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2016 Volkswagen Golf R

$26,497 — $35,009 USED
Hatchback
5 Seats
25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Punchy, smooth-revving turbo four-cylinder
  • Premium cabin materials
  • Hatchback practicality

The Bad

  • Throttle lag
  • Delayed response of steering wheel shift paddles
  • Lack of steering feel
2016 Volkswagen Golf R exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R
  • Six-speed manual now offered
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability now offered
  • New active safety and convenience features available
  • Hatchback body style

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen Golf R is a range-topping performance hatchback based on the Golf and Golf GTI. It competes with the Subaru WRX STi and Ford Focus ST and employs all-wheel drive — a key difference from the front-drive Golf and Golf GTI. Drivers can choose a new six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
What's Special

  • 292-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Xenon headlights with horseshoe-style LED daytime running lights
  • Quad exhaust pipes
  • Adaptive suspension

Here's info on the regular Golf:

The Volkswagen Golf is available as a two- or four-door hatchback, or as a wagon. Power comes from a gas or diesel four-cylinder engine, and the five-seat Golf competes with the Mazda3 hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT and Mini Cooper. Volkswagen's performance-oriented Golf GTI and Golf R are related, as is the e-Golf electric car.

(Skip to details on the: Golf GTI, e-Golf)
New for 2016
A newly available multimedia system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring on the car's dashboard screen. The S trim level gains a backup camera while the SE adds keyless access with push-button start.

A Driver Assistance Package for SE and SEL trim levels includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, lane departure warning, a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, and automated parallel and perpendicular parking.  
Significant Standard ...

Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen Golf R is a range-topping performance hatchback based on the Golf and Golf GTI. It competes with the Subaru WRX STi and Ford Focus ST and employs all-wheel drive — a key difference from the front-drive Golf and Golf GTI. Drivers can choose a new six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
What's Special

  • 292-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Xenon headlights with horseshoe-style LED daytime running lights
  • Quad exhaust pipes
  • Adaptive suspension

Here's info on the regular Golf:

The Volkswagen Golf is available as a two- or four-door hatchback, or as a wagon. Power comes from a gas or diesel four-cylinder engine, and the five-seat Golf competes with the Mazda3 hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT and Mini Cooper. Volkswagen's performance-oriented Golf GTI and Golf R are related, as is the e-Golf electric car.

(Skip to details on the: Golf GTI, e-Golf)
New for 2016
A newly available multimedia system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring on the car's dashboard screen. The S trim level gains a backup camera while the SE adds keyless access with push-button start.

A Driver Assistance Package for SE and SEL trim levels includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, lane departure warning, a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, and automated parallel and perpendicular parking.  
Significant Standard Features

  • 170-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Split-folding rear seat with pass-through
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Air conditioning
  • Touch-screen stereo with iPod connectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Required in every new car: front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system

Significant Available Features

  • 150-hp, turbo-diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
  • Heated front seats
  • Fender premium stereo
  • Navigation system
  • Keyless access with push-button start
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Power sunroof

Golf GTI
The Volkswagen GTI is a high-performance sibling of the Golf. It comes as a two- or four-door hatchback and has room for five people. Competitors include the Ford Focus ST, Subaru WRX, Honda Civic Si and Mini Cooper S.
What's Special

  • 210-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Thin honeycomb grille with red stripe
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual tailpipes 
  • Plaid cloth upholstery; leather available
  • Performance Package raises engine output to 220 hp and includes larger brakes and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential
  • Available adaptive suspension 
  • Backup camera now standard

Back to top
e-Golf
Volkswagen joined the growing list of automakers offering all-electric cars with the debut of the e-Golf last year. Based on the Golf four-door hatchback, the e-Golf has an EPA-estimated range of 83 miles.
What's Special

  • New value-oriented SE trim level
  • Unique grille with blue accents
  • Touch-screen that offers a deeper look at the electric powertrain's operation
  • 115-hp electric motor
  • Lithium-ion battery pack that's located in the floor under the seats
  • Available 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger can replenish the battery in less than four hours
  • Three regenerative-braking programs

Back to top

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.9
16 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great Job VW!

by MauriR from Los Angeles, CA on July 17, 2018

This car is by far the most impressive car I have owned or even driven for the price range that it falls into. The power is always there when needed. The acceleration when using launch control makes ... Read full review

(5.0)

Best car I have every owned

by Das_Stig from IA on July 7, 2018

This is the prefect daily driver. Special enough to keep you looking back when parking it and fast enough to get you in trouble. If there is one thing I?d say the car lacks is the manual transmission ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2016 Volkswagen Golf R currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2016 Volkswagen Golf R 4-Door

NHTSA rates vehicles using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Overall
4 Star
Overall Front
4 Star
Overall Side
5 Star
Overall Rollover Rating
4 Star
Driver's
5 Star
Passenger's
4 Star
Side Barrier
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Driver
5 Star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
5 Star
Side Pole
5 Star
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
5 Star
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
5 Star
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Volkswagen

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    7 years/less than 72,000 or 75,000 miles (model-year specific)

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    Model-year 2017 and older, 2 years/24,000 miles; model-year 2018 and forward, 1 year/12,000 miles; TDI models, 2 years/unlimited miles

  • Powertrain

    5 years/60,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    100-plus point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2016 Golf R Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Golf R received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker