Engaging turbocharged engine; handling, grip and traction enhanced by standard all-wheel drive; premium interior; highway champ
Pricey; not significantly faster than the GTI
A 6-speed manual transmission becomes standard and the DSG (automated manual transmission) is now an option. An updated infotainment system brings a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality and a USB port. And when the model with DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control, otherwise known as adaptive suspension dampers) and navigation is selected, it also becomes eligible for the Driver Assistance package that brings adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation with autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert and parking sensors (front and rear). See the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R models for sale near you
Once things get past a certain level (in this case, the GTI level), then the extra power and expense is more of a heart decision than a head decision. Since this is an enthusiast's car, think about staying with the basic version, manual transmission and all. Going for everything puts the price past the $50,000 mark, which is hard even for the heart to take. Find a Volkswagen Golf R for sale
The 2016 Volkswagen Golf R ($36,470) comes as one well-equipped model.
Standard equipment includes 18-in alloy wheels, keyless entry and push-button ignition, automatic headlights with LED running lights, rain-sensing wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, brake lever and shift knob, leather seating surfaces, dual-zone climate control, ambient cabin lighting with LED reading lights, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, a drive mode selector, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, an infotainment system with a 6.5-in touchscreen, a USB port, an SD-card slot, satellite radio and an 8-speaker audio system.
Options include an adaptive suspension (DCC), 19-in alloy wheels, the DSG transmission, navigation and a Fender-branded audio system upgrade. The Driver Assistance package consists of those advanced safety features mentioned above. The adaptive cruise control in this package doesn't work below 19 mph when paired with the manual transmission; it will bring the car to a complete stop if necessary when paired with the DSG transmission.
Like the other Golf hatchbacks, the R enjoys some of the most generous cargo space in its class: 22.8 cu ft. behind the rear seats and 52.7 cu ft. when the seats are folded down.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2016 BMW M235i -- The 2 Series is smaller and not quite as practical (although its trunk is pretty big at 13.8 cu ft.), but the M235i makes the most of that hallmark BMW rear-drive attitude with 320 hp.
2016 Ford Focus RS -- The Focus is another compact hatchback with a world-class chassis. The full-on RS version beats the Golf R with 350 hp going to all four wheels. Anyone thinking about an R really has to check out the RS.
2016 Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45 -- The CLA runs with 375 hp going to all four wheels (boosted for the 2016 model year). It's the most complete version in the CLA range, but now we're firmly in the $50,000 ballpark.
2016 Mini Cooper Hardtop John Cooper Works -- This Mini is less expensive than a Golf R, but it's also smaller, less powerful (228 hp) and only has front-wheel drive. But it's one of the most entertaining rides around.
2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI -- Take a GTI for a spin to see if it works well enough. It has 220 hp and sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. For most drivers, this is all perfectly fine.
Used BMW M3 -- For power, poise and prestige, there's nothing better than this BMW.