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Volkswagen golf v6 4motion mpg
One of our journalist colleagues doesn't get it. We’re standing in the pit lane of the Ascari racetrack near Málaga, Spain, when he asks, "Why would you make a wagon that drives like a sports car?" At this very moment, a Volkswagen Golf R SportWagen roars by at full blast, the four-outlet exhaust popping angrily as the DQ400 dual-clutch automatic gearbox swaps into fourth gear. We suggest that writer (who we must note was from another outlet) check his pulse.
At a time when an increasing number of drivers prefer to express on-road supremacy via tanklike, view-obstructing crossover SUVs, we’re entirely behind VW's decision to launch a compact and nimble station wagon that doesn't make a statement through sheer size or flamboyant design. Modestly styled but fitted with a 300-hp turbocharged four-cylinder (in Euro tune; the U.S. Golf R makes 292 horsepower), the Golf R SportWagen leaves the message delivery entirely up to the driver.
Thanks to the latest iteration of the EA888 2.0-liter TSI engine. this burliest of Golf SportWagens will, we estimate, charge to 60 mph in well under five seconds, and its top speed is governed at a full 155 mph. Riding on a lofty plateau of 280 lb-ft of max torque—it’s available from 1800 to 5500 rpm—the family friendly R SportWagen is a poor man's Cadillac CTS-V wagon or, for a more Euro-centric comparison, Audi RS6 Avant.
In any of its driving modes, but particularly in the Race setting, the Golf R wagon makes all the right noises, although at higher revs the use of the sound-augmenting Soundaktor makes the note go a bit artificial. Yet the car charges forward relentlessly, far into triple-digit speeds; and it can even achieve decent fuel economy for something so powerful—we think it could hit 29 mpg highway were it certified for U.S. sale. Unless, that is, you cane the thing and drive it as it’s intended to be driven. Do so, and you can drop the onboard indicated average to near 10 mpg, a fact of which we’re well aware—we’re still praying that the speed cameras we passed were on a lunch break. (We did achieve 24 mpg in our test of the U.S.-spec Golf R hatchback, which is rated for 30 mpg highway.)
The standard 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system is biased toward the front wheels in normal driving situations, calling the rears to duty only when traction—or driver—demands warrant it. At that point, the Haldex coupling clutches in and can send virtually all the torque to the rear wheels; although this is no drift machine and lurid oversteer isn’t ever part of the equation, the Golf R SportWagen nevertheless is easy and fun to aggressively rotate through a succession of corners.
Helping the cause—but not necessarily brake-pad life—is a brake-based vectoring system, which can brake individual wheels at either end to send more torque to the other side to aid turn-in. The electric power-steering system is one of our favorites, being nicely weighted—it’s a touch on the light side—and sensitive to even minor inputs. We wish we could say the same about the throttle response, which occasionally feels languid with the dual-clutch ’box in automatic mode.
The Golf R SportWagen could go incognito in an urban environment like Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood or on the back roads of New Hampshire, frolicking among Volvos, Saturns, and Subarus. Only a few connoisseurs will notice that there is something extra hidden beneath its unassuming body. Giveaway hints come in the form of 18- or 19-inch wheels wearing 225 or 235 rubber, as well as the aforementioned quadruple exhaust pipes. There is an aero kit, too, but it looks different rather than sportier. The subtle hints continue inside the spacious cabin with microfiber-trimmed sport seats, carbon-fiber-look trim, and pedals capped in stainless steel.
While we understand that some folks, and even other journalists, might not get the Golf R SportWagen, that’s a pity: It’s a fantastic blend of practicality, performance, and stealth. (Of course, it helps that there’s no lower-priced GTI version of the SportWagen, even in Europe, which is the main argument against the Golf R hatchback.) Frankly, we’d like to see the car here, although we concede a high price and its long-roof body style would keep volumes low. On the other hand, Volkswagen did debut this version in, of all places, Los Angeles last year. So while we’re asking—and since the car’s appeal would be limited here anyway—how’s about VW fix the car’s one glaring omission and offer a six-speed stick?