Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Volkswagen Golf R 2014 review: snapshot


We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering would you buy one?

What is it?

This is VW's most powerful and fastest Golf ever and is in fact Generation 4 of the R series.

It's the top of the line Golf, and as such has all the kit you'd expect in such a car.

How much?

Pricing starts at $51,990 quickly escalating to $54,490 with the optional DSG gearbox. Three option packs can add a further $6000 to the bottom line.

What are competitors?

Ford's impressive Focus ST is far cheaper, nearly as much fun to drive but only front wheel drive. Subaru's WRX is similarly less money and has similar performance and outputs. WRX STi is more on the R money and out-points the Golf R on paper. It has a harder edge though. Then there's the Renault Megane GT220 five door hatch. Again, less money but less car too.

What's under the bonnet?

Gets a heavily revised version of the Golf GTi 2.0-litre turbo engine with dual direct injection system into the combustion chamber and also inlet ports. The turbocharger is different too, as are engine internals.

Drive is 4motion system to all four wheels via an electronic haldex clutch and diff locks on both axles giving a torque vectoring effect. Outputs are 206kW/380Nm.

How does it go?

Absolutely awesome. Can't see any reason to spend more on a big booming V8-something when this car would have it for breakfast, especially if corners are involved. Clocks 0-100km/h sprint in 5.0 seconds (feels quicker), has a super direct feel to the steering, well planted and a stupendous exhaust bang on up changes.

Is it economical?

Amazing considering performance potential with 7.1L/100km achievable on 98RON.

Is it green?

Yes scores a four star rating on the Green Vehicle Guide.

Is it safe?

Yes scores a five-star ANCAP rating.

Is it comfortable?

Yes, offers plenty of luxury kit which contributes to the somewhat Golf R's 1435kg. Leather is optional though. The Golf R has sports seats, premium audio, touchscreen, the latest multimedia and connectivity, bi-xenon headlights, reverse camera, driving profile selector with 5 modes including 'Race', engine stop/start, satnav, electric park brake, dual-zone climate control, keyless access and so on.

What's it like to drive?

Great. Golf R is a hoot to drive, even down to the shops. There's a rush to get the keys if any driving errands are involved. Goes like a shot out of the blocks, has superlative roll on and corners like it's on rails. Engaging to drive, you go looking for the winding roads just to experience what real sporty dynamics are like.

Is it value for money?

OK, but gets expensive with all the options. Slightly lesser cars are a lot less money...


Would we buy one?

In a blink. We love the subdued, classy looks, the slick interior, the feel of it. A real Q-Ship on the road, too.

Pricing guides

Based on 339 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Range and Specs

118 TSI 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $14,700 – 20,680 2014 Volkswagen Golf 2014 118 TSI Pricing and Specs
103 TSI Highline 1.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $12,800 – 18,480 2014 Volkswagen Golf 2014 103 TSI Highline Pricing and Specs
110 TDI Highline 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP $13,200 – 19,140 2014 Volkswagen Golf 2014 110 TDI Highline Pricing and Specs
90 TSI 1.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $8,000 – 12,430 2014 Volkswagen Golf 2014 90 TSI Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.