I drove a $42,000 VW Golf R to see if the 'performance hatch' is worth the price - here's the verdict
- The VW Golf R is a performance hatchback that adds premium touches and tech to the VW Golf GTI.
- The Golf R is a bit expensive, but it's a versatile vehicle that's bliss to drive.
- The best part is that a driver can access all the power the Golf R's 288-horsepower engine puts out. This is an ideal daily commuter for a grownup who still wants to enjoy the occasional track day - or just likes to carve up winding roads.
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R might be the most fun I've had behind the wheel thus far this year.
True, I sampled the $41,735 compact four-door in Los Angeles, with access to all my favorite driving roads from the ten years I spent in the City of Angels - not to mention the kind of traffic that tries men's souls, and provide an excellent test of whether an "enthusiast" car can handle everyday commuting duty.The VW Golf has been a Golf for many years now in the US, but the nameplate, introduced in 1974, was first encountered by many Americans as a Rabbit. The Golf designation came later - VW has also restored the Rabbit moniker from time to time -and the car is now on its seventh generation.
Gen seven has been around since 2012 (refreshed in 2014), so an obvious question is, "Has the Golf gotten long in the tooth?"
Maybe, but the design is sort of automotive perfection, the highest expression of premium European hatchback. And when you add the "R" treatment, upping the horsepower and handling, you aren't going to care if Golf could stand an update. (A new Golf is slated to arrive sometime next year.)
I had a grand time with the Golf R in SoCal. Read on to find out how it went.