More good news. For all the value attached to the hot powertrain, the R is still a Golf so there’s bags of space for people and chattels. The driving position is spot-on, too, with lots of steering wheel and seat movement, though the transmission tunnel running down the middle of the cabin might inconvenience a middle seat passenger in the back.
Actually, it’s not a great place to be as the R’s sculptured rear sports seats are designed mainly for two. Boot volume is squeezed to accommodate the 4wd hardware but at 343 litres (down from 380) it’s still more than reasonable. And with the seats folded, you get 1,233 litres of luggage space, though the R comes with an 18-inch space saver wheel as standard.
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Stowage space is generous with a reasonable sized glovebox, huge door bins both front and back, a drawer under the driver’s seat, a large central cubby under the arm rest and a couple of cup holders.
There is plenty of adjustment in the seating position and this plus height adjustment for the driver’s seat and reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel means that most people will be able to find their ideal driving position.
Sporty aesthetic flourishes are low key but effective. The standard Golf’s excellent dash is complemented by a gloss black centre console and carbon-look trim , while the instrument dials are unique to the R and include some smart touches such as blue needles.
Cloth sports seats with Alcantara bolsters are standard, with leather upholstery available as an option, while the classy and sporty multifunction wheel and well-designed switchgear make everything you touch feel suitably special for a £30k car. LED interior lights, puddle lights, xenon headlamps and classy dials add to the Golf’s upmarket feel, while the tech tally also includes Bluetooth, parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.