Golf R Vs GTI: Which is Better to Buy?

Golf R Vs Gti: Which Should You Choose?
Golf R Vs GTI: Which is better to Buy?

Are you looking for a sporty car to add an extra level of excitement to your daily commute? If so, you may want to consider the Volkswagen Golf R or GTI. These two models offer drivers performance and style while giving them options when it comes to engines, technology, safety features, and more. In this blog post we’ll take a look at what sets these Volkswagens apart from one another – analyzing their design, powertrains and specs – so that you can decide which is best suited for your individual needs. Read on to learn more about both the Golf R and the GTI!

What is Golf R?

The Golf R is a high-performance version of the VW Golf hatchback. It sits above the Golf GTI in VW’s range and has a more powerful engine along with several performance upgrades to increase its power and give it excellent handling. In essence, the Golf R is a suped-up version of the regular Golf.

What is Volkswagen Golf GTI?

The VW Grand Prix Turbo or better known as the GTI, is one of VW’s most iconic cars. The original hot hatch back is still an incredibly popular car today and is also available as a two-door coupe called a “Cabriolet” which means “cut away”. The modern day GTI can be bought in three different versions: standard, Performance Pack (PP) and the Autobahn version which is fitted with all the PP features. It also comes in two different versions, five-door hatchback or three door “cabriolet” body style.

Features of a Golf GTI and Golf R

Golf GTI and Golf R: The exterior

Both cars look very similar in their exterior, possessing the same front grill and headlights with different models having red or white stripes along the sides to signify which model they are. The only major difference between both cars is that while the GTI has standard alloy wheels, the Golf R comes with 19″ alloys as standard making it more attractive than the GTI.

VW Golf GTI and VW Golf R: Inside

The interior of both cars looks almost exactly alike with some minor differences such as:

The leather steering wheel in the golf R makes pressing buttons on its side easier compared to the one found in the GTI, which is covered in leather and makes pressing the buttons difficult.

The Golf R has a golf ball-shaped gear knob, while the GTI comes with a standard grey color steering wheel.

VW Golf GTI and Golf R: The Rice

The price for these cars varies between different countries so we’ll just give rough estimates: While in India both models cost almost the same amount at around Rs 26 lakhs, in New Zealand it is reported that one can get hold of a new 2014 5 door M/T model for NZ$38 500 while a new 2014 3 door Autobahn version goes for NZ$45 500. In Australia you can expect to pay around AU$50 000 while in US it costs about US$37 000 and in Canada, the car usually costs somewhere around CA$39 999.

Volkswagen Golf R Vs GTI: Performance and Fuel Economy

The power difference between these two cars is significant, but this doesn’t mean that the GTI can’t keep up in terms of performance and handling. On paper, it might look like the Golf R will be better in every way and leave its sibling behind in dust, but this isn’t true. Thanks to the wonderful chassis balance of both cars, they feel almost the same on a twisty road or racetrack despite their differences in output. Although the Golf R has 2.1-inch (55 mm) wider tracks than the GTI, it sits on the same track width which makes the difference in handling negligible.

Another thing that needs to be considered is fuel economy. The Golf R has a 22-mpg combined rating when equipped with the 6M And DSG transmissions, while the car with 6-speed manual can achieve 24 mpg combined according to EPA estimates. On the other hand, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI is rated at 25 mpg combined when fitted with a manual transmission and 30 mpg combined when equipped with an automatic gearbox according to EPA ratings. In our opinion, both cars have great fuel economy considering their potential performance on dirty roads. Moreover, if you are looking for more efficiency, the Golf GTI is always available in a fully electric model.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Accessories

Both cars are the same when it comes to amenities meaning that both come with 7-inch touchscreen infotainment systems, push button start, auxiliary and USB inputs for sound system, cooled glove box and automatic headlights. Also, you will get low rolling resistance tires as standard on both models which might be great if you do a lot of short trips during hot seasons or live in an area where the humidity is high all year long.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t tested the latest model of Volkswagen’s performance hatchback so we can’t say how safe it is compared to its predecessor but what we know is that this car scored “Good” rating in all the tests that IIHS performed. On the other hand, when it comes to safety features, both cars offer just about everything you would expect from a high-performance family hatchback including lane keep assist system, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, side blind zone monitor and rear traffic alert among others.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Customer Service

-The standard warranty provided by Volkswagen for both models are 3 years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first) with the option to extend it up to 4 years/48,000 miles. This applies for both new and certified pre-owned models of the Golf GTI and Golf R. As for convenience, one can always go to their local Volkswagen dealership if they need help or support with their ride during the warranty period which typically covers most issues except wear and tear items like tyres, brakes, and battery.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Warranty

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI comes with a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty which includes corrosion coverage for the vehicle’s first owner. As for the powertrain, it has a 5-year/60,000 miles limited warranty that covers the engine, transmission, and drive system as well as a 1-year/10,000 miles limited warranty on other components like brakes and suspension. Also worth mentioning is the Roadside Assistance package that covers flat tire changes, jump starts and fuel delivery up to 2 gallons (7.5 liters) – all at no cost.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Dimensions

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI is 174 inches long, 70 inches wide and 57 inches tall which means that this car is 1 inch longer, 2 inches wider and 3 inches lower compared to the Golf R. Also, the GTI has a wheelbase of 104.8 inches while the Golf R’s wheelbase measures 103.6 inches. The new performance hatchback also weighs roughly 263 pounds more than its German sibling which is not noticeable unless you are getting one model next to another at Volkswagen dealerships.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Design

While both cars are built on the same MQB platform, it is obvious that there are quite a few differences between them when it comes to design. First off, if you look at the front end of the 2017 Golf GTI you will notice that this model has standard LED headlights and daytime running lights as well as low profile LED taillights for better aerodynamics.

Design wise, the VW Golf R has a more aggressive appearance compared to the design found on standard Golf models which means that this specific model looks a lot better than what we have seen in the past.

On the other hand, Volkswagen’s performance hatchback also offers plenty of chrome accents around its body which is not something we see too often on sports cars these days but makes sense considering this model wants to be seen as an affordable family vehicle. Another difference between the two models can be found at their rear ends where they have different bumper designs along with horizontal tailpipes present on the GTI.

VW Golf R Vs GTI: Tires and Wheels

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is available with standard 18-inch alloy wheels but if you want to upgrade your ride, this model will also let you choose from 19-, 20- and even 21-inch wheels. This German sports car comes with standard 225/40 all-season tires and as for the suspension it has a sport tuned version which lowers body roll compared to its base design for a more engaging driving experience.

The similarities of VW Golf GTI and VW Golf R:

Both models come with the same engine which is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that cranks out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (the GTI delivers 220 hp while the Golf R has 230 hp).

Both cars come with 6-speed manual gearboxes as standard while buyers can upgrade to DSG automatic transmission if they want.

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI weighs around 3002 pounds while the Golf R comes in at 3,192 pounds (for comparison purposes, this model weighs 100 pounds more than the standard Compact Sport Hatchback model which is quite impressive). If you are looking for even better performance numbers here’s what you need to know: Volkswagen claims that their new performance hatchback sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds which is slightly faster than the GTI’s 5.6-second time for the US market. And finally, VW says that this model can reach a top speed of 155 mph while the standard model has a maximum speed of 130 mph.

The differences of VW Golf GTI and VW Golf R:

The Volkswagen Golf R is much more expensive than the GTI due to its all-wheel drive system which makes it a better choice for drivers in areas with harsh winter weather.

While both models are built on the same MQB platform, they have different suspension setups as well as completely different bumpers which means that this German hatchback looks much sportier in comparison to the standard Golf model.

The VW Golf R comes with a rear spoiler while the GTI does not.

The German performance hatchback has LED lights around its headlights and taillights which is something that can’t be said about the standard model.

The two models also come with different alloy wheel designs so there’s no way in knowing which one looks better without getting them next to each other and choosing your favorite design out of the two.

The Winner: Volkswagen Golf R

Even though the standard model is more affordable and gives you plenty of choices when it comes to extra features, we think that the Volkswagen Golf R has a better design overall which means that if you want a vehicle with a more aggressive front fascia, get the all-wheel drive hatchback. On top of that, this specific performance hatchback also packs better performances under its hood so there’s no way in knowing whether it’s worth paying an extra $1,500 for a car that has a similar design but less power.

If you are interested in the GTI then you should know that this model has been on sale since 1976 while the Golf R appeared on US shores just two years ago so keep that in mind while you decide. If you choose the first option then you will get additional choices when it comes to colors and features which means that you’ll save money for other upgrades while if you go with the second choice, you’ll save yourself some research time plus get an all-wheel drive vehicle which is better equipped for winter weather conditions. We also think that both models are excellent choices but keep in mind that their appearance differs quite a bit so it’s up to your personal tastes whether this model appeals to you more than the Golf GTI.


How do the Golf R and the GTI compare in terms of performance?

The Volkswagen Golf R and the GTI both offer amazing performance for a hatchback, but the Golf R is the more powerful vehicle. The Golf R has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 288 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, while the GTI has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Golf R also offers higher top speed, acceleration times, braking power, and cornering ability than the GTI. Both models come standard with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission to provide an exciting driving experience no matter your preference in transmissions. Overall, when it comes to performance, there is no doubt that the Golf R takes the lead over its cousin -the GTI.

Which car is better suited for a daily driver between the Golf R and the GTI?

When it comes to choosing a car for a daily driver, the Volkswagen Golf R and the GTI could both be great options. However, there are a few key differences between the two that may make one more suitable than the other for your individual needs.

When it comes to engine power and performance, the Golf R is the clear winner. It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This makes it almost twice as powerful as its sibling, the GTI, which has an impressive turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The Golf R also has all-wheel drive as standard while the GTI is front-wheel drive only, so if you are going to be driving in inclement weather or on slippery roads then you might want to consider the Golf R over the GTI for enhanced traction control.

The Golf R also offers superior fuel economy over its counterpart with an estimated 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway compared to 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway for the GTI. Although they can both seat up to five passengers comfortably, if you need extra cargo space then again you may want to opt for the Golf R over the GTI since it offers more storage room due to its larger size and hatchback design.

Lastly, when it comes to handling on winding roads or tight turns, once again it’s hard to beat a VW Golf R with its extra power and all-wheel drive system providing better cornering capabilities than what you would get from a front wheel drive vehicle like a GTI.

Overall, if you’re looking for maximum power and performance in addition to superior fuel economy and added cargo space then you would do well selecting a Volkswagen Golf R as your daily driver over its sibling, the Volkswagen GTI.

What is the primary difference between a VW Golf GTI and VW Golf R?

While both models are based on the same MQB platform, they offer different suspension setups and feature completely different bumpers. Furthermore, performance-wise, we can say that the Golf R features a more powerful turbocharged engine which makes it a better choice for wintertime driving while the GTI has a standard front-wheel drive setup and less power under its hood.

Which Car is right for me?

This is a good question, and we can understand why our readers would like to know the answer. The Volkswagen Golf GTI and VW Golf R models are both great choices but if you live in an area with harsh winter conditions then we suggest that you go for the latter since it features better performance numbers plus all-wheel drive which makes it more suited towards driving on slippery roads. Out of these two, we think that the Volkswagen Golf R has a better design so if this specific feature appeals to you then go with this model. However, if you really want a car with more luxurious extras and don’t care about looks as much as power under its hood, get the GTI instead since it’s significantly cheaper than the high-performance hatchback.

Pros and Cons of a VW Golf GTI and VW Golf R?

VW Golf GTI pros:

If you really want a more affordable hatchback, get the GTI which is about $1,500 cheaper than its faster counterpart.

While this model doesn’t have as much power as the Golf R, it’s still a great choice for any driver who’s new to manual transmissions and wants an easy car to drive around town. This model also gets excellent fuel mileage so if you care about spending less money on gasoline then this is one of the right choices. On top of that, we think that new drivers will appreciate having rear-wheel drive in their very first vehicle since this feature makes it easier to control the vehicle when breaking or accelerating.

VW Golf GTI cons:

The biggest issue we have with this specific car is its lack of power under the hood which means that if you really want a vehicle with better performances, opt for the all-wheel drive Golf R instead.

VW Golf R pros:

Even though it’s more expensive than the standard model and doesn’t offer as many choices in terms of colors and features, we think that the high-performance hatchback looks better overall since it has a bigger front grille and more aggressive bumpers. On top of that, if you live in an area where harsh winter conditions are very common, this model offers much better performance figures thanks to its powerful turbocharged engine so make sure to go for this one if you plan on driving your car through snowy roads.

VW Golf R cons:

If you don’t have a large budget for your new car purchase then this specific model will be too expensive since it costs nearly twice as much as the standard hatchback. In addition to that, it doesn’t come with many additional features so make sure to look at all its available options before committing to buy it.

>>> See more: Volkswagen Golf R vs GTI Performance 2018 review | Head2Head


Even though the cars are so alike, their main difference lies in their overall power. While both cars feel almost the same on a racetrack or twisty road, the Golf R has much better performance f6igures which is something that really sets it apart from its sibling. Moreover, since this article was written by an Indian author, one will have to pay extra special attention to cost of ownership as well since diesel versions are not available everywhere and petrol versions are usually more expensive than expected due to local taxes. Learn about the differences between the Golf R and GTI from the experts at broadrungolf.

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