2017 Volkswagen Golf R

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$35,655–$39,375 MSRP range

Key Specs of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf R

Golf R base trim shown

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    25 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    292-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    6-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual
  • View more specs

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

Our Take

The good

  • Punchy, smooth-revving engine
  • Front sport seats
  • Adult-size backseat
  • Versatile cargo space
  • Fender audio system's clarity
  • Available manual transmission

The bad

  • Drivetrain lag (automatic transmission)
  • Clutch feel (manual transmission)
  • Lack of steering feedback
  • Noisy motorized backup camera
  • Hefty price premium over Golf GTI
  • Not as powerful as competitors
2017 Volkswagen Golf R exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf R

  • Four-door hatchback body style
  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • All-wheel drive standard
  • Adaptive suspension available
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity available

2017 Volkswagen Golf R Road Test

Aaron Bragman

You have to admire what Volkswagen has done with the Golf compact car. It's had the same basic shape and mission since its inception in the mid-1970s, when it was created by VW as a more modern successor to the Beetle. It's always been an upright hatchback design meant to maximize utility and comfort, but the Golf has also always brought a certain level of driving engagement that most compact cars can't come close to touching.

The fact that VW makes two sport-minded variants of the Golf is even better. I've called the front-wheel-drive Golf GTI the world's perfect all-around enthusiast car; it's that good. So does it make sense to spend more money for a more powerful Golf, one equipped with standard all-wheel drive, an adaptive suspension and more aggressive styling? Is the Golf R a superfluous addition to the top of the Golf range, or is it a GTI "turned up to 11" — worth more than its sticker price suggests?

Exterior & Styling

From the outside, the Golf R doesn't look much different from the GTI. VW has never been one to embellish its clean designs with unnecessary add-on frippery, and the Golf R maintains that minimalist look. There's a new bumper with larger air inlets, plus an "R" logo in the grille. The car has a stanced look, sitting 0.8 inches lower than a standard Golf on its sport suspension and 0.2 inches lower than a GTI, making the big, 18-inch wheels that are unique to the R fill the wheel wells even ... Read more

Latest 2017 Golf R Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value For The Money

Latest Reviews


Love this car!

by JWillard from Schaumburg, IL on December 8, 2017

Are usually trade cars every year just because I like to try different new models out, But in the case of the Golf R I actually bought two of them back to back.....so much fun to drive and exceptional... Read full review


VW?s Hot Hatch a Winner

by Sedona Type R from Sedona on November 18, 2017

This car feels solid at any speed thanks to the 4Motion. DAP ( drivers assistance package def worth $900 option. Fast, stylish and understated! Read full review

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