Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR review - verdict

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR special edition looks set to be the swansong of the current Golf GTI range, but after our UK drive is it set to go down as one of the greats?...

2019 VW Golf GTI TCR rear three-quarter driving

If this verdict were to be derived from a Venn diagram, it’s likely the Golf GTI TCR would do very well indeed. It appears to have all the bases covered: it's easy to drive, comfortable, practical, and even handsome. It’s noticeably better than a Golf GTI Performance and more agile than the heavier and pricier Golf R.

Two things count against it, though. The first is price: at over £34,000, it’s more expensive than the most expensive version of the Honda Civic Type R. And that’s its second flaw: it’s not a Civic Type R. A car that, in hot hatchback speak, is measurably better in so many ways, the most important of which is the number of smiles it delivers. That is why, in almost every way, it still remains the best hot hatchback you can buy.

What Car? rating: 4 out of 5

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Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR specification

Price £34,720  Engine 4cyl, 1984cc, turbocharged, petrol Power 286bhp at 5400-6400rpm Torque 280lb ft at 1950-5300rpm Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic 0-60mph 5.6sec Top speed 155mph (limited) Kerb weight 1410kg (DIN) Economy 36.2mpg (WLTP) CO2 153g/km (NEDC derived) Rivals Honda Civic Type R, Renault Megane RS

Words by John Howell