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Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-2020 review

Category: Hot hatch

Section:

What is it like?

Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Volkswagen Golf R
  • Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Volkswagen Golf R
  • Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
  • Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present
Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-2020 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Golf R hatchback like?

Human nature being what it is, there’s always a temptation to try to improve on even the very best of things. Evidence of this is rife in the car world, and nowhere more so than in the case of the Mk7 Volkswagen Golf R.

You see, it’s basically an even more finely honed version of the old Mk 7 Golf GTI – and those in the know understand that the GTI is already an excellent all-round hot hatch.

Performance in either form is seriously impressive – you’ll never want for power, in almost any situation. The top speed is limited to 155mph, but new buyers could spec an R Performance Pack that derestricts the top speed and adds bigger wheels and bigger brakes.

The standard versions will be plenty for most people, and the Golf R goes, stops and handles with considerable aplomb. One or two of its stiffer rivals – the Honda Civic Type R and Renault Megane RS for example – handle in a more eager fashion, but few are as comfortable over rough roads, where it smooths over lumps and bumps with ease.

The R has a typical VW Golf interior, with solid quality and an excellent choice of high-class materials. It’s classy, and the comfortable heated front seats, finished in Alcantara and leather, grip and support you.

The driving position is first class, with lots of adjustability to the steering wheel and seat. Visibility is excellent, and there’s plenty of space up front. Rear-seat passengers get plenty of head and leg room, and the boot is an excellent size and shape.

The dashboard and surrounding areas are all logically laid out, too. There's an 8.0in high-definition, glass-fronted, colour touchscreen as standard, with sat-nav, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a DAB radio and smartphone integration.

Either side of it are touch-sensitive shortcut buttons (so you can flit between the main functions) and two knobs: one for volume control and the other for scrolling through lists or zooming in and out of maps on the sat-nav.

Buyers had the option of upgrading to a 9.2in touchscreen, but either way, the menus are easy to figure out – you won't need to resort to the handbook to connect your phone or create radio station presets.