2024 Volkswagen Golf R


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Some cars do a great job of getting you to your destination, but only a great car will make you eager to leave as soon as you get there. That’s the Volkswagen Golf R for you. A 315-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine deploys spectacular urgency to all four wheels. It makes just as much power and torque as the front-wheel-drive Honda Civic Type R, but it has a smoother and quieter maturity about it. That is, until you enable the rear-bias Drift mode. Even when driving normally, it’s easy to feel as connected to the Golf R as the LED unibrow across its front fascia. Its tidy, densely packed hatchback body offers plenty of head-, leg-, and cargo room, but it’s knob-less infotainment system makes us yearn for what knobs and hard buttons do with just a simple twist or push.

What’s New for 2024?

Volkswagen doesn’t make any significant equipment changes to the Golf R for 2024. No complaints about that here.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Since the Golf R is mainly offered as one fully loaded model, the biggest decision to make when buying one is whether you want to trade the standard six-speed manual for the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Choosing the latter marginally increases the base price and marginally quickens acceleration. However, we prefer the stick shift.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Under the Golf R’s hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder that makes 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque—up from 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet in the last-generation R. The engine pairs with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive system features a rear differential that can actively distribute torque between the left and right rear wheels for improved handling. The Golf R’s selectable drive modes (Comfort, Sport, Race, Special, Drift, and Individual) can be activated by pressing an “R” button on the steering wheel. We’ve sampled the hatch’s Drift mode, which proved entertaining on slick surfaces, but it won’t replace a rear-drive muscle car’s fun factor. Every model comes with a sport exhaust system, variable-ratio steering, and larger front disc brakes than before. It also rides on a set of 19-inch wheels shod with summer performance tires. During our first drive in Germany, the Golf R showed off the quickness and relentlessness of its strong engine, reactive dual-clutch automatic, and intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The version we drove was equipped with the optional Performance package that adds two more drive modes, including the entertaining Drift mode that allows some tail-sliding antics. At our test track, our Golf R test car with the seven-speed automatic transmission blasted to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, while the six-speed manual slows things down to a still-snappy 4.9 seconds.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates the most efficient version of the Golf R is the one with the dual-clutch automatic transmission, which earned ratings of 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Going with the manual transmission drops those numbers to 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, a worthy tradeoff in our opinion for the more engaging six-speed stick. We haven’t had a chance to run it on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, but when we do we’ll update this story with details. For more information about the Golf R’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The Golf R mimics the GTI’s new cabin design, which provides a sportier aesthetic than the last-generation Golf. Both have a thick-rimmed steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls that operate a 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable layouts. Unlike the GTI, the Golf R isn’t available with plaid seat inserts, but it does boast bolstered front seats wrapped in nappa leather. These exclusive buckets have blue and carbon-look accents in the side sections as well as a blue “R” logo in the backrest. The other interior features include ambient lighting with 30 colors, stainless-steel pedals, and more carbon-look trim on the dashboard. The new Golf R also has impressive cargo space and a comfortable back seat.

Infotainment and Connectivity

As seen on the GTI, the Golf R’s infotainment system runs through a 10.0-inch touchscreen situated in the center of the dashboard. Its secondary controls include touch-sensitive sliders which are more finicky to use than physical knobs and buttons. Along with the obligatory charging ports, the Golf comes standard with a 9-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio system and popular content such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The new Golf R offers more driver-assistance technology than its predecessor, including blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. For more information about the Golf R’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  • Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  • Standard adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Although VW’s powertrain warranty isn’t tops among classmates, both its limited warranty and complimentary scheduled maintenance are among the best.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for 2 years or 20,000 miles
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2022 Volkswagen Golf R (seven-speed DCT)

Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback


Base/As Tested: $44,640/$45,440

Options: seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, $800


turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 121 in3, 1984 cm3

Power: 315 hp @ 5900 rpm

Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 1900 rpm


7-speed dual-clutch automatic


Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 14.1-in vented, cross-drilled disc/12.1-in vented disc

Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4

235/35R-19 91Y R02


Wheelbase: 103.5 in

Length: 168.9 in

Width: 70.4 in

Height: 57.7 in

Passenger Volume: 92 ft3

Cargo Volume: 20 ft3

Curb Weight: 3360 lb


60 mph: 3.9 sec

100 mph: 10.0 sec

1/4-Mile: 12.5 sec @ 111 mph

130 mph: 18.4 sec

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.2 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.7 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 sec

Top Speed (C/D est): 155 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 151 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 304 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.99 g


Observed: 23 mpg


Combined/City/Highway: 26/23/30 mpg

2022 Volkswagen Golf R (six-speed manual)
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback


Base/As Tested: $45,185/$45,185
Options: None

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 121 in3, 1984 cm3

Power: 315 hp @ 6500 rpm

Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1900 rpm 

6-speed manual


Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 14.1-in vented, cross-drilled disc/12.2-in vented disc

Tires: Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3
235/35R-19 91Y +


Wheelbase: 103.5 in

Length: 168.9 in

Width: 70.4 in
Height: 57.7 in

Passenger Volume, F/R: 51/41 ft3
Cargo Volume, Behind F/R: 35/20 ft3
Curb Weight: 3380 lb

30 mph: 1.4 sec
60 mph: 4.9 sec

100 mph: 11.4 sec

1/4-Mile: 13.4 sec @ 106 mph
130 mph: 20.4 sec

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.0 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 8.7 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.8 sec

Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 317 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.95 g 


Observed: 16 mpg


Combined/City/Highway: 23/20/28 mpg 


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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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