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This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volkswagen Golf R (14-16) review.

View all Volkswagen Golf reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

When it was tested by Euro NCAP, the Golf was awarded the maximum five star rating. This still applies even under the new tougher test criteria, introduced in 2009. This is one overall rating, which now covers not only adult occupant safety but also child and pedestrian safety along with a rear impact whiplash test. The R comes with ESP stability control, seven airbags including a driver's knee airbag (the only Golf to do so), whiplash-optimised head restraints in the front and two Isofix child seat mountings.

In terms of security it has an engine immobiliser and an alarm with interior protection.

The Golf R is available as three-door or a more practical five-door, so it's a viable option for family buyers, however unlikely it may seem. Getting in and out of the three-door can be tricky, as with all cars of this size, but the front seats do slide and the backs fold forward to make access a little easier. The boot is smaller than the standard Golf and GTI due to the R having four-wheel drive fitted, which eats into luggage space.

As a result it can carry 275 litres, which is 75 litres less than a normal Golf, while the maximum carrying capacity with the seats down is also reduced. But there's plenty of stowage elsewhere with a cooled glovebox, large door pockets, two central cupholders and a central cubby which houses the USB and iPod connection leads that are standard fit.

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Volkswagen Golf R (10-12).

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Air conditioning
  • Alarm
  • Alloy wheels
  • Audio remote
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • CD
  • Climate control
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Electric mirrors
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • Lumbar support
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Remote locking
  • Service indicator
  • Side airbags
  • Space saver spare wheel
  • Sports seats
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows

R equipment

R standard equipment
Same as basic equipment
R optional equipment
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated seats
  • Leather seat trim
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows