Video: Roman Reviewed & Hated This Car 10 Years Ago, So Why Did He Just Buy It?

2013 Volkswagen Golf R
We just bought a Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R — a car Roman and several other outlets derided at the time for its lack of power and content over the European model. (Image: Volkswagen)

What are our first impressions with this used Volkswagen Golf R?

Back in the day, if you wanted an affordable (and quick) all-wheel drive car, you picked up a Subaru WRX, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution or this — the Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R. This king of hot hatches, at least in 2013, forged a new direction on which the Mk7 and Mk8 have evolved, by way of the iconic 2.0-liter EA888 engine, replacing the old R32 and it’s VR6 powerplant.

On its face, pairing that turbocharged power to an updated Haldex all-wheel drive system (and a 6-speed manual transmission) should be a perfect recipe. However, Roman expressed disappointment with the car a decade ago. Why? Despite that the Mk6 Golf R is still a fun and fast hot hatch to blast around the U.S., we ended up with less power and less content than the Golf R folks were able to buy over in Europe.

2012 VW Golf R interior
The Mk6 Golf R brought a Titan Black interior to the mix. (Photo: TFLcar)

In overseas markets including the U.S., the 2013 Volkswagen Golf R’s 2.0-liter mill put out 256 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque — as opposed to the 266 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in Europe. We also missed on the 7-speed DSG transmission, special Recaro seats and a host of other features, ostensibly to keep the costs down. Not that the Golf R was “cheap”, mind you — ours still cost $36,885 when the previous owner bought it back in 2013. On a side note, while the new Mk8 Golf R is significantly more expensive, at least we get the same level of power and much more equipment in 2022 (we just had to wait a couple years for the car to actually arrive on our shores).

Check out the video below for another look at this Golf R ten years on, and what we plan to do with the car moving forward.