Facelift Golf R FL v RS3 FL Direct Impressions (As I have an R for courtesy car)

Spinstorm

Registered User
This week I have a Golf R provided as a courtesy car by Audi while my car was having work “done”

I used to have a PFL Golf R and I loved it - it was fast great handling and looked good. I felt like the interior was very good and it was an awesome car. I then changed for an S3. I think that going from an R to S3 actually effected my opinion of the RS3 as a result. I knew the RS3 was better but only now after having gone from the RS3 to R and back again in the same week can I say I really appreciate it.

Interior and Exterior Design

The FL Golf R looks better than the PFL - The lights and front end are more aggressive. It is an improvement. The rear has something strange going on with the diffuser which has more detail on it (but unlike the front where the detail looks better) I feel that it draws away from the quad exhausts impact.

Interior - the R has the new digital dashboard - it is more limited than the Audi VC with the customisation available. The Center space lets you show one small piece of information (such as consumption) but nothing else. You can’t have your consumption in the middle of the speedo - or change what’s in the middle individually. You have to pick one set of settings and leave them.

I also don’t like how the VW VC looks like it’s kinda just stuck in the middle; its very boxy. The plastic surround is the same design as the rest of the dash but its hard and looks back compared to the different design hard plastic on the VC surrounds.

The interior just doesn’t feel as high quality; although I love the new larger touch screen enterainment. Whilst it got covered in finger prints I really feel that touchscreens are huge improvements over the rotary style MMI we have on our cars. Audi obviously agree with the A6, A7 and A8 going all touchscreens and I am sure that the next version of the A3 and all other models will change as well.

Performance and Noise

I used to think my R (and by extension my S3) sounded good. I knew it wasn’t like the RS3 but I remember more noise than I experienced this week. It was really disappointing. The R barely made any noise except the fake sound actuator noise. The steering felt sharp but I didn’t feel like it was chucklable or as fun as the RS3. The RS3 felt much more lively.

And then the noise - I think we get complacent with how loud the car is - and start to think its quiet. But it isn’t.... The R made next to no noise as far as I could tell. Except for throttle blips. And it feel so SLOW compared to the RS3. I know its 100hp less but I was shocked at the difference.

One thing I did notice (and I don’t know if its just my car or everyone has this) - when driving the RS3 slowly in between other cars (or on narrow roads) that are quiet is the RS3 engine sounds kind of like an old banger - the noise is sorta hard to describe - but its not a nice sound until you rev the engine out. The R made no obvious noise at all.

I am curious about this RS3 engine noise - it sounds like when its idling if you open the engine - you can hear the belt spinning around and it sounds like that at slow speeds when moving.

Overall I was suprised at the difference between the cars - and the way the RS3 feels so much more special. I know it should. I know its much more expensive. But we get used to our cars and having the RS3 opened my eyes. I would be interested to see how it compares to faster cars.
 
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Evil Diesel

Guest
Nice review - I know what you mean on the noise point - the last few days of nice weather means roof open and all windows down - omg - what a racket these cars make - no wonder everyone stops and turns around to see wtf is going on. It's a joy.
 

SPIKE_

Vorsprung durch Technik
Nice write up. Good to see the comparison between the RS3 & R....two cars I have a lot of admiration for. The sound is such a big part of a car IMHO!
 
T

T-800

Guest
I loved my FL Golf R, even more so with the JB4 etc on it.........the way it drove / handled was superb.

It was just missing the engine drama of the 5 pot......

Hats off to VAG for producing that 4 cylinder engine though and all the power hikes it can seemingly take, but no amount of exhaust mods seem to make it sound any better.

An even bigger hats off to VAG for producing the Ali 5 pot engine with all it's flexibility.......if it wins engine of the year in it's class this year that'll be 9 years running.
 

infernox

Registered User
I love the new larger touch screen enterainment. Whilst it got covered in finger prints I really feel that touchscreens are huge improvements over the rotary style MMI we have on our cars. Audi obviously agree with the A6, A7 and A8 going all touchscreens and I am sure that the next version of the A3 and all other models will change as well.

The only thing I wouldn't agree on is this. Touchscreen only infotainment systems are a downgrade for me. I think they're distracting to use while driving. A example that happens often for me is when driving to work and wanting to listen to the radio, I just push the button near the MMI wheel to radio. I know exactly where the button is without looking at it so you can focus on the road. Same thing for stuff like music volume, air conditioning and pressing the media button for Aux input (I know some of these still have buttons on Golf R but don't on A8 etc). Another thing is cycling the driving modes using the drive select button, I just press the button a bunch of times as soon as I start the car up without having to wait for the MMI to load up. I think touchscreens will work better for cars like Tesla where you have the driving assistances as safety.
 

Spinstorm

Registered User
The only thing I wouldn't agree on is this. Touchscreen only infotainment systems are a downgrade for me. I think they're distracting to use while driving. A example that happens often for me is when driving to work and wanting to listen to the radio, I just push the button near the MMI wheel to radio. I know exactly where the button is without looking at it so you can focus on the road. Same thing for stuff like music volume, air conditioning and pressing the media button for Aux input (I know some of these still have buttons on Golf R but don't on A8 etc). Another thing is cycling the driving modes using the drive select button, I just press the button a bunch of times as soon as I start the car up without having to wait for the MMI to load up. I think touchscreens will work better for cars like Tesla where you have the driving assistances as safety.

You will always have the steering wheel controls! But its impossible to dial a number by hand while stopped at lights shortly using the touch MMI for me. It takes too long. I can easily type a number on a touch screen in seconds.
 

oli356

Registered User
I agree with infernox, as for needing to enter a new number while driving, I've never had to do this.. unless I was reading the number off something else which is even more distracting anyway.
Really not looking forward to having a touch screen in the car....
 
T

T-800

Guest
You should be pulling in to a full stop whilst trying to enter a number into the mmi
So many people being distracted by faffing around doing things that can wait until they get to their destination.
 

infernox

Registered User
You will always have the steering wheel controls! But its impossible to dial a number by hand while stopped at lights shortly using the touch MMI for me. It takes too long. I can easily type a number on a touch screen in seconds.

Yes steering wheel controls help but they don't do as much as the current MMI wheel and buttons do. For my example, it's easy if you already got radio set up on VC but I usually leave it on Aux, so I'd have to press right then change it from Aux to radio. Also you never know what they'll do with the steering wheel controls, look at Mercedes with its touch based scrolling wheel. For me if I'm not looking at the steering wheel buttons, I find my way around from where the scroll wheel is. With Mercedes one, I'd find where the touch scroll wheel is but end up using it accidentally. Then there's the famous * key on our buttons which only works half the time.

I'd agree that touch screen would be better in that example but that's why I said the best would be to have both touchscreen and MMI wheel, not get rid of the MMI wheel for minimalistic sake (Tesla) or a second screen (A8 etc) or extra storage space.
 

oli356

Registered User
Was watching a video of the BMW X2 earlier, seems to have a touch screen and a wheely controller thing too... that seems the best option imo. Some tasks could be easier with a touch screen, but most I think are not.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
This week I have a Golf R provided as a courtesy car by Audi while my car was having work “done”

I used to have a PFL Golf R and I loved it - it was fast great handling and looked good. I felt like the interior was very good and it was an awesome car. I then changed for an S3. I think that going from an R to S3 actually effected my opinion of the RS3 as a result. I knew the RS3 was better but only now after having gone from the RS3 to R and back again in the same week can I say I really appreciate it.

Interior and Exterior Design

The FL Golf R looks better than the PFL - The lights and front end are more aggressive. It is an improvement. The rear has something strange going on with the diffuser which has more detail on it (but unlike the front where the detail looks better) I feel that it draws away from the quad exhausts impact.

Interior - the R has the new digital dashboard - it is more limited than the Audi VC with the customisation available. The Center space lets you show one small piece of information (such as consumption) but nothing else. You can’t have your consumption in the middle of the speedo - or change what’s in the middle individually. You have to pick one set of settings and leave them.

I also don’t like how the VW VC looks like it’s kinda just stuck in the middle; its very boxy. The plastic surround is the same design as the rest of the dash but its hard and looks back compared to the different design hard plastic on the VC surrounds.

The interior just doesn’t feel as high quality; although I love the new larger touch screen enterainment. Whilst it got covered in finger prints I really feel that touchscreens are huge improvements over the rotary style MMI we have on our cars. Audi obviously agree with the A6, A7 and A8 going all touchscreens and I am sure that the next version of the A3 and all other models will change as well.

Performance and Noise

I used to think my R (and by extension my S3) sounded good. I knew it wasn’t like the RS3 but I remember more noise than I experienced this week. It was really disappointing. The R barely made any noise except the fake sound actuator noise. The steering felt sharp but I didn’t feel like it was chucklable or as fun as the RS3. The RS3 felt much more lively.

And then the noise - I think we get complacent with how loud the car is - and start to think its quiet. But it isn’t.... The R made next to no noise as far as I could tell. Except for throttle blips. And it feel so SLOW compared to the RS3. I know its 100hp less but I was shocked at the difference.

One thing I did notice (and I don’t know if its just my car or everyone has this) - when driving the RS3 slowly in between other cars (or on narrow roads) that are quiet is the RS3 engine sounds kind of like an old banger - the noise is sorta hard to describe - but its not a nice sound until you rev the engine out. The R made no obvious noise at all.

I am curious about this RS3 engine noise - it sounds like when its idling if you open the engine - you can hear the belt spinning around and it sounds like that at slow speeds when moving.

Overall I was suprised at the difference between the cars - and the way the RS3 feels so much more special. I know it should. I know its much more expensive. But we get used to our cars and having the RS3 opened my eyes. I would be interested to see how it compares to faster cars.
self explanatory
Pointless comparison really it is with at least a £10000 difference in price
Compare the RS3 with the new AMG 45 When it arrives or with the new M2 competition pack that should be a very interesting read indeed
 
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