Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Volkswagen Golf R's price – roughly the same as its premium rivals the Audi S3 and BMW M135i – might raise eyebrows, but there are some mitigating circumstances. It has a more powerful engine and comes with more standard equipment, including adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and three-zone climate control (with controls for back-seat passengers).
Mind you, you have to pay extra if you want a paint colour other than white or heated seats. There are plenty of other options worth considering, including adaptive suspension (DCC). The R Performance Pack adds larger 19in alloy wheels (you get 18s as standard), increases the top speed to 166mph and adds a gimmicky drift mode, but it's pricey so we'd think carefully about adding it.