Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Should you buy a Volkswagen Golf R?

If you’re after a reasonably discreet looking performance car that can double up as a family hold-all, there’s little to touch the Golf R. It’s not as fun as a Toyota GR Yaris, and loses out in the interior department to the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and Audi S3, but as an all-rounder, it’s difficult to fault.

Standing-start acceleration is the Golf R’s party trick, and if you’re one for making swift and understated progress, then you’ve come to the right place. It all comes at a cost, which starts off high and heads ever skywards if you start to dip into the options list, but as long as you’re not fixated on it wearing a premium badge on its bonnet, you do get what you pay for.

Buy a new, nearly new or used Volkswagen Golf R

See all the current Volkswagen Golf R deals on Parkers Cars For Sale

What we like

First and foremost, the acceleration is hard not to love, but the Golf R’s handling and feedback are also an improvement over the last model. Because, dare we say it, this one can be fun, too. Especially when you play with the drive modes.

We like its subtle looks, too, which shout ‘look at me’ far less loudly than some of its rivals, especially the Honda Civic Type R or Mercedes-AMG A 35. It also works very well as a family car, especially as an estate, that will fit in absolutely anywhere.

What we don’t like

It’s expensive these days, and it’s unlikely that the R will be available on the killer finance deals that made the old model such a big hit back in the late 2010s. And at this price point, we’d question the awful touch sensitive controls, which really take the polish off what is one of the best performance cars that money can buy.

If you’re looking for white-knuckle thrills, you may end up looking elsewhere. The R is a performance hatch you respect for its everyday usability, rather than one you fall in love with for sheer entertainment. Some may also wish the suspension was a little more supple for the everyday grind.

Read more: