2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback

2018 Volkswagen Golf R
Save up to $3,805
MSRP range
$39,785 - $40,885
2018 Volkswagen Golf R
Save up to $3,805

What’s new

  • Seven-speed automatic transmission
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • 8-inch touchscreen display
  • Part of the seventh Golf generation introduced for 2015

Pros

  • Impressive performance from the all-wheel-drive system
  • Great handling without sacrificing ride quality
  • Interior is well-built with excellent materials
  • Accommodating and flexible cargo space

Cons

  • Outstanding performance aside, hard to justify the lofty sticker price


Which Golf R does Edmunds recommend?

There's only one Golf R trim level. As such, your choice comes down to picking one of the R's five colors and either the manual transmission or the new dual-clutch automatic. The automatic is the more pragmatic and sensible choice, but you'll have more fun if you choose the manual.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

With an abundance of power, sporty handling and all-wheel-drive stability, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R is a wildly entertaining car that will boost your pulse rate. It's a star member of the hot-hatch club, which is fitting since VW practically invented the hot hatch with its original 1983 GTI. This newest R version packs 292 horsepower and improved handling and braking capability compared to a 2018 GTI. Naturally, it also boasts a comfortable interior and inherent hatchback versatility.

For 2018, the Golf R carries over largely unchanged, but with a few important tweaks. There are new LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights. The new headlights are adaptive, meaning they swivel in the direction of turns. There's a new 19-inch wheel design, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a customizable gauge cluster display, pedestrian detection built into the forward collision warning system, and VW's new six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper transferable warranty.

Perhaps most important is the availability of a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to accompany the six-speed manual transmission. A boon to the performance enthusiast who loves the feeling of a manual transmission but faces the reality of bumper-to-bumper commutes, the new automatic also achieves slightly better fuel economy than the manual.

The only real knock on the Golf R — and it's a big one — is its lofty price tag. It's a hefty premium over the GTI, which isn't quite as capable but is a blast to drive. You're also in V8-powered muscle-car territory. Yet the Golf R is a top pick for any pragmatic performance enthusiast who wants outstanding performance, impressive utility, and a generous set of features.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R is the hot-rod edition of the Golf and GTI hatchbacks. The four-door Golf R seats five and comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (292 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque). Power is sent to all four wheels through either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (called DSG).

Standard features include 19-inch wheels with performance tires, an adaptive suspension, adaptive LED headlights, heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, keyless entry, push-button ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat and heated front seats. On the tech front, the R comes with VW Car-Net communications, Bluetooth, a navigation system, a digital gauge cluster, an 8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, and an eight-speaker Fender audio system with a CD player and satellite radio.

Advanced safety and driver aids include front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning and mitigation, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a lane departure warning system, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Volkswagen Golf R (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2016, the current Golf R has received some revisions, including a new seven-speed automatic transmission. Our findings, however, remain applicable to this year's Golf R.

Driving

5
The Golf R's 292-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder produces strong power that few competitors can match, and its braking and handling are impressive as well. Importantly, the R's upgrades represent clear improvements over the Volkswagen GTI. As a performance machine, it doesn't disappoint.

Acceleration

5
There's plenty of torque right off the line, but power really explodes around 4,000 rpm. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in an effortless 4.6 seconds with the DSG automatic and launch control. Our best GTI time is 6.2 seconds; the Subaru STI takes 5 seconds. AWD assures there's no torque steer either.

Braking

5
Stopping from 60 mph required only 102 feet thanks in part to the summer tires, but that's still fantastic for any car. The reassuring, progressive pedal response is accompanied by good feedback. It's easy to get just the right amount of braking you want.

Steering

4
In Normal mode, the steering can feel numb and overly light considering the car's sporting intent. Race mode is better and feels more responsive, but in the end, the Golf R's steering is good but not great.

Handling

4.5
The combination of all-wheel drive, summer tires and a smart stability control system makes the Golf R very easy to drive aggressively. When going around turns, there's lots of grip, and it's predictable and manageable.

Drivability

5
The DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission fires off smooth shifts without the low-speed stuttering and hesitation of other such transmissions. It's an easy car to drive quickly or slowly. The traditional manual is also easy to use, even in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Comfort

4.5
Despite its performance potential, the Golf R is surprisingly comfortable, especially compared to other sport compacts. Your daily commute doesn't have to suffer because of your weekend fun.

Seat comfort

5
The seats are superb, offering just enough side bolstering to keep the average person in place through turns without feeling confining the rest of the time. They're also very supportive over long distances.

Ride comfort

4
The Golf R has a firm ride compared to similarly priced luxury cars, but it's a La-Z-Boy compared to some rival hot hatches. Ruts and bumps are well-damped and rarely harsh. The standard adaptive dampers further improve the ride.

Noise & vibration

4.5
Tire and wind noise is minimal, especially compared to other high-powered sport compacts. The engine note has a fantastic snarl, and it sounds even better when the car is put in Race mode. You can also select the louder engine note individually.

Interior

5
Yes, this is a very expensive compact hatchback, but it's arguably the best in terms of practicality. The added R touches don't take anything away from that, making the Golf R a car you'd be happy to use every day.

Ease of use

4
The driver-centric controls are close, clearly labeled and easy to use. The touchscreen is better than those of rivals, thanks to sharp graphics, large icons and quick responses. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included.

Getting in/getting out

5
The wide and tall doors and a moderately high seat make this an easy car to get into and out of, especially for its size. Given that cars of similar performance are often coupes, this four-door hatch gains an even greater advantage.

Driving position

5
With 10 power adjustments for the driver and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, drivers of nearly any body type will be able to find their ideal position.

Roominess

5
The cabin feels spacious, and the back seat offers plenty of leg- and headroom for even tall passengers. This is as good as it gets for cars in this class.

Visibility

5
Visibility is superior all around, and a high seating position gives the driver an unobstructed outward view. A rearview camera is standard but not entirely necessary, and the same holds true for the advanced safety features.

Quality

4
Unlike other high-dollar sport compacts, the regular Golf already has a near-luxury cabin with superior materials and switchgear. The Golf R sweetens the deal with standard leather and attractive blue stitching. In this case, the quality matches the price.

Utility

4
In general, hatchbacks gain an edge for their versatility and generous cargo capacity for the size. The Golf R is no different and gets a slight advantage for everyday usability as a result.

Small-item storage

4
We like the cupholders with an anti-tip design and the forward media bin, but the center armrest bin annoyingly doesn't open for extra storage space.

Cargo space

4
The cargo area has a maximum of 22.8 cubic feet with the rear seats up, or 52.7 cubic feet with them down, which is comparable to space in some compact SUVs.

Technology

A centerpiece of the new Golf R's tech offerings is an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen that responds when you hover a hand over the screen. Elsewhere, the Golf R offers a robust set of driver aids, including lane departure warning, automatic high beams and pedestrian detection.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.

Loving VW Golf R
LaCa Golf R,05/20/2018
Had 2 GTI’s before this car. Loved them and decided to go for even more bang. It’s more than I need but super fun to drive. The tech on it is great and I enjoy driving this car. The suspension is sporty so you do feel the road, which I like. But avoid potholes.
Quick enough!
Steve,07/26/2018
This is a small car. I traded my MB E350 for the Golf R. I wanted a sporty car that could be serviced locally. This car is for people who like to drive rather than sit and aim. It is a high performance car that is totally fun and it is fast. I am just through the 600 mile break in phase and am looking forward to upping the revs. The mileage is about 23 all around but I have not been concerned. The 13 gallon tank last about 2 week. The most fantastic thing about this car is the electronics and displays. The nav is fully integrated in the touch screen and with gauges in the dash. Make sure you talk to a salesman who knows the car. I have no regrets and do not miss the big Mercedes. Good luck!
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$40,885
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
7-speed automated manual
Gas
292 hp @ 5400 rpm
MSRP
$39,785
MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
292 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Golf R safety features:

VW Car-Net
Helps you connect with emergency services in case of a breakdown.
Front Assist
Warns you if you're in danger of rear-ending the car in front and applies the brakes if you don't.
Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
Automatically applies the brakes after a collision has occurred to prevent additional impacts.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover13.4%

Volkswagen Golf R vs. the competition

2018 Volkswagen Golf R

2018 Volkswagen Golf R

2018 Ford Focus RS

2018 Ford Focus RS

Volkswagen Golf R vs. Ford Focus RS

Much like the Golf R, the RS throws just about all of the performance and features available from the Focus lineup into a screaming hatchback design. The RS dominates the Golf R in terms of power; with the RS' 350 horsepower compared to the Golf R's 292 hp, it's no contest. Still, the RS is an edgy design, inside and out. Some drivers will prefer the Golf R's restraint.

Compare Volkswagen Golf R & Ford Focus RS features

Volkswagen Golf R vs. Honda Civic

The Civic Type R Touring is a sublime blend of power, handling and light weight. The Civic Type R is the most balanced of this group, a fast car that's easy to drive both slow or fast. The Type R lacks the all-wheel-drive grip of the Golf R or the Focus RS, which would cause it some problems on a racetrack. Out in the real world, you'll never notice.

Compare Volkswagen Golf R & Honda Civic features

Volkswagen Golf R vs. MINI Hardtop 2 Door

Forget the Mini's cute and chipper image; this is the Mini gone bad. With pint-size power, the John Cooper Works edition is the Mini Cooper at its meanest. Unfortunately, it'll go hungry in this class since its 228 horsepower pales in comparison to the Golf R's 292 hp. The Mini JCW is, like the Honda, a front-wheel-drive machine, lacking the bite of its VW and Ford rivals.

Compare Volkswagen Golf R & MINI Hardtop 2 Door features

2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback for Sale

Volkswagen Golf R 2018 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
New 2018
Volkswagen Golf R
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation
MSRP$40,635
Est.Loan: $721/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
Deep Black 2018 Volkswagen Golf R DCC & Navigation 4Motion 4Motion AWD 6-Speed Manual 2.0L TSI DOHC 29/21 Highway/City MPG
Volkswagen Golf R 2018 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
New 2018
Volkswagen Golf R
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation
MSRP$40,635
Est.Loan: $721/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
2018 Volkswagen Golf R DCC & Navigation 4Motion Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price! 29/21 Highway/City MPG All conditions subject to credit approval. All offers plus Tax, Tags, Freight ($820 for sedans and $910 for trucks for new vehicles), processing fee of $ 685. Dealer installed options additional. Prices includes rebates and incentives available to all customers and may be in lieu of low APR programs. Stock photo colors, options and trim levels may vary. Vehicles subject to prior sale. Not responsible for typographical errors. Specifications, features, safety and warranty data are based on what is available as standard specs/features per trim level; for the designated model-year, and may not apply to vehicles with added packages or options. Final price must be verified by management. See dealer for details. Vehicles may be in-transit to dealer. Please call to confirm status.
Volkswagen Golf R 2018 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
New 2018
Volkswagen Golf R
2.0T w/DCC and Navigation
MSRP$40,635
Est.Loan: $721/mo
Great Deal!Great Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
2018 Volkswagen Golf R DCC & Navigation 4Motion Factory MSRP: $40,635 $3,550 off MSRP! Priced below KBB Fair Purchase Price! 2018 Volkswagen Golf R DCC & Navigation 4Motion 4D Hatchback Deep Black 6-Speed Manual AWD 2.0L TSI DOHC Please contact the New Vehicle Sales Department @ 703-893-2990 for Volkswagen and Subaru questions you may have about any of the vehicles!!! See you Soon! 21/29mpg 29/21 Highway/City MPG

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More about the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R
2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback Overview

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback is offered in the following styles: 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), and 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What do people think of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Golf R Hatchback 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Golf R Hatchback.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Golf R Hatchback featuring deep dives into trim levels including 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Read our full review of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback here.
Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback?
2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $42,100. The average price paid for a new 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is trending $1,555 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,555 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$40,545.

The average savings for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) is3.7% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $41,000. The average price paid for a new 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $3,805 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,805 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$37,195.

The average savings for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is9.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 21 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchbacks are available in my area?

2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback Listings and Inventory

There are currently 27 new 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,941 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $3,995 on a new, used or CPO 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback available from a dealership near you.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback for sale near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Golf R Hatchback you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Volkswagen Golf R for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $23,286.

Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,637.

Compare prices on the New Volkswagen Golf R for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback and all available trim types: 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation, 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Hatchback include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Volkswagen Golf R?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Golf R lease specials