2024 VW Golf R: Review, Specs & Price -The degree to which an automobile is enjoyable to operate is a significant factor in determining its overall quality. Even if horsepower is not the only factor in determining how entertaining something is, the Volkswagen Golf R with its 315 horsepower is one of the top vehicles for giving people butterflies in their stomachs. At a greater level of performance than the already enjoyable Golf GTI, which was evaluated separately, the R adds all-wheel drive along with a Drift mode that enables the R to hang it all out by dispersing power to one side of the rear axle. This mode was examined separately.
Even while performing this dance seems more natural in entirely rear-biased vehicles like the Ford Mustang or the Chevrolet Camaro, the fact that it can be done in a package so comparable to that of the Honda Civic Type R is in and of itself an act of innate righteousness. The Volkswagen Golf R is a hotter hatchback than the Volkswagen GTI, in part because it has larger brakes and accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in more than one second less. However, because of its higher price tag, the R falls into the same market segment as the Toyota Supra sports car.
Despite the fact that the Golf R hasn’t undergone many revisions for the year 2024, Volkswagen has introduced a special 20th Anniversary Edition model with a number of distinguishing aesthetic features. These features include 20th-anniversary badging, blue “R” emblems both inside and outside the vehicle, and unique puddle lights that highlight a “20R” image that is painted on the ground. The 20th Anniversary R is available in blue, black, or white paint, and has black 19-inch wheels as standard equipment. There will be a total of just 1800 special editions produced.
When it comes to purchasing a Golf R, the most important choice to make is whether you want the basic six-speed manual gearbox or the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is due to the fact that the Golf R is mostly sold as a single fully outfitted model. If you choose for the second option, the price of the basic model will go up by merely $800. On the other hand, we choose the manual transmission.
The interior of the Golf R is styled similarly to the new one seen in the GTI, which results in a look that is more aggressive than that of the previous generation Golf. Both include a steering wheel with a thick rim and touch-sensitive buttons that run a digital gauge cluster measuring 10.2 inches and offering a variety of different configurations. The Golf R, in contrast to the GTI, does not come standard with plaid seat inserts; however, it does come standard with bolstered front seats that are coated in Nappa leather. These unique buckets include blue highlights in the side portions that appear like carbon fiber, and they also have a blue “R” insignia embroidered onto the backrest. Other interior elements include ambient lighting that can be set to one of thirty different hues, pedals made of stainless steel, and additional carbon-look trim on the dashboard. In addition, the new Golf R has an exceptional cargo capacity and a rear seat that is quite comfortable.
The infotainment system of the Golf R will be controlled via a touchscreen measuring 10 inches and located in the middle of the dashboard, much like the one found in the new GTI. Touch-sensitive sliders, rather than physical knobs and buttons, are used for the secondary controls on this device. The system needs to be offered with a high-end Harman/Kardon audio as an optional extra, in addition to the required charging connections. A Wi-Fi hotspot and popular content integrations like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also something we anticipate seeing.
It’s not the understeer at the limit or the strange clutch pedal engagement of the six-speed manual that bothers us the most about the sporty hatchback version of the 2024 VW Golf R. During our testing for Performance Vehicle of the Year, we came to the conclusion that the reason for this is the prevalence of capacitive controls that are located everywhere around the driver’s seat. During intense driving, the contemporary, fluid toggles made for some irritating interactions, particularly with the controls on the steering wheel. This was especially true in situations when the driver was driving aggressively. It has been reported that Volkswagen will be releasing some updates to the infotainment system, and we are looking forward to having more experience with it.
This R model, like its predecessors, is capable of performing at a high level. The version of the vehicle that is equipped with a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission provides a superior driving experience. In general, the Mk8 Golf R is a refined and self-assured machine at high speeds, giving the impression of being an adult-oriented sports car. However, it is not a hatchback with a lot of character, and we would not characterize the driving experience as mind-bogglingly enjoyable. However, in comparison to many other sports compacts, it offers more utility.
Although neither the 2024 Golf R nor its FWD brother, the GTI, is very sporty (unless you’re talking about the 2023 GR Corolla), they are on par with small hatchbacks like the Toyota Corolla and the Mazda 3 when it comes to the amount of room within the interior of these vehicles. When compared to the Toyota, the Volkswagen offers slightly more than 2 inches of luggage capacity and more than 5 inches of additional back legroom.
Puddle lights, illuminated door handle recesses, heated washer nozzles, and rain-sensing wipers are some of the standard external improvements that Volkswagen will include on the 2024 VW Golf R. The inside of the hatchback comes standard with a three-zone climate control system, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats with a 12-way power driver’s seat, heated rear outboard seats, and adjustable ambient lighting. Additionally, the rear outboard seats in the back are heated. In addition, there are nine speakers made by Harman Kardon, two USB ports in the front and two in the back, compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto made possible by App-Connect, and a total of three displays: a 10.3-inch screen for the gauge cluster, a head-up display, and a touchscreen measuring 10.0 inches in the middle.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine can be found under the hood of the Golf R. This engine produces 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, which is an increase over the previous generation’s 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This power plant may be mated to either a manual gearbox with six speeds or a dual-clutch automatic transmission with seven speeds.
A rear differential is included as part of the standard 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. This differential has the ability to actively transfer torque between the left and right rear wheels, which results in superior handling. By pushing an “R” button located on the steering wheel, the Golf R allows the driver to choose from a variety of different driving modes, including Comfort, Sport, Race, Special, Drift, and Individual. We gave the hatchback’s Drift mode a try, and although it was amusing on slippery terrain, it can’t compare to the enjoyment that can be had behind the wheel of a rear-drive muscle car.
Each model comes standard with a performance exhaust system, variable-ratio steering, and front disc brakes that are bigger than those seen in previous iterations. In addition to that, it has a pair of wheels 19 inches in diameter that are shod with summer performance tires. During the first drive we took in Germany, the Volkswagen Golf R impressed us with the swiftness and unrelenting power of its potent engine, responsive dual-clutch automatic transmission, and highly developed all-wheel-drive system.
In addition, the Performance package, which is optional, was installed in the model that we test-drove. This added two extra driving modes, one of which is a fun Drift mode that enables various types of tail-sliding shenanigans. Our Golf R test vehicle with the seven-speed automatic gearbox sped up to 60 miles per hour in only 3.9 seconds at our proving ground, while the six-speed manual transmission took 4.9 seconds to reach that pace.
The EPA thinks that the model of the Volkswagen Golf R equipped with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox is the most fuel-efficient. This model received ratings of 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. If you choose the manual gearbox, your fuel economy will decrease to 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the interstate. We believe this is a fair compromise to make in exchange for the more engaging six-speed stick. In the course of our exhaustive testing, we have not yet had the opportunity to put it through its paces on the highway fuel-economy route that is set at 75 miles per hour; however, as soon as we do, we will add further information to this report.
The 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R underwent a significant overhaul for the model year 2023. For the 2024 model year, the carmaker will make some minor aesthetic tweaks as well as launch two-anniversary versions of the vehicle. In addition, the base price of the GTI has increased to $31,625, while the price of the Golf R has increased to $45,835 (both of these prices include destination).