It was on the day we picked up our 162TSI Tiguan that the dealership manager noticed that I was eyeing off the showroom Golf R while my wife finalised the paperwork for delivery.
"Why don't you take it for a spin?" He said as he handed over the keys to me of their showroom demo Golf R.
"Are you driving or am I?" I responded, at that stage expecting a mountain of paperwork and a casual passenger ride in what was just a fancy Golf.
"Nah, take for a spin by yourself and let me know what you think."
Within a few more moments I was out of the showroom floor with trade plates on... by myself, with a brand new Golf R. As the distance between myself and the dealership grew, my urge to race everyone and everything also grew, and suddenly the R made sense as I felt about 10 years younger.
This experience started my love affair with a Volkswagen Golf R and my journey of researching every little detail I could find about the car in the lead up to buying what could very well be the best bang for buck performance car I have owned.
Fast forward another 12 months and the constant watching of Golf R video and news had made its impact on me. I was no longer satisfied with just watching videos and knew I had to buy my own Golf R. But why would a 30+ year old want a Golf R?
Firstly, the tech inside the vehicle is leagues ahead of many other major platforms. The level of customisation and detail that can be adjusted from lap timers to digital boost gauges, the car appears to have it all. The driver assistance programs such as lane keeping, dynamic cruise and the dynamic lighting allows for seamless integration with your day-to-day driving, where you smile when you realise the car has done something you didn't expect it to do.
Whilst many aren't a fan of leather, I find the seats to be comfortable and easy to clean, which is one of the perks of a leather interior. Whilst speaking of cleanliness, many owners complain of the amount of finger prints on the control unit which are easily removed with a quick wipe of a cloth.
The powerplant of the car is a 2-litre four-cylinder turbo which provides 213kW of power distributed through Volkswagen's 4motion system, seeing a quick 4.7 seconds 0-100kph. This will surely see you win the traffic light podium 9 out of 10 times during your daily drive.
The Performance Edition also brings with it a joint collaboration with Akrapovic - a titanium exhaust that makes the Performance Edition sound like it should have all along, with loud cracks and aggressive overrun pops and bangs. At first I wasn't sure I would enjoy the sound, having heard a number of aftermarket exhaust that all sounded a bit too loud and obnoxious, However the Akrapovic exhaust is subtle enough when it needs to be, and loud when the driver is in the mood.
The Volkswagen performance brake rotors also allow for a quicker stop when using your 213kW, ensuring you can pull up with enough room when needed.
Lastly, the signature Black Pretoria rims reduce the total weight of the vehicle, shaving off another 20kg of weight from the car, along with looking the business when it comes to many aftermarket options.
All of this wrapped up with a tidy 5-year warranty begs you to wonder why would you want to consider any other performance vehicle in the sub-$70,000 price market as overall bang for buck vs dollar spend is exceptional with this vehicle.
Whether it's an early-onset midlife crisis, or a burning desire to head off to the racetrack with your daily driver, then it’s hard to make it past the Golf R.