Volkswagen Golf R review

Category: Hot hatch

Section: Costs & verdict

Star rating
Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
Add to shortlist
  • Volkswagen Golf R front
  • Volkswagen Golf R rear
  • dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf R rear seats
  • Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
  • Volkswagen Golf R front seats
  • Volkswagen Golf R boot
  • Volkswagen Golf R front studio
  • Volkswagen Golf R rear studio
  • Volkswagen Golf R side studio
  • Volkswagen Golf R side
  • Volkswagen Golf R front cornering
  • Volkswagen Golf R front
  • Volkswagen Golf R rear
  • dashboard
  • Volkswagen Golf R rear seats
  • Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
  • Volkswagen Golf R front seats
  • Volkswagen Golf R boot
  • Volkswagen Golf R front studio
  • Volkswagen Golf R rear studio
  • Volkswagen Golf R side studio
  • Volkswagen Golf R side
  • Volkswagen Golf R front cornering

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.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Volkswagen Golf R touchscreen
Volkswagen Golf R front
Open Gallery12 Images

Overview

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

Also consider

Volkswagen Up GTI

2018 - present

The Up GTI is the best budget hot hatch you can buy

Abarth 595

2019 - present

The Abarth 595 is startlingly quick and wonderfully stylish, b...

Ford Fiesta ST

2018 - present

Without upping your budget considerabl...

Suzuki Swift Sport

2020 - present

The Suzuki Swift Sport is well equipped and fun to drive, but...