poorly written article because it assumed that the dealers weren’t going to mark up their Golf Rs. I can 100% assure that every VW dealer is going to have another sheet of paper added to the window sticker with the additional addons and “Market Adjustment” that will make the Golf R a $50,000+ purchase.

    The Arteon got similar controls, although being a slightly older model, kept hard controls for a lot of functions. VW – please learn what Cadillac and Honda found out the hard way: sliders and haptic controls almost never work as advertised in a moving car with turns and vibrations. All of the reviewers are right – it is very easy to trigger the heated steering wheel just by using your palms to turn the steering wheel. And the fact that VW has put sliding haptic controls for the volume and track settings on the steering wheel, where they are going to be triggered on a regular basis makes zero sense to me.

    I have now driven the new GTI and came away very impressed, but was left with mixed emotions about the infotainment interface. It is something that you will get used to over time, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an effective system to use.

  • avatar
    6250Claimer

    VW cut costs all over this thing. Prop rod for the hood, super-el-cheapo engine cover with zero branding so that they can use it across their other brands, cheaper interior materials, the ridiculous touch-everything controls, and God-only-knows what else under the skin. There are also mounting complaints about the H/K branded new audio system sounding significantly inferior to the old Fender system in the Mk7/7.5. And to my eye, the old car looked far better too, but that’s totally subjective. As the author notes, the interior was damn near perfect in the outgoing car, and nothing needed to be “fixed”. Going all-touch was a huge mistake that other automakers have tried, gotten railed at by their customers, and relented back to standard knobs and dials for most commonly used controls. I’m surprised that VW apparently wasn’t paying attention to this. Or maybe they were but the bean counters prevailed. Either way, you can be sure they’re working on fixes right now – or will be once they sort out the current software issues which are still plaguing owners.

  • avatar

    The capacitive stuff just sucks. I have an 88 yo FIL who can drive OK but programming CUE is beyond him. I find it needlessly annoying.

    Sorry to see it hit VW.

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