2018 Volkswagen Golf R Review
Which Golf R does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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
- Outstanding performance aside, hard to justify the lofty sticker price
- Seven-speed automatic transmission
- Adaptive LED headlights
- 8-inch touchscreen display
- Part of the seventh Golf generation introduced for 2015
Overall rating8.5 / 10
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.
2018 Volkswagen Golf R models
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.
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.
|Overall||8.5 / 10|
Noise & vibration8.5
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out9.0
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Golf R models:
- 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 Rating5 out of 5 stars
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover13.4%
Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R Overview
The Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R is offered in the following submodels: Golf R Hatchback. Available styles include 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 7AM). The Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automated manual. The Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R comes with a 6 yr./ 72000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 72000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R 2.0T w/DCC and Navigation is priced between $32,997 and$40,998 with odometer readings between 13982 and55757 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used 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 used 2018 Volkswagen Golf RS are available in my area?
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 for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2018 Golf RS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $32,997 and mileage as low as 13982 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.
Can't find a used 2018 Volkswagen Golf Rs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Volkswagen Golf R for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $14,575.
Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 8 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $8,607.
Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Golf R for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $9,792.
Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $11,501.
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.