Engaging turbocharged engine; handling, grip and traction enhanced by standard all-wheel drive; premium interior; highway champ
Pricey; not significantly faster than the GTI
Volkswagen has revised the Golf R's power output. Whereas the Golf R was rated at 292 hp last year, this year the official figure is 288 hp. This is the result of a new measuring method and not any actual drop in power. (Sister company Audi has done the same thing.) The torque remains the same. Volkswagen is also offering a choice of 40 custom-order exterior paint colors along with the usual five hues. And an optional Black Wheel package includes 19-in alloy rims finished in gloss black. See the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R models for sale near you
Two things might cause us to hesitate. As mentioned above, this is an expensive car, especially from a maker that's not considered premium. And this generation of Golf is due for replacement. There's a choice: Wait to see what the 2020 model year brings, or try and negotiate a serious discount. Find a Volkswagen Golf R for sale
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf R ($41,380) comes as one well-stocked model.
Standard equipment includes 19-in alloy wheels, aerodynamic body additions, quad exhaust pipes with chromed tips, keyless entry, push-button ignition, automatic/adaptive LED headlights with LED running lights and taillights, rain-sensing wipers, heated windshield washer nozzles, heated side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel/brake lever/shift knob, dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-in digital instrument display, a self-dimming rearview mirror, ambient cabin lighting with LED reading lights, leather seating surfaces, heated front sport seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, drive mode selection, adaptive suspension (DCC), Bluetooth, an infotainment system with an 8-in touchscreen, navigation, a USB port, an SD card slot, satellite/HD radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration (through VW's Car-Net App-Connect feature) and a Fender-branded audio system. All the standard driver aids are listed in the Safety section below.
The DSG transmission costs an additional $1,100.
Like 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 those seats are folded down.
|Basic||6 Years/72,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||6 Years/72,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||7 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2019 BMW M240i xDrive -- Smaller and not quite as practical (although its trunk is pretty accommodating at 13.8 cu ft.), the 335-hp M240i xDrive also has AWD.
2019 Honda Civic Type-R -- Front-drive and manual transmission only. But 306 hp, limited-slip differential and 20-in alloy wheels are all part of a recipe for sharp handling and sharp looks.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG -- Runs with 375 hp going to all four wheels. Slightly more of a crossover than a regular hatch and costs in the region of $55,000.
2019 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works Hardtop -- Less expensive than a Golf R, smaller and less powerful at 228 hp, and only front-wheel driven. But it's still one of the most entertaining rides around.
2019 Subaru WRX STI -- It's a sedan, not a hatchback, but it's similarly energetic and grippy. Not as refined as the Golf R, though.
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI -- Take a GTI for a spin to see if it works well enough. It has 228 hp and sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. For many drivers, this is all perfectly fine.