I have been driving my 2018 Golf R wagon for three months now, and I have loved everything about it. It has been my daily driver, and it has been perfect so far.
It is small and nippy, and is excellent for driving around the city. When you take it out of the big smoke and onto some twisty roads, its performance really shines. It goes around corners like its on train tracks.
Power is sufficient but not that powerful. The wagon has the same 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder as the regular Golf R with an identical output of 213kW/380Nm.
The seven-speed DSG is well-resolved – docile enough around town in auto mode, or delightfully engaging when shifting via the wheel-mounted paddles. There’s a satisfying pop on upshifts too, when you’re feeling playful and letting the R run free, especially when ‘boy racer’ Race mode is selected.
Power lags behind more potent hot hatches like the Audi RS3 and Merc-AMG A45, but the Golf R's 213kW output is enough to throw itself from 0-100km/h in 5 seconds.
That it’s blisteringly fast is a no-brainer. A dash to triple in under five seconds is impressive, whichever way you look at it. But while straight-line chops might mean something to some people, the real measure of the R’s worth is in the way it goes about the business of going fast.
The engine never feels underdone in terms of power and torque, with a linear delivery, either in traffic or hounding some bends with lustful glee.
There’s a surge of speed available under the right foot, whether from standstill or on the move. But the one thing that stood out the most was the economy. The Golf R wagon averaged 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres, which included a quite a bit of spirited driving.
Whereas some hot hatches feel compromised, sacrificing everyday comfort in the hunt for performance credibility, the R comes with no such shortcomings.
Simply, it’s as adept as a daily driver and as comfortable around town as it is a raucous and manic performance car when faced with that inviting and enticing stretch of twisting tarmac.
Overall, as a daily driver it is an excellent vehicle.
Editor's note: With no image supplied, we've used a CarAdvice photo for this story (albeit, of the Wolfsburg edition).