VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently in the market looking at Golf Rs, probably not the ideal choice as I am looking for one as a commuter, 100km (63mile) round trip daily and I live in western Canada where the car will be used year round. The all wheel drive is what made me chose to jump to a Golf R.
I recently test drove a 2018 R DSG with 70,000kms. (43,000miles)
Drove smooth, shifted great, no apparent loud bangs, clangs or pops, although a slight shimmy or jolt on low speed downshifts.
However it doesn't have the donut spare tire kit that I was hoping it would have, would I be able to find and install this kit since the car has the Fender audio system?

There's a few noticeable cosmetic issues from rock chips and a parking lot door scrape across the passenger side door handle.

It kept giving a "Driver's aid button malfunction" alert on the dash and center screen, any recommendations how to diagnose and repair?
But the biggest issue is that once the hood is popped there is a noticeable odour of coolant. I crawled around, peaked over and under as best as I could and could not find the source.

From my little bit of research I understand that the water pumps like to leak/seap on these cars, how pricey is it to have this diagnosed and repaired?

I went to the local VW dealer with the vin and had them do a quick search of the vehicle's history and it looks like it's a one owner car that was special ordered (Spectrum model) has done the maintenance on the nose every time it was scheduled, as well as had all of the open recalls performed since AUG 2018 when it was sold. It also has a bit of bumper to bumper warranty remaining until 80,000kms and full powertrain warranty until 100,000kms.

- My biggest concern is how reliable are these cars? If I use it on my commute, +/- 100km/63 miles of flat, open, prairie highway Monday to Friday, will it be able to last me the four to five years I need it to?

- How long are owners going between fill ups? What is your highway range full to empty in one tank?

- How difficult is it to downsize to a 17" Wheel from the factory 19" wheels? The roads here aren't great and I'd love to add some more sidewall to save wheels and my back as well.

- Do owners of these cars enjoy winter sports? would it be possible to pack a snowboard (I currently ride a 164cm Jones Flagship) or skis in one of these with gear for a trip or should I be prepared to invest in a roof rack and cargo box?

- I'm also worried about the price-point it's sitting at, similarly priced Golf R's have over 100,000kms and are usually only 2016's and 2017's.

- Would it be possible to go back to Volkswagen and buy an extended warranty on a used car they originally ordered and sold?

I've been driving a 2018 Tacoma TRD sport automatic, Crew Cab long bed, with a canopy and aggressive Falken all-terrain tires in the oem size but the 3.5L v6 in these Toyotas is a torqueless wonder until 4,000 rpm. Driving it on the highway whether I'm going 90km/hr (55mph) or 120km/hr (75mph), it won't hold any gear, constantly shifts up and down then IF it does settle in somewhere it holds solid at 3,500 rpm. I've done all my regular maintenance, had the transmission computer re-flashed, re-placed and re-trained and it still is MISERABLE on the highway. I'm barely getting 16-17mpg highway here in the flat to mild rolling hills commuting to work and back every day and at last calculation I was spending an additional $450 a month in fuel costs JUST to commute. So by selling or trading off my Tacoma in the current market I have almost guaranteed that with 87,000kms on the dial I will turn a profit over what I paid for it new therefore cutting my payments down significantly depending on the fuel economy and fuel range of the car on my commute.

Thanks for taking the time to read and help a fellow car guy out. I've never owned a Volkswagen nor has any of my family so my experience with German cars is significantly lacking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
There is a spare tire kit you can purchase (shopdap.com has a nice kit you can customize); euro spec. The North American mk7.5s did not come with a spare. The fender sub will fit; I have the kit.

The coolant smell could be nothing, but it could be a thermostat housing. That's the other potential issue that some have. I've smelled some coolant on the temperate months (spring and fall), but no loss of coolant here. The mk7.5 *should have a long warranty for the US (6yr/72k miles), but check with Canadian dealers. Carbon build up will be an issue down the road, so frequent oil changes and dealing with that will likely happen. It happens to all direct injected motors though. It's a German vehicle and may have some issues, unlike Toyota and Honda, but lately it seems like they're also having more problems.

Check fuelly.com for mpg real world stats. I get about 250-320mi/tank with mixed driving.

You'll be able to fit boards and / or skis inside with gear if only 2 people, otherwise I'd get a roof rack and mounts/box.

Downsizing to 17s is common for those with rough roads. That's the smallest Dia wheel you can go with stock R brakes. Even with 19s, good tires and comfort mode with DCC is pretty cush for the highway.

The R is a highly sought after car and seems to have a cult following based on the prices. That's up to you if you want to pay for whatever mileage / condition. It should have decent residual value, however.

If you're considering a used one I'd get a dealer to do a ppi and ensure it's not tuned. If it is tuned I would assume the owner would disclose that and have good knowledge of the tune and any other mods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the Quick reply!
I'll add it to the list of things to scope out the next time I'm close to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
Thanks for the Quick reply!
I'll add it to the list of things to scope out the next time I'm close to it.
Happy hunting and I loved my mk6 gti (sold with 131k miles) and my mk7.5 R at the moment (17k miles). The wife has a mk7 golf sportwagen that had been relatively trouble free at 67k miles :knocksonwood:. All with regular maintenance performed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
But the biggest issue is that once the hood is popped there is a noticeable odour of coolant. I crawled around, peaked over and under as best as I could and could not find the source.

- My biggest concern is how reliable are these cars? If I use it on my commute, +/- 100km/63 miles of flat, open, prairie highway Monday to Friday, will it be able to last me the four to five years I need it to?

- How long are owners going between fill ups? What is your highway range full to empty in one tank?

- How difficult is it to downsize to a 17" Wheel from the factory 19" wheels? The roads here aren't great and I'd love to add some more sidewall to save wheels and my back as well.

- Do owners of these cars enjoy winter sports? would it be possible to pack a snowboard (I currently ride a 164cm Jones Flagship) or skis in one of these with gear for a trip or should I be prepared to invest in a roof rack and cargo box?
Coolant odor is common and some have issues with it and others have no issues. I smell coolant quite often but nothing seems to be leaking yet so until something goes wrong, I just monitor the coolant level and keep my fingers crossed. I can only assume the vapor/odor is able to pass through any openings/gaskets easier than water molecules. I've only got 12,000 miles on my 2018 and have not yet had a problem with the water pump.

I have decided most if not all modern cars are "reliable" and it's impossible to know what might go wrong on your car compared to others. Best thing to do is read as much on these forums as you can, see what others have experienced, just inspect your car regularly for any issues and address them right away so they don't develop into something worse. Long commutes are usually good for cars so one of these Golfs should last 5 years easily.

I fill up at half tank so as to not have to carry too much money on me all the time. So I go about 12 days between gas visits as I have a very short commute. On the road though (L.A. to S.F.) I get about 28-30 MPG at about 70mph and can go about 435 miles on a tank, give or take.

As noted, 19" to 17" is doable but you'll definitely need to make sure if you go aftermarket the inner diameter of the wheel you choose clears the calipers. I think if you go VW wheels they should be OK. I plan on dropping my 19s at some point as, even on the freeway where there can be some potholes and gaps, my car SLAMS a lot more than I want on any DCC setting. Can't stand that. Makes it feel like there are no shocks or suspension at all.

Yes, a snowboard or skis will fit inside the car but you won't want to fill it with more than 3 people. You'll need one of the rear seats folded down to get everything situated comfortably.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
The water pump is covered under the powertrain warranty, so you should be fine for a little bit. I had a look because I was curious, and its about 300-400 CAD for the part. I think the dealer charges 4 hours of labor, an independent shop would probably do less. If you supply the part and have a shop do it, maybe 700-800 total, probably another 500 on top of that at the dealer. This is for a MK7, I assume the part is the same or similar for 7.5s. Keep an eye on the coolant, it's the bulb-shaped container in the top left of the engine bay if you're facing the engine from the front.

I do all city and I'm coming up on two weeks of ownership; mine is manual but I don't think there's a huge difference compared to the DSG. I still have 1/4 tank and have done 400km, I have averaged 10.6l per 100km or ~22mpg. Been having a lot of fun, not even trying to be economical. I did some back road driving that was very spirited but a lot of coasting and cruising and I got 8.7l per 100km or 27MPG, I bet you can get between 30-35 mpg if you're just cruising. Obviously it needs premium; I would suggest getting a Costco membership if you have one with a gas station nearby since their premium costs almost 25c/l less than every other gas station and it's good fuel.

If it has the 19 Pretoria rims, you have to be very careful. I have pretty **** roads in my city, and I may have already bent one of them. 18s with a 40 or 45 profile might be a better idea long term, unless you opt for the wheel and tire insurance which I am somewhat regretting not buying. I don't know if the 19's can fit a tire with a thicker sidewall than 35, but might be worth looking into, I just like how they look too much.

Service Schedule for MK7.5 Golf R (2018, 2019, 2020) - Articles - Deutsche Auto Parts (shopdap.com) <------ This is a helpful link for service intervals. Looks like the only thing upcoming would be a Haldex service. As long as you follow what the Owners manual says it should be reliable, I see no reason why it wouldn't last five years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Honestly I wouldn’t buy one as a commuter car. Just a regular Golf TSI would make more sense for that. Better fuel economy, smoother ride on crappy roads, and with proper snow tires they do great in winter. Also you can get a new one for half the price of an R.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I passed on the car.
Started poking around and the paint around the front fenders is peeling pretty substantially, the dealer only wanted to use some touch up paint and re-cover it with fresh 3m.
The rear door seals have about an inch or two of mold creeping up the window seals and couldn't look under the carpet enough to feel comfortable about taking it.

There also was a pretty steady oil leak on the front of the engine, nearest the rad all over the oil pan and that made me worried about the waterpump/thermostat seal swelling and busting the housings causing the strong coolant odour.
All four wheels were REALLY curbed up. I get they're 19s on Saskatchewan roads but what they showed is a little excessive.
The radiant coolant heater cable having a home depot plug and showing up as repaired by VW under warranty a few months ago made me giggle and then fearful for having any work done there

Link to car if anyone's looking for a Racing Green Canadian Spectrum.

104669

104670

104671

104672

104673

104674
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Wow! That poor car. Looks like it wasn't taken care of at all. I'd never pay $37k for a car in that condition. And the listing says "Exceptionally clean inside and out"! Uh, no.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
@kevinkar Sadly the car is covered in numerous little scratches all over the exterior and the leather on the steering wheel is very worn although everything else is very clean.
My fear was more of VW not covering the panels under corrosion warranty and the mold growing under or between the layers of insulation and carpet.
Both spots where paint is peeling has the very obvious signs of water being trapped under the paint, that, looks like ripples of water corroded in to the bare steel, where if it was rock chips it looks sand blasted raw.
I visited vw with the vin and the maintenance has been done on the nose for each required service and a few recalls have been performed. I can't say it hasn't been looked after per say but the few little things left to get bad have become pretty serious.



@jaysGTI The build sheet stated it came with the VW 19s. I wish liked hell it came with black 18s, makes no sense having such little sidewall in a country with such horrible roads and Saskatchewan is so far below the average horrible I can't even begin to describe how much better it is to drive in the ditches than on the roads. Might have to stick with my Tacoma for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Not to derail this thread, but how does that car have a block heater? I looked into it when i bought my Golf and as far as i can tell their was no factory or dealer option for this? - Assuming this is DIY and as stated above would be concerned. Also, I live up in Canada and have no idea how the paint got that destroyed? I'll agree the roads up here are not great by any means, but not to that level of damage. This might be a farm car that sees gravel roads daily?

Also, love it or hate it - Pretoria's were standard on all R's in Canada (i believe) and the Englishtown's were an upgrade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@g_fI took a look for it and it has a circulation heater on the lower rad hose, so when you plug it in, it heats the coolant enough to just open up the thermostat and cycle the warmed coolant through the block.
I ran one on a 2010 Hummer H3T v8 that I bought without a block heater too, worked pretty well actually. Unsure of the brand though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
LOL I like that plug hanging out of the front grill. Looks like that car wasn't maintained very well at all. I compare to my habits but I put about 5-6k miles/yr on mine and it's garage kept. I don't wash it all the time, but I feel keeping it garage kept, parking far from others, driving sensibly, and maintaing the fluids/maint is key to having a well-kept vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
LOL I like that plug hanging out of the front grill. Looks like that car wasn't maintained very well at all. I compare to my habits but I put about 5-6k miles/yr on mine and it's garage kept. I don't wash it all the time, but I feel keeping it garage kept, parking far from others, driving sensibly, and maintaing the fluids/maint is key to having a well-kept vehicle.
That's a block heater.

Definitely has had a rough life regardless though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I passed on the car.
Started poking around and the paint around the front fenders is peeling pretty substantially, the dealer only wanted to use some touch up paint and re-cover it with fresh 3m.
The rear door seals have about an inch or two of mold creeping up the window seals and couldn't look under the carpet enough to feel comfortable about taking it.

There also was a pretty steady oil leak on the front of the engine, nearest the rad all over the oil pan and that made me worried about the waterpump/thermostat seal swelling and busting the housings causing the strong coolant odour.
All four wheels were REALLY curbed up. I get they're 19s on Saskatchewan roads but what they showed is a little excessive.
The radiant coolant heater cable having a home depot plug and showing up as repaired by VW under warranty a few months ago made me giggle and then fearful for having any work done there

Link to car if anyone's looking for a Racing Green Canadian Spectrum.

View attachment 104669
View attachment 104670
View attachment 104671
View attachment 104672
View attachment 104673
View attachment 104674
ouch that paint peel is terrible. Good decision on passing this car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,477 Posts
I think a VW Alltrak sounds like it could fit the bill for your case use. Good mileage, room for outdoor sports, awd, decent ground clearance and a nice sidewall. Plenty of aftermarket support to give it a personalized touch you may want too. Certainly a huge step up from your Taco as a highway cruiser.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,234 Posts
Hey, looks like you are another Saskatchewanian! Welcome! I think the Golf R is perfect for a medium length commute no matter the season. Mileage won't be as good as a regular Golf but it'll be wayyyy better than the Tacoma. I just got back from a 2000km trip to Banff and back and the car averaged 8.2L/100kph despite some headwinds and some time with the cruise on at 130KPH. Sure it's not as good as a regular Golf which I would have expected to average 6.0L/100kph but it's still darn good.

17" wheels will clear the front calipers depending on the wheel. That's what I use in the winter. As an aside the ride in Comfort mode on the 17" wheels with 225/50R17 Nokians is crazy comfortable. We've got some bad highways here in Sask and the R just floats over the cracks in them during the winter.

Are you looking for a DSG or manual?
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top