Volkswagen Golf R review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£36,345
What Car? Target Price£33,798
Volkswagen Golf R rear seats
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Golf R's starting price is well above the likes of the Honda Civic Type R and Renault Mégane RS. And although you might expect the VW badge to guarantee slow depreciation, our experts actually predict it will shed value quicker than both of those rivals.

Fuel economy is reasonable for such a powerful car, but expect a Civic Type R to return more miles to the gallon. Then again, the Golf R should be the slightly cheaper car to insure.

Every Golf R comes with a three-year warranty, but Volkswagen didn’t perform brilliantly in our latest reliability survey, finishing in 22nd out of 32 manufacturers included. However, VW does offer the chance to break down your service costs into more manageable monthly instalments.

The Golf managed five stars in its Euro NCAP safety crash testing and you get the important safety aid of automatic emergency braking as standard; lane-keeping assistance and blindspot warning are part of an optional pack. Security firm Thatcham Research rated the Golf very highly for its ability to keep thieves out and from driving it away.

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Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
Volkswagen Golf R front seats
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With superb performance and four-wheel drive, the VW Golf R is one of the quickest hot hatches in a straight line, but a Honda Civic Type R is more agile and much more fun.

  • Rapid acceleration
  • Comfortable and refined by hot hatch standards
  • High-quality interior
  • Handling isn't as sharp as you might expect
  • Rival hot hatches are more fun
  • Relatively expensive to buy and run