Volkswagen Golf R Review 2022
Volkswagen Golf R At A Glance
The Volkswagen Golf R aims to be the master of all trades. It'll beat sports cars away from the lights and along twisty roads while still aiming to be practical, useable everyday transport. The latest model adds more power and technology in the mix, and our VW Golf R review will see if the all-rounder can actually excite.
The old Volkswagen Golf R certainly had its fans. It held widespread appeal amongst young car enthusiasts with a bit of money who wanted something more impressive than the usual Ford Fiesta ST, or even a VW Golf GTI.
Much like fast Fords of the early nineties, it also developed a reputation as a car highly sought after by thieves. Hugely fast, four-wheel drive, discreet and with space for all your partners in crime, there isn't many better getaway cars. Small wonder undercover traffic cops started getting them too; if you can't beat them, join them.
Anyway, the new Golf R joins an ever increasing number of four-wheel drive hot hatches vying for the same level of success. Key rivals include the BMW M135i, Audi S3, Mercedes-AMG A35 and Cupra Leon 310 Estate - and although it shares much with the Audi and Cupra, it has more power and an even more trick four-wheel drive system. It even gets a 'Drift' mode.
You also get 320PS from a highly tuned 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, which combined with limpet-like grip means it's much faster off-the-line than even the Clubsport version of the Golf GTI. Another key selling point is that you can buy a Golf R Estate - you can't buy a GTI Estate.
Bespoke styling inside and out - including big wheels, unique trims and figure-hugging sports seats - help mark it out as something a bit more special than the norm. But has it lost some of the subtlety of the old car? We'll let you be the judge of that. You'll certainly pay a premium for that R badge, too - you can easily spend £50,000 on a Golf by raiding the extensive options list.