The Volkswagen Golf R is the essence of what it is to be a hot hatch. All-wheel drive, a turbocharged 2.0L with 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, summer tires and a conservative exterior make the Golf R an everyday driver that can show its teeth when needed. Our tester came equipped with a 6-speed manual and rang in at $36,470 including $820 for destination. That’s not a cheap car, and people who can afford it might be at the age where they start looking at more “grown-up” vehicles. Still, the Golf R is refined… especially when compared to the Focus RS and Subaru STI. It is perhaps the most grown-up hot hatch available.
The EPA rates the car at 22 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. I found that last number to be a little conservative. During my time with it I managed to squeeze out 27.2 mpg during mixed driving, without trying.
So how did the fastest production Golf perform? Roman predicted it would be in Hellcat territory when it came to lap time, and he wasn’t far off. The 0-60 mph test was a little disappointing, however. People considering this car might actually prefer the DSG automatic. You’ll see why when you watch the video above.