Volkswagen Golf R (2013-2020) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Beneath the Golf R’s high performance exterior beats the heart of one of the most practical family hatchbacks available
The addition of a bodykit and larger wheels have given the Golf R a more hunkered and purposeful look, but against the tape measure its dimensions are identical to the standard hatchback and estate models.
Leg room, head room and passenger space
Despite its pace, the R is still a Golf – so that means plenty of space inside. So you have a reasonable sized glovebox, huge door bins both front and back, a drawer under the driver’s seat, a large central cubby under the arm rest and a couple of cup holders. There is plenty of adjustment in the seating position and this, plus height adjustment for the driver’s seat and reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel, means that most people will be able to find their ideal driving position.
There is plenty of space even for adults in the back seats, although the transmission tunnel does get in the way of the middle passenger. This middle position is worse in the R model than the normal Golf on account of its sculpted rear bench, which suffers from an uncomfortably raised centre section.
It's a similar story with the boot. The addition of bulky four-wheel-drive components in the rear axle raises the boot floor, and means the Golf’s boot capacity shrinks from 380 litres to 343 litres. However, with the seats folded, you get 1,233 litres of luggage space and the R comes with an 18-inch space-saver wheel as standard.
Although no longer featuring in the range, the larger Golf R estate is obviously more practical, with a 605-litre boot, which rises to a healthy 1,620-litres with the rear bench folded – although you don’t get a totally flat load area. It also features a number of handy storage cubbies, a 12V power supply and a handy ski-flap for longer items. As the wheelbase remains the same as the hatch, rear passenger space is just as generous.
In this review
- 1VerdictWhen a regular Golf GTI isn’t sufficiently extreme, the VW Golf R steps up to the mark
- 2Engines, performance and driveBlistering performance, agile handling and rock solid composure make the Golf R a great hot hatch
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsGiven its huge performance potential, the R is surprisingly cost effective to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Golf R is subtle but stylish, with a few key differences to the Golf GTI
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingBeneath the Golf R’s high performance exterior beats the heart of one of the most practical family hatchbacks available
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe hot Golf R should be as reliable as any other Golf