2021 Volkswagen Golf R Now Available: Price, Specs And Features

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Volkswagen Golf R

The new Volkswagen Golf R is a hot hatch champion, with blistering pace and track-inspired handling. VW‘s digital cockpit and suite of new onboard tech is the icing on the cake.

  • 18″ Jerez Black, diamond turned alloy wheels
  • ‘R’ styling pack with new front and rear bumpers and side sills
  • 4Motion four-wheel drive
  • New ‘Drift’ and ‘Special’ modes
  • 320bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine
  • 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds
  • Available now
  • Prices from £39,270/or £310.72pcm* leasing

*Prices correct at the time of writing

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2021 Volkswagen Golf R design

New Golf R models come with the same subtly styled exterior that’s not as extravagant as the Honda Civic Type R, for example. There are still athletic bodylines on the bonnet and down the side, plus the grille is prominent enough to let you know that you’re driving something sporty.

All in all, you could say that the beauty of the Golf R is that its looks like an ordinary small family car from the front. Where you see its ‘silent assassin’ nature is around the back.

Volkswagen Golf R

Speaking of the Golf R’s rear, you’ll be met with the same quad exhausts carried over from the old model. However, this time they’re proper Arkapovic ones that sound and look the real deal. Adding to the athleticism of this vehicle is a top spoiler too that protrudes ever so slightly more than previous versions.

Volkswagen Golf R 2

Checking out the new Golf R side on lets you appreciate those chunky 18″ alloys that the rest of the car smartly sits upon. If you want, the option is there to add bigger 19″ ones, but our guess is that these are likely going to give the vehicle a rougher ride in the cabin.

Volkswagen Golf R

2021 Volkswagen Golf R interior

When the MK8 Golf range was introduced this year, one of the areas it excelled in was having a truly ultra-modern interior. As the flagship model in the line-up, the Golf R adopts the same impressive array of tech and premium materials.

Compared to the MK7 before it, everything is more slick and refined. For starters, the infotainment system has dual screens – one for your central media and sat nav, the other behind the steering wheel showing you driver information. The screen in the centre has been repositioned so that it sits in your line of sight too, rather than being plonked further down in the console so that you’re forced to take your eyes off the road to control it.

Volkswagen Golf R

New Golf R models prove that they’re ‘worth their salt’ the minute you open the door and peer in. There’s no outrageously retro tartan styling across the seats like in the Golf GTI, but you do get Nappa leather sports seats with a trendy ‘R’ insignia stitched into the backs. As well as looking good, the seats provide plenty of lumbar support from side bolsters to ensure you’re not thrown about while taking a corner – shall we say – boldly?

Volkswagen Golf R

From the driver’s position you’ll notice a new steering wheel has been added to this latest version of the Golf R. A unique ‘R’ button sits on top of it which lets you change the whole dynamic of the car so that you can really drive it in a sport mode.

Volkswagen Golf R 3

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2021 Volkswagen Golf R engines

Under the hood is where the Golf R does its talking, as you’ll already have gathered from looking at the car’s minimalist styling inside-out.

It has the same four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as the Audi S3, but has 24bhp more. From a standstill you can sprint to 60mph in just 4.7 seconds, 1.2 seconds quicker than the GTI.

Volkswagen Golf R

To go with that mighty horsepower is an impressive 420Nm of torque, which lets you have plenty of power at low revs and continues across a wide rev range. For this reason, the Golf R never seems to slack when you need it to shove along.

Volkswagen Golf R

2021 Volkswagen Golf R driving and safety

Ever since the Golf R marque came about in 2003, each version has come with four-wheel drive. This time around the car comes with a much smarter torque-vectoring system that can send all of the rear-axle’s torque to each wheel independently. Linking up with this is also an electronic locking differential and a stability program which, together, make for a seriously engaging drive.

Volkswagen Golf R

Because the R is set 20mm lower than standard Golfs, it’s noticeably more engaging to drive than the rest of the range. Steering is more precise and its lower centre of gravity makes it dive through twists and turns with ease.

Volkswagen Golf R

Driving modes can be selected depending on how you want your new Golf R to perform. As standard the car gets Comfort, Sport and Race options, on top of a ‘Special’ mode specifically created for blitzing round the Nurburgring track.

As far as safety is considered, the Golf R is likely going to get the full NCAP five star safety rating like the rest of the range has. Standard equipment includes advanced tech like lane assist, traffic jam assist, front and rear parking sensors, automatic cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

2021 Volkswagen Golf R practicality

The Volkswagen Golf has always been a practical motor with plenty of space inside, and nothing changes (much) with this driver-centric version of the car.

Inside you’ll get access to plenty of storage space, including large door bins in the front and back, a spacious glove box and a couple of cupholders.

In the boot there’s slightly less room (343 litres instead of 380 litres) than on other Golf models, mainly due to the chunky four-wheel-drive system. But it’s still a decent size and can be increased to 1,620 litres when you drop the back seats.

If you’re looking for a hot hatch that’s more practical and comfortable, then you may want to consider the range-topping BMW 1 Series M140i spec. The 360-litre boot offers you plenty more room than the Golf R, for a similar price too. What’s more is that BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is standard, which is lighter than most of the other rival setups because it’s electrically operated, not hydraulic.

2021 Volkswagen Golf R price

Starting from £39,270 the VW Golf R certainly isn’t cheap, and is even more expensive than the Audi S3. With that being said, you don’t have to pay for one outright as it’s available on finance options such as a lease or PCP for more affordable monthly payments (starting from £310.72 with Moneyshake leasing).

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