Golf R

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2019 Volkswagen Golf R Overview

Volkswagen introduces a number of changes to keep the Golf R fresh for 2019.

Exclusive styling elements for the 2019 Golf R include new 19-inch alloy wheels, black brake calipers with the R logo, and a dual exhaust. New LED headlights feature daytime-running lights (DRL) and adaptive front-lighting technology, complementing the LED taillights. The simple color palette offers options such as Lapiz Blue Metallic, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl, Oryx White, and Indium Gray Metallic, while 40 custom order colors are also available, ranging from Sarantos Turquoise to Traffic Purple.

Only one trim level is available for 2019: Golf R with DCC and Navigation. Every Golf R gets black leather upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front sport seats. The R motif can be found throughout the cabin, adorning the front seats and the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel. Stainless steel accents complement the motorsports-inspired cockpit and ambient lighting adds warmth.

Volkswagen touts the Golf R’s engine as one of the most powerful 4-cylinder production engines available. It is a tuned version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injection engine, upgraded to achieve 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The Golf R also features Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. It comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, though Volkswagen’s DSG transmission, a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, comes as a new option for 2019. With the manual transmission, the Golf R gets EPA ratings of 21 mpg city, 29 highway, and 24 combined. The DSG-equipped Golf R gets ratings of 23, 30, and 26.

For 2019, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes standard, along with Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit display, a 12.3-inch color screen that drivers can customize to show driving data, navigation commands, or other relevant information. The premium audio system features AM and FM radio, HD Radio, satellite radio, and Bluetooth. The Volkswagen Car-Net system integrates Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink smartphone integration. Other standard interior and convenience features include a proximity key, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a cooled glove box, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and heated washer nozzles.

The Volkswagen Golf R earned a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded mostly Good ratings to the 2018 Golf but did not test the Golf R separately. Standard safety features include a reversing camera, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, front- and rear-park assist, and automatic post-collision braking. Volkswagen’s Car-Net technology also includes subscription-based remote vehicle locking and unlocking, automatic and manual emergency notification, and stolen-vehicle tracking. Parents also have the option to set notifications for speed, curfew time, and geographic limits.

The Golf R, an appealing option for buyers who want a sophisticated compact car, competes against the likes of the Ford Focus RS and the Honda Civic Type R.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She is eagerly awaiting delivery of a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, which will join her household's 2008 Toyota RAV4, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, and 2015 Honda Grom.

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