Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R

2016 Volkswagen Golf R

Pros: Invigorating all-wheel-drive performance with surprisingly comfortable ride; impressively refined, luxury-grade interior trimmings; practicality of four-door hatchback body style; addition of manual transmission for 2016

Cons: Steep sticker price puts Golf R in competition with plenty of other compelling performance cars; 2-door hatchback body style not available; occasional lag from automated manual transmission

CG Says: After its revival for 2015, the Volkswagen Golf R gets a number of updates for 2016. A manual transmission is now available, and a new “MIB II” touchscreen infotainment system brings updated features such as USB connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. A new Driver Assistance package includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear park assist. The Golf R comes standard with all-wheel drive and a 292-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with a newly available 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automated manual. Though other Golfs (including the sporty Golf GTI) are available as 2-door hatchbacks, the Golf R comes only as a 4-door hatchback. Available features include a navigation system, upgraded stereo system, 19-inch wheels in place of 18s, and a driver-selectable DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) adaptive damping suspension. With its standard all-wheel-drive, high-end cabin trim, and impressive acceleration and handling, the Golf R stands far above most compact hatchbacks—even the performance-oriented ones. Trouble is, it also stands far above them in price as well. The 2016 Volkswagen Golf R starts at more than $35K, and it hits the $40K mark with options. That’s a lot of money for a VW hatchback, but the Golf R nonetheless offers a compelling mix of performance, luxury, and practicality that’s hard to match elsewhere.

The Facts
Class Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Nation of Manufacture Germany
Base Prices Base: $35,650

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower
292
Std. Transmission
6-speed manual
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automated manual
EPA City Range (mpg)
22-23
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
30-31

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2016 Volkswagen Golf R