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Volkswagen Golf R Mk6: Buying guide and review (2010-2013)

Volkswagen Golf R Mk6: Buying guide and review (2010-2013) Classic and Performance Car
Volkswagen Golf R Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R Mk6
There ain’t no substitute for cubic inches… is what they used to say, and for decades we swallowed the line. But then came downsizing and turbocharging, and today everyone’s at it, from Ford to Ferrari. So you could say that Volkswagen was ahead of the curve with the Mk6 Golf R. When the company announced in September 2009 that the replacement for the Mk5 R32 and its 3.2-litre V6 would be nothing more exotic than another turbocharged 2-litre four-pot, many lamented the passing of the über-Golf. That was until they drove the Mk6 R… 
Truth is, the 3.2 was always a little bit flabby and flaccid. The pumped-up 2-litre TSI actually kicked out more power (266bhp versus 246) and torque (258lb ft plays 236) and it weighed a useful 35kg less, too. With drive still going through all four wheels, the 0-62mph figure was slashed by around a second to 5.7sec with the six-speed manual ’box or 5.5sec with the paddleshift DSG semi-auto. The R was a similar chunk quicker than the regular Mk6 GTI, which had to make do with 207bhp.
The 4Motion system featured a centre diff in the form of a Haldex clutch to distribute drive to the wheels with most grip. The EA113 engine (taken from the Mk5 Golf because it was better suited to tuning) benefited from a reinforced block, a new cylinder head, uprated pistons and conrods, and high-pressure fuel injectors. It also got a new turbo that puffed 1.2bar of boost and a more effective intercooler to deal with the increased thermal load. 
All of which makes it a natural for further tuning: plenty of examples have been remapped to well over 300bhp.
The ride height was lowered by 25mm compared with the Mk6 GTI and the springs and dampers tweaked for sharper responses, though ACC switchable adaptive dampers were a cost option. The brakes featured impressive 345mm discs up front with ‘R’ monogrammed calipers.
To help justify the £30,000 price tag (seven grand more than the GTI at the time), the R was distinguished by 18-inch ‘Talladega’ alloys (also available as a 19-inch option), a subtle bodykit and twin, centrally sited exhaust tailpipes protruding through a gloss black diffuser. The interior was pretty much carried over from the GTI, with Recaro seats as a highly desirable optional extra.
Performance and specs
Engine In-line four-cylinder, 1984cc turbo 
Power 266bhp @ 6000rpm 
Torque 258lb ft @ 2500-5000rpm
Transmission Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
0-60mph 5.7sec (claimed)
Top speed 155mph (claimed)
Fuel consumption 33.2mpg
Insurance group 36

Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2578mm
Length 4212mm
Width 1779mm
Height 1461mm
Kerb weight 1521kg
Common problems
• The EA113 engine is generally strong and reliable – even when tuned to over 300bhp – as long as it’s serviced meticulously. Andy McLeish at VW/Audi specialists APS advises every 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever is sooner. 
• Its one weakness is premature wear of the fuel pump cam follower, which in turn scores the camshaft. The good news is that replacing the follower is an inexpensive service item; finding out if it’s been done can provide a clue as to how well a car has been cared for. 
• Also look out for a leaking water pump and check the cambelt has been changed at four years or 60,000 miles (and the water pump replaced at the same time). Budget around £300 from a specialist.
• Some early cars (mostly 2010) suffer from failure of the Haldex pump. This is the electronic pump that generates the hydraulic pressure to push the plates in the centre diff together and send the torque to the axle with most grip. Floor the throttle in the lower gears and if you notice more than the slightest hint of wheelspin, it probably points to a problem with the pump. Reckon on £400-500 to have a replacement fitted. 
• And it makes sense to get the rear propshaft donut replaced at the same time. Haldex oil/filter needs changing every two years.
• The manual ’boxes are generally robust. If you feel a juddering when moving off, it’s probably the dual-mass flywheel on the way out – not cheap, and it makes sense to get the clutch replaced at the same time, so the total bill will be well over a grand. If you get the car mapped, you’ll need an uprated clutch.
• If you’re going to map the car, the DSG ’box can’t handle as much torque as the manual, but generally gives few problems if properly maintained: it’s vital the oil and filter are changed every 40,000 miles to avoid overheating or the clutches burning out. Check both the automatic and the manual shifts for speed and smoothness.
• There are no particular issues here beyond normal wear and tear witht the suspension. Creaks or knocks could point to wear in the front suspension top mounts. Dampers should be checked for leaks, and springs for breakages. 
• The ACC dampers seem to give few problems. If the ABS light and/or the ESP light is illuminated, beware. It could be a fault with a sensor (not too expensive to fix) or it could be that the ABS pump-control unit needs replacing, which costs more than £1000 from VW.
• Check for uniformity of panel gaps and any overspray, which could indicate accident repairs. Interiors are holding up well, so any signs of excessive wear or damage to the trim would suggest the car has lived a hard life and better examples can be found. 
• The CAN Bus wiring system can give problems, so check all the toys work.
Owners clubs, forums and websites
• vwroc.com
• golfmk6.com
• autops.co.uk
• quattro-tech.co.uk
• awesomegti.com
• vagtech.co.uk
• volkswagen.co.uk/used
Summary and prices
Around £15k is the entry point to Mk6 Golf R ownership, but these can be high-mileage cars with less-than-watertight service histories. £16-18k brings a wide choice of low-to-average-mile cars with good provenance within reach. £20k will get you the pick of the very best late, low-mileage, one- or two-owner cars with a full VW service history. Sought-after ACC switchable dampers and Recaro seats command a premium.

Words: Peter Tomalin/evo
Volkswagen Golf R Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R Mk6 Volkswagen Golf R Mk6
Last updated: 4th Aug 2016
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Volkswagen Golf
3995 35990 GBP
  • Volkswagen Golf

    £31,990 £31,990

    Variant: 2.0 TSI R DSG 4MOTION 5dr (start/stop)

    • Mileage: 10 mi
    For sale
    £31,990 £31,990
    Parkway Volkswagen-Northampton Volkswagen
  • Volkswagen Golf

    £3,995 £3,995

    A very charming low mileage Golf Cabriolet with a fully electric roof HISTORY A three lady owner car with full history, 17 stamps in the service book, first a PDI on the 19/08/1997, then services at 8200 miles, 15,900 miles, 18,600 miles, 19,400 miles, 20,400 miles, 21,500 miles, 22,700 miles, 23,700 miles, 24,700 miles, 25,600 miles, 26,200 miles, 27,000 miles, 27,800 miles, 28,820 miles, 28,930 miles and 28,980 miles in October 2016. The mileage on the car is currently 29,000 miles. The cambelt was done at 18,000 miles and 27,800 miles at Caffyns VW and a brake fluid change was done at 28,800 miles also at Caffyns. The battery was renewed recently. Current MOT is valid until 25 October 2018. The car is fully HPi clear with certificate. EQUIPMENT Our Moonlight Blue metallic example has a fantastic specification including: fully electric folding roof, as-new tonneau cover, electric front and rear windows, adjustable wing mirrors, automatic transmission, adjustable steering column, power steering, central locking, original radio cassette and airbags. WHEELS/TYRES/BRAKES All four wheels are unmarked, brakes have plenty of pad and stop the car without issue and the tyres are Firestones all round with plenty of tread. CONDITION In fantastic condition inside and out, the roof is as-new and there are no signs of the usual rust that afflicts these models. Paint is deep and glossy, the bumpers are unmarked, seats are clean with no rips or tears, mats are new and the wheels are all perfect. It is as good as it looks in the photos. CONTACT US We are 30 seconds from junction 2a off the M26 and 5 minutes from junction 2 off the M20. Viewing strictly by appointment. Call us ANYTIME on 07711 645 465 to view or for a friendly chat. Part exchange considered. Credit and debit cards accepted. All our cars are prepared to the highest standards and can be viewed in our brand new fully lit unit, day or night.

    • Year: pre 1900
    • Mileage: 29000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.8
    For sale
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    Wayne Lamport
    Wayne Lamport
  • Volkswagen Golf

    £25,590 £25,590

    Variant name:R TSI DSG ,Derivative:MK7 (A7) (5G) ,Variant: 2.0 TSI R (300ps) DSG Estate Interior Features, Vienna leather upholstery + 12 way electric adjustable driver seat + heated front sport seats + lumbar support, Audio / Communications, Car-Net App-Connect, Miscellaneous, Discover DVD navigation pro with 9.2'' colour touch screen, European map data, 64GB hard drive + voice control, Packs, Winter pack - Golf (when ordered with leather upholstery), Paint - Special, Special solid - Pure white, Trim - Leather, Vienna leather - Black + 12 way electric adjustable driver seat + heated front sport seats + lumbar support, Exterior Features, Electric front windows, Electric rear windows, Heat insulated tinted glass 65% light absorbing from B pillar back, Heated rear windscreen, Rain sensor, Rear window wash/wipe with intermittent delay, Windscreen wipers/ intermittent wipe + 4 position delay, Lowered sports suspension, Black rear diffuser, Body colour bumpers, Body colour door handles, Body colour rear roof spoiler, Chrome surround for front fog lights, Chrome trimmed radiator grille louvre inserts, Honeycomb radiator grille - black, Silver roof rails, Twin exhaust tailpipe, Bi-xenon headlights with washers + dynamic curve lighting + LED daytime running lights, Coming/leaving home lighting function, Cornering front fog lights, Dusk sensor + auto driving lights, Range adjustable headlights, Safety, ABS, Black brake calipers, Collision mitigation braking system, Electronic brake force distribution, Electronic parking brake with auto hold, ESP with EDL + ASR, HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), Cruise control + speed limiter, Driver alert system, Front and rear parking sensors, Progressive power assisted steering, Auto dimming rear view mirror, Door mirror integrated indicators, Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, 3 point height adj front seatbelts + pretensioners, 3 rear 3 point seatbelts, Child locks on rear doors, Door open warning reflectors, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Driver/Passenger whiplash optimised head restraints, Drivers knee airbag, Front and rear curtain airbags, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front side airbags, Fuel cut off safety device, Pre crash system, Tyre pressure monitor, Warning triangle and first aid kit holder, Interior Features, Front + rear carpet mats, Air conditioning - 2 zone electronic climate control, Dust/pollen filter, 12V socket in luggage compartment, 3 spoke steering wheel, 4 boot load lashing points, Bag hook in luggage compartment, Front centre armrest with storage box and rear air vents, Gearshift paddles, Grab handles, Height/reach adjust steering wheel, Illuminated door sills, Load through provision with rear centre armrest and cupholders x2, Lockable, illuminated, cooled glovebox, Luggage compartment cover, removable, Multifunction leather steering wheel with leather gear knob/handbrake grip, Stainless steel pedals, Storage box in centre console with cover, Storage compartment in roof console with cover, Storage compartments in doors, Storage drawer under driver's seat, Sun visors, Variable boot floor, height adjustable and removable, Blue ambient lighting, Courtesy light delay, Front footwell illumination, LED reading lights, Luggage compartment lighting, White adjustable panel illumination, Illuminated vanity mirrors, Audio / Communications, Bluetooth Telephone preparation, 8 speakers, Auxiliary input socket, Composition media system with Radio/CD/MP3, DAB Digital radio, iPod adaptor, MDI with USB/iPod connection cables, SD card slot, Miscellaneous, 'Lights On' warning buzzer, Brake pad wear indicator warning light, Exterior temperature gauge, Multi function display colour screen, Multifunction computer - Midline, Rev counter, Traffic Master traffic alert system, Trip and service interval display, Warning buzzer and light for front seatbelts unfastened, Trim, Carbon touch decorative inserts, Chrome air vent surrounds, Chrome-plated light switch surround, Cyclone decorative inserts, Gloss black decorative inserts in dash, 3 rear headrests

    • Mileage: 5490 mi
    • Engine size: 2
    For sale
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    £19,950 £19,950

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    • Mileage: 15000 mi
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    £15,000 £15,000

    Dunley car sales are very pleased to offer this rare opportunity to own this fantastic 1 lady owner Golf GTI, Red Cloth interior, 4 seats, Metallic Atlas grey, Benefiting from having factory sunroof and mfa computer, There are three files of paperwork with the car including original owners pack including service book, every mot from new. The car in recent years has lived in a VW showroom as a show piece, the car was purchased new from Bristol Street VW in Nottingham on the 20/02/1986 and has been maintained by a VW master technician throughout its life, in fact the same technician who pdi'd the car in 1986... this car has travelled very few miles over recent years but has been mot'd by VW every year with no issues, in fact it has only travelled 849 miles in 11 years! the GTI starts and drives superbly it makes you smile as soon as you open the garage, www.dunleycarsales.co.uk or simply Google us, 5* dealer, read our real customer reviews, usual dealer facilities

    • Engine size: 1.781
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