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2023 Volkswagen Golf R

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Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R OEM Exterior Primary Photo
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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

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: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

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2023 2.0T 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Hatchback
most popular
Price:   -  From $44,740
2023 2.0T 20th Anniversary Edition 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Hatchback Price:   -  From $45,390


Model Preview

Although Volkswagen is no longer offering the standard Golf hatchback in the US, they’re still offering its two performance variants, the GTI and the Golf R. The Golf R is the range-topping model, featuring more power, all-wheel drive, and more bells and whistles.

The 2023 Golf R is only available in two trims, the base model and the 20th Anniversary Edition. Calling the non-Anniversary Golf R “base” might be a bit of a misnomer, as it comes very well equipped with very few optional extras. Standard equipment includes four unique drive modes, sport exhaust, 19” wheels, and summer performance tires. Interior amenities include a 10.2” digital gauge cluster, 10” touchscreen, Nappa leather bucket seats, faux-carbon fiber trim, and ambient lighting.

The 20th Anniversary model sees the addition of commemorative badging, puddle illumination, and a unique set of black 19” wheels. Only 1,800 models are being produced in celebration of the original Golf R32 from the early 2000s.

Volkswagen Golf R

Power in the Golf R is supplied by a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, developing 315 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is a substantial increase over the GTI, which puts out 241 horses. A six-speed manual is the standard transmission, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic available as an $800 option. The optional Performance Package adds two more drive modes, including Drift mode, which allows the back end of the car to slide out under certain traction conditions.

The Golf R offers an array of safety and driver assistance features, with adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, semi-autonomous driving, and automatic emergency braking all standard. It has yet to receive a rating from the NHTSA for 2023.

The 2023 Golf R starts at $45,835, while the 20th Anniversary Edition carries a $200 premium. For comparison, GTI pricing starts at just $31,625. The Golf R is more in the price range of dedicated sports cars like the Nissan Z, Toyota Supra, and Ford Mustang GT.

Pictured: 2023 Volkswagen Golf R

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Automotive Contributor

Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
Standard: 2.0L I-4 / 315 HP / 280 ft.lbs.
Available: 2.0L I-4 / 315 HP / 295 ft.lbs.
Standard: 6-spd man w/OD
Available: 7-spd sequential shift control auto-shift man w/OD
Drive Type
Full-time 4motion All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
20 / 28 / 24 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
Standard: 2.0L I-4 / 315 HP / 280 ft.lbs.
Available: 2.0L I-4 / 315 HP / 295 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Full-time 4motion All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
20 / 28 / 24 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
14.5 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
34.5 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
92 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
168.9 "
Exterior Width
70.4 "
Exterior Height
57.7 "
Front Headroom
38.5 "
Rear Headroom
38.1 "
Front Legroom
41.2 "
Rear Legroom
35.0 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.9 "
Rear Shoulder Room
53.9 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,404 Lbs. / 3,481 Lbs.
Wheel Base
104 "
Turning Radius
19.6 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
19.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Heated, Power Remote Driver, Power Remote W/tilt Down Passenger
Grille Moldings
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Nappa Leather
Front Seat Type
Sport Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
6-way (2-way Power)
Front Armrests
(8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Center With Pass-thru
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm With 360l Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
9 Harman/kardon
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt Style
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Front Assist (forward Collision Warning And Autonomous Emergency Braking) Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Active Side Assist Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Assist (lane Keeping System) Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Traffic Jam Assist (tja) Hands-on Steering Assist
Pedestrian Detection
Pedestrian Monitoring Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Light Assist (high Beam Control For Headlights) Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Park Distance Control W/park Assist Automated
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
24 Months / 20,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
84 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months

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