2019 Volkswagen Golf R | Milwaukee

2019 Golf R parked on race track

There’s nothing quite like a good hot hatch. And there’s nothing quite like the original hot hatch. The Volkswagen Golf is one of the most popular cars on the planet, and also one of the most produced. But most-produced doesn’t necessarily mean good. So, does the 2019 Volkswagen Golf live up to its heritage or is it a soulless iteration of an icon?

There’s only one way to find out.

New Performance Hatchback near Milwaukee

Tuned Performance

The Golf R has always been known for performance. This one is no different. It sports a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that pumps out 288 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can choose between the satisfyingly tactile six-speed manual or the ferociously competent seven-speed dual clutch automatic. The chassis has the finesse of a much more expensive performance vehicle. It has the excellent Dynamic Chassis Control active dampers that make the ride quality superb. Steering is equally as impressive, with direct and precise control. The feedback is similarly admirable, with exceptional feedback. Driving the Golf R is fun, something which most cars tend to take for granted. And even with all this performance, the Golf R is still efficient. You can get it above 30 mpg on the highway.

Generous Safety Features

Despite its roots to the past, the Golf R has kept up with the times. Unlike many other racing-spec competitors, the Golf R has multiple safety and driver assistance features standard. For instance, it touts a forward-collision warning system with integrated automatic emergency braking, a lane-departure warning system with lane-keep assist, and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert. Those are features that many non-performance vehicles even tend to exclude as standard features.

Interested in the vehicle that Car and Driver named in their 2019 “10Best” list? Schedule a test drive.