For A Few Dollars More: The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R

Front view of 2018 Volkswagen Golf R
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.
Two months ago, I wrote in glowing terms about the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn.  I stand by every word.  But what if you want more?   Say...72 more horsepower?

Side view of 2018 Volkswagen Golf R
2018 Volkswagen Golf R.
Then you, my friend, want...and possibly need...the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.   It's basically a Golf GTI Autobahn with the boost turned up on the turbocharged 2.0-liter four, making 292 horsepower instead of 220, all-wheel drive and DCC Chassis Control.

Put 'em all together and you have the ultimate GTI. It goes faster, handles better than many cars that cost twice as much.  Punch the accelerator and hold on...but know that you have the handling and braking capabilities that match the oomph.

Interior view of 2018 Volkswagen Golf R
2018 Volkswagen Golf R interior.
VW keeps the Golf R very uncomplicated.  You can only get it with a leather interior, nav, and a seven-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Sport mode.  Base price is $39,785, destination charges are $850 and Mojo Mats floormats were the only option that was on our tester, bringing the bottom line to $40,740.

Sounds like a lot when a base Golf can be had for $20,910...and an entry-level GTI for $26,415.  But if you're serious about this sort of thing, you'd be looking at the top-of-the-line GTI Autobahn, and that's $35,070.  The one we reviewed in February carried a sticker of $37,020 with options and destination charges.  So the difference is $3,720...and if you step up to the R, that buys 72 horsepower, all-wheel drive and DCC Chassis Control. 

In our book, that's a deal too good to pass up.