Home » The 2025 Volkswagen Golf R Gives The Fans Exactly What They Want

The 2025 Volkswagen Golf R Gives The Fans Exactly What They Want

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While Volkswagen pulled the covers off the updated Mk8.5 GTI a few months ago, questions remained about what the next iteration of the ultimate Golf would contain. Well, the 2025 Volkswagen Golf R is here and it’s entirely for the fans. We’re talking more power, some handling tweaks, and some cosmetic alterations, many of which are inspired by modifications Golf R owners already do to their pre-facelift cars. See? Maybe automakers are capable of listening.

Diving under the hood of the 2025 Volkswagen Golf R, the big story is that the two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine now makes 328 horsepower, up from 315 in the outgoing car. Now, that’s not night-and-day, but combined with other tweaks, it does mean that the new Golf R should run from zero-to-62 mph in a claimed 4.6 seconds. Yeah, that’s rapid. Top end? A cool 167 mph. Talk about cooking with gas.

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Sadly, it appears that the manual transmission is indeed dead, although that shouldn’t be a surprise given the way the GTI has gone. While us three-pedal enthusiasts have lost, the DSG is objectively a great gearbox, and fits the grown-up superhatch vibe of the Golf R well.

2025 Volkswagen Golf R

While the chassis is essentially the same as on the outgoing Golf R, forged 19-inch wheels weighing just 17.6 pounds each should cut rotating unsprung mass considerably. According to Volkswagen, they’re 20 percent lighter than equivalent cast wheels, and that’s weight that you’ll notice.

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On the inside of the 2025 Volkswagen Golf R, the first thing that you’ll notice is the updated 12.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. No surprise there, as we’ve already seen it in the new GTI. What is a surprise is the capacitive touch pads on the steering wheel, because Volkswagen claimed they’d be doing away with that over the coming years. Oh well. Also, peep the enormous shift paddles. They exist because Volkswagen’s seen exactly what owners do to their DSG Golf Rs, and they put enormous aftermarket metal shift paddle extensions on it.

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Oh, and let’s not gloss over some of the greatest fucking upholstery I’ve ever seen. Look at this plaid! It’s just the tightest shit imaginable, a phenomenal expression of pattern and color. We can only cross our fingers and pray that this upholstery makes it across the pond, because it’s the sort of fun we’re sorely missing from cars today.

2025 Volkswagen Golf R

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While the 2025 Volkswagen Golf R isn’t revolutionary and doesn’t keep the manual gearbox alive, it’s improved in all the ways that matter to Volkswagen diehards. From the slight power bump to the forged wheels to the paddles, it’s a brilliant example of an automaker incorporating aftermarket trends into updated product. Oh, and one disclaimer — all these shots are of the European model, but you can bet on seeing the U.S.-spec 2025 Golf R soon.

(Photo credits: Volkswagen)

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AceRimmer
AceRimmer
21 days ago

No, they didn’t. I was in the market last year, stepping up from 2 previous Mk7 GTIs. The haptic ‘buttons’ and screen UX was a no go. So I bought a G70. And VW kept the same shitty UX, so no, they didn’t give enthusiasts what they wanted.

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli
24 days ago

What is a surprise is the capacitive touch pads on the steering wheel, because Volkswagen claimed they’d be doing away with that over the coming years. Oh well.”
“Oh well”? I feel this deserves a stronger reaction than just lying down and taking it. Even “That sucks.” would feel better.
Between that, the hideous screen staring you in the face, and the lack of the manual, I would genuinely only consider the outgoing model if I was buying today.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
25 days ago

VW claims the new steering wheel buttons won’t be prone to accidental touches, but I still hate it. Give me tactile clicky

CampoDF
CampoDF
25 days ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

100%. I commented this on the Jetta post today, but also will note here that my wife’s 2022 Tiguan has the capacitive wheel and it is now on its third new wheel since leaving the factory. Not only do they suck to use, they fail completely all the time. There’s some module that is built into the wheel that breaks and the only way to fix it is to replace the whole steering wheel. It’s so bad that my dealer stocks them now because it happens all the time. I thought VW had learned from user feedback and was putting the buttons back on the steering wheels, like they did (or maintained) on the Atlas refresh.

Church
Church
25 days ago

According to Volkswagen, they’re 20 percent lighter than equivalent cast wheels, and that’s weight that you’ll notice.

Four pounds per wheel is weight I’ll notice? Maybe if I’m flinging it around the track every weekend. But as a daily driver I can’t imagine that I’m so close to the bleeding edge that I can notice the difference.

[S]ome of the greatest fucking upholstery I’ve ever seen. Look at this plaid! It’s just the tightest shit imaginable, a phenomenal expression of pattern and color.

Okay, let’s not get carried away, here. I love that upholstery, but it’s gray with a small amount of blue. I can’t give it that much credit for such a reserved use of color. It’s done very, very well, but it’s not THAT good.

Ben
Ben
25 days ago
Reply to  Church

Four pounds of unsprung, rotating mass is going to have a disproportionately large impact on the handling of the car. You may very well feel a difference, even in every day driving. It will probably feel quicker off the line and soak up bumps better than a car with heavier wheels would.

Segador
Segador
25 days ago

Without a manual, it’s literally a 0% chance to buy this for me. It’s an enthusiast car, it needs enthusiast options, which yes, still include a stick.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
25 days ago
Reply to  Segador

Unfortunately the DSG is the only way to go on the Golf R. The OEM clutch on the Golf R is made from butter and if you read forums, they only last around 30k. A couple hard launches and you’ll be replacing them every year.

U20sailor
U20sailor
23 days ago
Reply to  EVDesigner

I’m at 105,000 on the original clutch in a 2017 R. However, the clutch is the weak spot on the car.

I drive a boring SUV
I drive a boring SUV
25 days ago

See? Maybe automakers are capable of listening.

Are they? Why does it still have capacitive surfaces to control all light functions, climate control and hazard lights? Where’s the manual option?

Maryland J
Maryland J
25 days ago

The 2025 Volkswagen Golf R Gives The Fans Exactly What They Want

(Three paragraphs later)

Sadly, it appears that the manual transmission is indeed dead…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
25 days ago
Reply to  Maryland J

Word!

The 2025 Volkswagen Golf R Gives Some Fans Some Of What They Want

Fixed it!

Last edited 25 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
25 days ago

I don’t even care about any of the newer VW’s (only early 90’s & prior) but just have to say for the record that it’s sad that there is no more manual on this…I miss my ’84 Jetta!

christoffSF
christoffSF
25 days ago

I was sticking with VW as long as they had the integrated screen and NOT one tacked awkwardly on top and sticking above the dash – I despise that all cars do that now and will not buy one with it tacked on like that. I have rented some newer VW, Audi, Nissan, etc that have it and hated it even in limited use. On my third VW now (Atlas bc of kids) and miss both my old GTI’s but won’t be getting a third with the manual dead and an iPad on top.

My SO’s still-newish Pilot has the iPad sticking above the dash and I hate it every time I drive it.

Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
25 days ago

Sounds maybe okay on paper but in reality the manual was separating the much higher output engines that now this competes with.

If I had to get forced into an auto, Id rather take the Benz 430hp AMG turbo 2.0 in the 45amg all day long. That engine is closed deck with a huge stock turbo and amazing tuning potential.

The only benefit of the golf was the manual transmission which makes the cars much more fun even if down on power.

No manual just means the golf R is dead to me.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
25 days ago

Hell yeah to those seats! I’ll take that upholstery in just about anything.

I miss decent quality non leather seats with patterns. No, I don’t want jet black seats with the texture of encrusted baseball pants. Nice, soft textiles please, preferably with color and pattern.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago

Thinking mans S3?

Although paying 60 grand for a Golf hurts…

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
25 days ago

Just give us the Sportwagen version! Please!!

Other than that, I want one.

Citrus
Citrus
25 days ago

Every time a car designer suggests putting capacitive buttons or sliders anywhere within a car they should be immediately beaten with sticks until they apologize for their impertinence.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
25 days ago
Reply to  Citrus

Same with screens.

Bryan McIntosh
Bryan McIntosh
25 days ago
Reply to  Citrus

I don’t think it’s a designer or engineer who makes that decision, I think it’s someone who has to look at saving $15 per car on physical buttons. The physical buttons on my Mk. 7 Golf are sublimely good; seeing the capacitive button hellscape of a modern VW interior makes me “NOPE” right out, as it would be utterly useless while wearing gloves in the winter.

Citrus
Citrus
25 days ago
Reply to  Bryan McIntosh

It’s probably a mix of all three, and they can all get the sticks.

Al Camino
Al Camino
25 days ago

Headline is incorrect.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
25 days ago

I love the Golf R. I tried to buy one a couple of years ago, but the VW dealerships were stacking huge ADM on top of MSRP. In some cases, they were trying to get $60k+ for the damn things. Fantastic car, but not for that kind of cash. Hopefully that’s all settled down a bit, but I’m still pissed about it.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
25 days ago

I think it looks great and it’s seriously impressive that it’s nearly as quick as the IS everyone was fawning over earlier. There’s not much left in this space so I’m counting my blessings VW hasn’t killed it in favor of some CUV with an appearance package. The lack of a stick will upset many, but the subset of that group who would actually plunk down the cash to buy one is much smaller than the whole. Aside from the capacitive controls there’s really nothing to complain about here, which in the grand scheme of things really is something that shouldn’t prevent a well adjusted human from enjoying the car as a whole. MT is doing a long term test of a 23 GTI and they seem to be pretty smitten, and it’s been very reliable for them as well.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago

Not much left in this space? The GR Corolla, CTR/Integra Type S would like a word

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago

And the Audi S3, M135i, A35 AMG, Ford Focus ST, i30 N,…

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
25 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

Maybe in different regions, but not the US.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago

Come over to this different regions 😉

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

Im so jealous that you all get the i30N. I’d have chosen one over my Kona N if I had the option. I also love the M135i and love the idea of a BMW hot hatch, although I’m a little said they ditched the RWD layout a while back. A true rear wheel drive hot hatch would be such a treat.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago

My previous was the last rear wheel drive hot hatch, an M140i 3 door. And it wasn’t even a full blooded M car.

It was stupidly fast. I miss that engine…

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
25 days ago

So, an angry three cylinder nowhere near this cars level of refinement, and FWD twins. We are absolutely overflowing with options.

The Corolla is the only real hatchback. The CTR is more like a liftback. Both would get taken to Gapplebee’s by the Golf R.

Last edited 25 days ago by Angrycat Meowmeow
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago

FWD or not the antisocial Civics are faster than any of the Golfs around a track. Whether or not that matters depends on who you ask. And I’d take that Toyota boosted 3 over a VAG boosted 4 every single time. I’ve said on the record than I’m a fan of the turbo V6 that’s in your car, but after my personal experiences with the EA888 you couldn’t pay me to touch a turbo 4 from VW.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
25 days ago

Yes but back to the point, how many actual hot hatches are left in the US? Golf GTI, Golf R, fine.. We’ll count the CTR twins even though not a real hatchback, Mini JCW, GR Corolla. I count six, and VW makes two of them. Ignore the Hondas which don’t have the proper form and VW makes half of the total available hot hatches, which is only four.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago

There’s also the Ioniq 5 N, but once we get into things that are marketed as SUVs the waters get murkier. I’d say my car is a hot hatch but they killed it last year. I guess we could say your car is a hot hatch?

I’m just being pedantic. Your point stands regardless of where our allegiances are.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
25 days ago

Actually the take rate on the manual was quite high in the US but it was EU regs that killed the manual for everyone.

Because the manuals were so popular here, I’m curious how sales do for both the R and GTI.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

How did the EU regs kill the manual? It wasn’t offered in the pre-facelift versions.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

The article refers to the GTI, not the R. And in any case the R was already not offered with the manual un Europe, while it was in the US. Therefore I doubt it was a decision based on European regulations.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
25 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

No it’s both. Article does mention both but basically due to gearing the manuals put out more emissions and don’t get the fuel economy of the DSG. The extra gears in the autos help out with fuel economy and the EU is about to roll out stricter regs on both fuel and emissions. The US had a great take rate on manuals but not enough by itself to justify the cost of development without them being offered in the EU.

Ergo, EU refs killed the manual in this instance.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

The R was never offered with a manual in Europe in this generation. So either the take rate in the US doesn’t justify the option or they want to simplify the range.

The GTI is another story.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
25 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

Not sure but the two are both cited in multiple articles as being casualties of EU regs. Maybe it is just the GTI.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ottomottopean
Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
25 days ago

I’ve had a couple of GTIs – a MK6 and a MK7, and both of them were solid. No issues at all, which is one of the reasons the Golf R was on my list, plus, it’s a hatchback, and I love a hatch. The capacitive buttons were/are kinda annoying, but I’m willing to overlook a lot of shit if the driving experience is good. I ended up buying something that’s probably objectively better, but I’m still not happy about my experience with the VW dealerships.

Albert Ferrer
Albert Ferrer
25 days ago

When I was in the market some time ago I went to a VW dealer and was offered a Golf R 30th Anniversary for 75 grand.

I am sorry but I am not paying 75 grand for a Golf, no matter how exclusive it is.

(I have also seen an A45S AMG for 111 grand in a Mercedes-Benz dealer…)

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
25 days ago
Reply to  Albert Ferrer

The VW dealerships are the reason I ended up with an M2. It was obviously more expensive than a Golf R, but I got it at MSRP instead of MSRP +15k or whatever. There are a couple of cars I’d pay over MSRP for, but a Golf ain’t one.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
25 days ago

$60k+ gets you an S5. Who is spending that much on a Golf R?

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
25 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Idiots apparently. I don’t get it either.

DaFaRo
DaFaRo
25 days ago

How many inches are too much in a car screen? This things are getting out of hand.

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago
Reply to  DaFaRo

I dunno, when I’m navigating, especially in something dense like a city, I want the navigation to be large.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

If my 2023 GTI is any indication, it doesn’t matter how large the screen is, as the GPS has no fucking clue where you are.

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

…is that built-in GPS, or from your phone?

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Both. The built-in screws up and my phone gets screwed up when using CarPlay. I have to turn off Bluetooth and use my phone separate from the car. The infotainment is … ridiculously bad.

Still worth it to drive a hot hatch with a manual. 🙂

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

Interesting! My aftermarket head unit came with a separate GPS antenna to mount on the top of the dash, presumably to help the phone get a GPS signal while it’s still in my pocket. I wonder if theirs are just poorly designed or something?

But yeah, I can sympathize.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
25 days ago
Reply to  DaFaRo

Inches are too much in a car screen. Cars should not have screens at all! Not even for backup cameras, they should have good visibility instead.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
25 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

I’m sorry are you arguing that we should not have backup cameras at ALL? Unless your entire backend is transparent and you have a go-go-gadget extending neck, the camera increases visibility.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

You don’t need a backup camera if your car has reasonably thin pillars all around. I’ve driven freaking passenger vans that had fantastic visibility, no backup camera needed. Backup cameras enable cars to have crap rear visibility and massive blind spots and pretend it’s okay.

…Okay I’ll admit I’d rather cars with bad visibility have backup cameras than not, I’d just rather they have good enough visibility to not need them at all, because not all cars do and the ones that don’t are wonderful to drive because being able to see stuff unimpeded is a wonderful feeling.

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

I mean, at that point you’re arguing about the regulations/legislation.

So are you going to ban box trucks and windowless vans? And ambulances, for that matter?
I don’t mean that aggressively…I just think they absolutely have a purpose.

Personally, I think backup proximity sensors provide more pertinent information (i.e., the distance between your car and something behind you is more relevant than what is behind you), but in a pinch both or either are helpful.

Also, I don’t know how the hell you control infotainment with literally no screen.

Last edited 25 days ago by VanGuy
Joke #119!
Joke #119!
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Well, it would be nice to know if there is a child or a concrete pole behind.
.
.
.
.
.
.
I mean, the child won’t mar the bumper nearly as much…

Joke #119!
Joke #119!
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Joking aside, it would be nice to be able to order up a car without certain “safety” features. Maybe it will take longer. I probably wouldn’t care.

Oh, and order up a manual transmission.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

In my defense I said cars, not box trucks and vans. Even those have larger mirrors specifically for seeing around the vehicle though, so there are analog workarounds.

Also as far as infotainment goes: Yeah, screw it! Cars have been enjoyable for decades without it and still can be. All you need is bluetooth connectivity in your radio so your phone can link to it, and then you can do everything infotainment can do with your phone in your car (preferably not while driving, but you shouldn’t be messing with infotainment while driving either). Infotainment screens are pointless and unnecessary, serving only to distract the driver and fill the car with useless tech gimmicks you’ll get bored of.

Give me a real dashboard with buttons, switches, knobs, and gauges. If I want a screen I’ll connect my phone to it via bluetooth to play music and podcasts. If the car wants to tell me things, it should have a gauge or lights for that. If the car wants to let me adjust things, it should have tactile controls for that, which I shouldn’t have to look at to control.

Last edited 23 days ago by Austin Vail
VanGuy
VanGuy
23 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

I mean, in Ye Olden Days, if the album playing finished, you still had to put in a new cassette or CD or 8-track or whatever. I don’t see using a touchscreen to change the album as being any worse. And by using Android Auto, I’m using an interface specifically simplified and directed for driving use, so it’s less distracting than the normal interface I used previously. My phone never leaves my pocket.

I even remove the album art from my digital audio files to eliminate that as a potential distraction.

I do prefer physical controls for HVAC and such, but are you really going to have controls for car settings like “headlight off delay after engine off”, “lock on shift from park”, “unlock on shift to park”, “remote chirp volume”, etc. have their own buttons? I think touchscreens integrated with those settings and infotainment are the best compromise we can get.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

You can put cassettes in without looking at them. It’s a physical object inserted in a physical slot. The touch screen has no feel to it, you HAVE to look at it to know your fingers are in the right place. You may have optimized your files and setup for minimal distraction, but it’s still distraction, and do you honestly expect most normal people will do the same?

Those last several settings you mention… Honestly yes, I would expect those to have physical controls, but mostly I expect them to never be used because… seriously? Do you really need any of that? Most cars with automatic locks just lock automatically in drive and unlock when you shift into park and that’s it, why does it need to be a setting?

Maybe I’m minimalist, but all that stuff strikes me as unnecessary and overcomplicated. The car exists to take you places, and sometimes to be enjoyable while doing so. If you need digital entertainment, you already own something for that, it doesn’t need to be built into your car adding weight, complexity, and distraction.

I drive a pretty basic car from the 90s, it’s got a radio with preset buttons, air conditioning, roll-up windows, and not much else, but I have never found myself desiring anything more than that (except maybe power windows). Anything extra would be a gimmick that takes away from focus on the task at hand, but it being there would mean I’d mess with it and complicate what ought to be the simple act of driving. I honestly don’t understand why anyone wants half the things modern cars shove down our throats – we really don’t need that stuff, it’s just there to distract us from the fact that cars peaked in the 90s and the only way we can think of marketing them as better now is by filling them with nonsensical gimmicks.

VanGuy
VanGuy
23 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

When I got my car, the default setting was that it would automatically unlock when shifting to park. Any woman will tell you that that it should not do that. And for myself, I toggled it so it doesn’t do that.

There are absolutely settings that a user may want to configure, just like your phone, to make your car suit your needs. I can also switch things like whether the whole car unlocks on the first unlock button press or just the driver door. And again, I don’t want to have to go to a freakin’ dealership to get these settings changed and pay $100+ for a whole hour of labor because “that’s the minimum” for programming.

Really? With one hand, you can take a cassette out of its case, take the old one out, put it back in its case, put the new one in the player, and push play, all without ever taking your eyes off the road?
Plus that definitely takes longer than me changing an album digitally.

It’s also way better than using my phone by itself because if, say, I come to construction on a route I’m used to doing by only one route, Android Auto/Carplay lets me easily start navigation while driving in a way that reaching for my phone would make downright dangerous.

And if anything, removing the CD player from the car likely removed weight. This unit is much shallower than the stock one.

Newer cars are still safer than 90s cars for their occupants. I think that’s pretty hard to dispute.

DaFaRo
DaFaRo
25 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

Personally I think that as much as 8″ can do the job right, no pun intended. More than that is just marketing strategy.

VanGuy
VanGuy
25 days ago
Reply to  DaFaRo

To me, there’s two main benefits to bigger screens.

First is–if I’m somewhere dense (like a city) than I’ll want a bigger screen so I can tell what’s what in navigation. And just bigger text and easier to read in general.

Secondly–to mildly compensate for the lack of tactile feel, it’d be nice for on-screen buttons (navigation or music/etc.) to be larger so there’s more “margin of error” (say, if you go over a bump just as you’re about to make contact with the screen). I’ve missed the play/pause buttons a handful of times for reasons like that–obviously I (or anybody else…) don’t want me to have to give the screen more than a single quick glance to orient myself.

Ben
Ben
25 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

The problem with your second point is that in my experience, they don’t use the extra screen real estate to make controls larger, they just cram more of them on the screen at once.

That said, I do agree. I hate that touchscreen software developers haven’t figured out that buttons should be as large as feasible. The play button in my phone’s music player is obnoxiously tiny, but they found space for an album art image that takes up 75% of the screen. Those proportions should be flipped IMHO.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  DaFaRo

True. Even if you must have a backup screen (I still think they shouldn’t be necessary in the first place), you really don’t need a big one. You go slower when backing up, so you can pay attention to a small screen, and then it doesn’t intrude as much in the interior and can even be hidden away when not in use.

VanGuy
VanGuy
23 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

You mean you’ve never had to back up in a rush, in a hurry from some time constraint or unexpectedly having to make a U-turn into a 3-point turn?

My dad’s Sienna has a ~2″ screen with the backup camera and I know if I ever had that vehicle I’d upgrade it to Android Auto with a more reasonable touchscreen.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

No, that’s reckless and unsafe. Being 30 seconds late is better than a parking lot fender bender. Learn to drive safely, relying on tech like that to compensate is a bad habit that won’t benefit you should you ever have to drive a slightly old vehicle.

VanGuy
VanGuy
23 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

We relied heavily on the proximity sensors in my parents’ Ford Flex, which was useful since it was very hard to see much out of it.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/374150681545204743/
(not my pic but it’s the best example I could find)

The sensors never let us down, even in winter and precipitation. It didn’t have a camera either, as a base model. Ideally camera + sensors together cover most scenarios–sensors covering the more important “distance to something behind me” and camera covering “identifying things behind me”.

The C/D pillars in my Prius v also make backing up using solely a “facing backward” method risky. They’re thick. The camera bridges the gap to the side mirrors really well.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

Yeah proximity sensors are fine IMO. They assume you’re looking, but cover your blind spots just in case. They’re a warning system rather than a nanny you’re meant to rely on that creates bad habits.

Even then, they shouldn’t be necessary other than on tall vehicles. Things the size of sedans and compact cars should have thin enough pillars and large enough windows that you don’t have huge blind spots in the first place.

Even when I was driving my gigantic ’66 Thunderbird regularly, I could see where the trunk ends from out the rear window, so I could maneuver it easily without bumping into things. The one thing I don’t like about the low sloping hoods and trunks of most modern vehicles is the inability to see your corners. Hatchbacks are better in that regard since at least the shape of the rear window can indicate where your corners are, but even those are being ruined by fastback rooflines and thick pillars.

Basically if everything looked like a BMW E30, we wouldn’t need backup cameras at all, because you’d be able to see your whole car from the inside. A couple parking sensors would cover the occasions when there’s a lowered Miata behind you that you can’t see the nose of over your trunk.

VanGuy
VanGuy
23 days ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

The E30 looks like it would turn into a “one-box” pretty quickly in a rollover incident. And I’m guessing it doesn’t have side airbags, either.

Being a good driver doesn’t mean you’ll never be in accidents. There are many, many possible situations where having the quickest reflexes and best judgment possible will only mean, at best, marginal harm reduction.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
23 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

In today’s era of fancy composites and alloys, I see no reason why the pillars can’t be made out of a different material for the sake of integrity – they don’t have to be steel or aluminum. Visibility is important for avoiding accidents in the first place, don’t discredit avoidance as a valid safety feature. If all cars had visibility like that, there would be fewer crashes simply by virtue of seeing them coming. Also the fear factor of not wanting to crash in a car with thin pillars (even if the pillars would actually be fine in a rollover) would incentivize safer driving.

Also I’m not saying everyone should drive a BMW E30, just that shape and visibility-wise it’s very good. I don’t advise anyone drive any BMW product for any reason, for the long-term reliability and maintenance costs alone. It would just be nice if there were more modern cars shaped like the E30.

Last edited 23 days ago by Austin Vail
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
25 days ago

All the capacitive hell in the interior remains, the manual is gone, and we’re now putting an engine with questionable reliability under even more stress. Brilliant! There is absolutely no reason to choose this over an S3 now that the manual is gone and the trick differential isn’t exclusive to the Golf.

It’s more attractive, comes in actual colors, and has buttons, knobs, and switches in the interior. But even then I’m still not touching a turbo VW 4 popper with a 10 foot pole.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
25 days ago

Maybe automakers are capable of listening

What is a surprise is the capacitive touch pads on the steering wheel

Apparently VW has what most spouses would describe as selective hearing.

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