2011 FJ TT, 2001 IS300
The Golf R feels like it's basically an Audi or a baby-Porsche. It's refined and sporty but also luxurious but I agree in that it lacks character and edge. I will gladly sacrifice luxury for that edginess and more performance. I'm not one for luxury at allI considered a used R when I bought my 2020 GTI new. I drove both and liked the GTI more. It’s just a more endearing car. A little less refined, a little more character, and it had a little bit more of an edge to the drive than the R did. The GTI has the plaid seats, which are amazing. It has the history. It’ll absolutely roast the front tires on command. It gets a little squirrelly when pushed to the limit. Etc.
The general consensus is the current R is a huge improvement other than the techno nightmare interior. But the MK7 that I drove was just a little too polished. The salesman was shocked when I said I got more out of the GTI test drive and didn’t think the R improvements were worth the price, but that’s how I felt.
Basically this is just a long winded way of saying I have a lot of experience with the Golf variants and agree with you haha. I absolutely love my GTI, I just see the GRC as a chance to get a truly special car that I can’t turn down. It’ll basically be most of what I love about my GTI cranked up to 11.