What is it like on the inside?
Well, it’s a Golf. Logically laid out, well made, not massively exciting. The Golf R’s bespoke touches extend to a flat-bottomed R-badged steering wheel, a 4Motion badge on the centre console lid, some bolstered seats (which are comfy but not as supportive as true sports buckets seats) and blue-tinted dials. It’s not all red seatbelts and chequered-flag graphics, like some hot hatches, and that’s… fine. It suits the R’s subtle demeanour.
In the back, it’s just as roomy as a normal Golf and the boot, well, it’s from a Golf. You get a little bit less underfloor stowage on account of the all-wheel drive system, but it’s still a very practical box.
On post-2017 facelift models, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of. New trim, virtual cockpit TFT dials (all the performance Golfs got these as standard), and an uprated high-res navigation system with online connection via your phone for CarPlay and traffic apps. You uprate that screen to a 9-incher with gesture control for £1,300, but you really mustn’t because then you lose the volume and zoom knobs, and it becomes a frightful pain to use. Yes you can use the volume controls on the steering wheel, but that has so many other buttons that you’ll keep altering the cruise speed or something.