Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £33,999. Borrowing £27,199 with a £6,800 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
£406.51
Fixed interest rate
12.9%
Total amount payable
£45,708.58
Cost of credit
£11,709.58
Optional final payment
£19,396.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Volkswagen Golf R buying guide

What versions of the Volkswagen Golf R are there?

Unlike the front-wheel-drive Golf GTI, the diesel-powered Golf GTD and the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE, which are all hatchback only, the full-fat Golf R is available as both a hatch and as a practical estate. Both versions of the Golf R are five-door, five-seater cars, with the estate boasting a larger boot courtesy of its longer body.

Hatchback and estate Golf Rs both use the same 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox.

What's the Volkswagen Golf R's interior and technology like?

There are a handful of special touches to mark the Golf R's cabin out from lesser Golf models. You'll spot flashes of blue trim on the steering wheel, dashboard and seats. This is complemented by the blue ambient lighting, which amps up the drama. You also get ultra-grippy sports seats with thick bolsters to keep you in place while cornering and faux-carbon trim on the dashboard so highlight its performance credentials. Otherwise, it's just like a regular Golf inside, with nice materials and reassuring build quality – although the slightly fiddly temperature controls you'll find in the latest Golf are carried over, too.

The Golf R's infotainment system generally works well, with most of the car's functions controlled through the centre touchscreen. Responses are quick and the menu layout is reasonably intuitive, even if some of the graphics look a little fussy compared to the best in class. The centre screen sits in the same dash-top unit that contains the driver's screen behind the steering wheel, with a configurable layout for speed and engine information. Built-in sat nav along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard.

Jumping from a normal Golf to the range-topping Golf R doesn't bring any penalty in terms of practicality. You still have a reasonably spacious cabin that can comfortably seat four adults, and just about fit a fifth in for short drives. The hatchback's 380-litre boot space is fine for most buyers and places it roughly in the middle of its class, but the estate's 611-litre cargo area cements the Golf R's position as a leader among practical performance cars.

Volkswagen Golf R engine range explained

Volkswagen Golf R 2.0 TSI 320

Under the Golf R's bonnet is the same 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine you'll find in the GTI. Here, however, it's been tuned to a positively manic 320hp. Combined with the slick-shifting seven-speed automatic gearbox and grippy all-wheel drive, the 0-62mph dash is demolished in just 4.7 seconds – a figure that would've been supercar fast just a few years ago.

Volkswagen Golf R 20 Years 2.0 TSI 333

This is a limited edition model celebrating two decades of Volkswagen's ultra-high-performance Golf R lineup. The engine gets an extra 13hp, which trims 0.1 seconds off the 0-62mph time along with a handful of other performance upgrades to improve track times.

Volkswagen Golf R FAQs

The Golf R is as near-as-makes-no-difference the same size as a regular Volkswagen Golf. That means, at a little less than 4.3 metres in length, it's slightly shorter than rivals including the Ford Focus ST and Honda Civic Type R. The estate grows to a little more than 4.6 metres long, in exchange for a substantial upgrade in boot space from 380 to 611 litres.

You'll seat four adults comfortably in the Golf R's cabin. The fifth centre-rear seat is small with very limited elbow and legroom, so this is best saved for short journeys only.

The Golf R wades into battle with a 320hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. That means a sub-five-second 0-62mph time, making it one of the fastest hatchbacks you can buy.

You may also come across the rarer Golf R 20 Years edition, which celebrates two decades of Golf R production. This boosts power to 333hp.

While we don't anticipate the Golf R to go up in value like certain low-volume cars, we do expect it to hold on to its value fairly well because it's a desirable, high-performance car from a reputable brand and model line.

The best way to preserve the value of your Golf R is to keep up with scheduled maintenance and carry out any extra repairs necessary to keep it in good condition. Saving all documentation of this work will improve your car's value when you come to sell it.

While Volkswagen tends to score mid-table in reliability surveys, we've not heard any reports of widespread failures with the eighth-generation Golf. The Golf R's engine along with some of its mechanical parts are shared with several other Volkswagen and Audi models, and shouldn't prove too hard to locate replacements for.

Bear in mind that the Golf R is a high-performance car and regular hard driving will cause components to wear out faster than they normally would. Plus, lots of drivetrain components will be specialised, beefed-up versions of those found on regular Golfs, so expect servicing and maintenance to cost a little more to account for the model's higher placement in the lineup.

Yes. The Golf R is able to send power to all four wheels to make the most of the grip available. This is mainly to improve on-road performance but will also bring benefits when driving in slippery conditions or during very light off roading. Bear in mind, the Golf R has large alloy wheels, fat road tyres and a low ride height, so isn't suitable for proper off-road driving.

Expect a Golf R to cost more than a regular Golf or even a Golf GTI to maintain. This is because it uses more specialised, high-performance parts, which will cost more to service and replace if necessary.

To reduce the impact of unexpected repair costs, consider adding an extended warranty when purchasing your Golf R.