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2015 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback Review

2015 Volkswagen Golf R 4dr Hatchback Exterior More Photos

Today's Deal - Volkswagen Golf R

Volkswagen Golf R Hatchbacks for sale near you

What Edmunds Says

Like its short-lived predecessors, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R will be a remarkably well-rounded performance car.

Pros

Strong turbocharged engine; standard all-wheel-drive; available automatic transmission; promises sharp handling with a composed ride; hatchback versatility.

Cons

Only available as a four-door; still not expecting power seats; anticipated price places it among premium sedan competitors.

Available Golf R Models

Base

  • 2.0L 4-cyl. engine 
  • Manual transmission 
  • Up to 19 cty/27 hwy mpg 
  • All-wheel drive 
  • Bluetooth 
  • Side/Curtain Airbags 
  • Stability Control 
  • Traction Control 

View All Features & Specs

MSRP unavailable

2015 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R returns with a slightly new look, more power and a new automatic transmission.

Introduction

Volkswagen hasn't habitually offered its high-performance hatchbacks to U.S. car buyers. Only twice in the past decade could Americans buy the R32, the hottest Golf-based hatch. Its successor, the Golf R, was also only available for two model years. So it's an event when VW announces a U.S.-bound high-performance hatch like the new 2015 Golf R.

Based on the forthcoming seventh-generation Golf, which uses a wider and longer platform than its predecessor, the Golf R will squeeze 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Those are significant power increases -- 34 hp and 37 lb-ft, respectively -- from the previous Golf R, last seen in 2013. A six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic transmission will be available, connected to a full-time all-wheel-drive system. Volkswagen says the manual-equipped Golf R can dash from zero to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds, or 4.9 seconds with the automatic. The six-speed manual model should also return 31 mpg highway, VW claims.

The new 2015 Volkswagen Golf R will feature standard 18-inch alloy wheels, a new sport suspension and improved tuning of the steering system. Bi-xenon headlights, dual exhaust, sport seats and leather upholstery will set the Golf R apart from the base model Golf. The entertainment and available navigation system will use a 5.8-inch touchscreen display.

Balancing the Golf R's dual duties as composed commuter and fiery hot hatch, an optional adaptive suspension enables the driver to select three different ride settings ? Normal, Comfort and Sport ? depending on mood. The stability control system can also be turned off completely for track driving, a feature not available on the regular Golf or GTI.

The Golf R's new platform also opens up more cabin room. The interior is 0.6 inch longer and mostly benefits the legs of rear seat passengers. Arms and elbows also enjoy more breathing room, while total cargo capacity with the rear seats folded yields an impressive 52.7 cubic feet. A lower load floor and wider hatch opening also eases the packing and removal of items.

Those who prefer their hatch with just two doors are out of luck. The Golf R will be available in the first quarter of 2015 only as a four-door. The looming question is how much VW will charge for the Golf R. The last model started around $34,000, a not-insubstantial sum for a Volkswagen hatchback, regardless of performance level.

Expect the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R to float above its last sticker price, edging it closer to Audi and BMW sport sedans while boxing out the middle with new small sedans like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and the forthcoming 2015 Audi A3. Check back for a full review of the 2015 Golf R, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.

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