2019 GTI vs 2019 R

Differences between the 2019 Golf GTI and 2019 Golf R?

2019 Golf GTI and 2019 Golf R Comparison

The Volkswagen Golf is an icon. It’s one of the most produced vehicles. Ever. The Golf GTI, when it was introduced back in 1975, single-handedly pioneered the concept of a hot hatch. Nowadays, its much more common to see performance-focused hatchbacks, but we’d like to take some time to appreciate the originals.

Today, we’re looking at the newest performance iterations of the iconic Volkswagen Golf, the limited-edition 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit and the 2019 Volkswagen Golf R. This isn’t a comparison to see which is objectively better, but more an evaluation of the strengths of each.

Here are the differences between the 2019 Golf GTI and the 2019 Golf R.

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2019 Golf GTI vs 2019 Golf R Specs

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rabbit


2019 Volkswagen Golf R

$29,995 MSRP $41,495
2.0L turbo 4-cyl Engine 2.0L turbo 4-cyl
228 hp / 258 lb-ft Horsepower / Torque 288 hp / 280 lb-ft
FWD Drivetrain AWD
7-speed automated-manual or 6-speed manual Transmission 7-speed automated-manual or 6-speed manual
25/31/27 Fuel Economy 23/30/26

2019 Golf GTI

The 2019 Golf GTI features the same tight handling and performance that you’ve come to expect from the GTI line. It pairs a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission or 6-speed manual with a capable 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s also quite feature-rich, with a limited-slip front differential, automatic wipers, LED foglights, heated mirrors and seats, and ambient interior lighting. It’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. Automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are standard. The Rabbit Edition has special interior badging and upholstery, among other things.

2019 Golf GTI driving through a city
2019 Golf R parked on a race track

2019 Golf R

The 2019 Golf R doesn’t mess around. It has the same transmission options as the GTI, but they are paired with a more powerful version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. To go along with that improved performance, the Golf R also has AWD, adaptive suspension dampers, and performance tires. Despite the racing capability, the Golf R has all the bells and whistles you’d expect on top-tier vehicle, like a leather upholstery, a premium audio system, and dual-zone automatic climate control. When it comes to safety, the R has everything the GTI has, plus front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning and mitigation, pedestrian detection lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.


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