VW Golf R vs Golf GTI - Which Volkswagen Hatchback is Right for You?


Volkswagen is a unique automaker for many reasons. There is a Volkswagen for nearly every taste, from the large family-friendly Atlas to the more performance-oriented GTI and R lines. And when it comes to those smaller, European performance vehicles, a lot of people want to know the differences between the Volkswagen Golf R and Golf GTI. Both are more performance-oriented versions of VW's popular Golf hatchback, and are popular among Dayton drivers who want the perfect blend of practicality and performance.

So we at Evans Volkswagen have put together this article comparing the VW Golf R vs Golf GTI, so that our Ohio customers can decide which is the best option for them. Whether you're in Dayton and looking for a smart city car that offers an engaging driving experience, or up north in Piqua looking for an efficient hatchback that can also rip down country roads, the VW Golf is available in a variety of configurations to suit your needs.

You can also check out Evans VW's inventory below, as well as contact us and easily apply for financing. Without further ado, let's compare the acclaimed VW Golf GTI vs Golf R to see what each of these fun hatchbacks has to offer.

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Volkswagen Golf R & Golf GTI - Two Sides of the Same Coin

If you compare the spec sheets of the Golf R and Golf GTI, it's clear there are some significant differences when it comes to the powertrain. However, both of them offer higher performance than the standard Golf, as well as most competitors. It's no wonder that the Golf hatchback has become such a popular street car, and the choice for Dayton drivers who want more from their compact vehicle. We're going to go over some of the most popular specs of the Golf GTI and Golf R individually, and then look at which Golf is right for each Wapakoneta driver.


Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf GTI has been a popular choice among driving enthusiasts since its introduction to the US in the '80s, and its current incarnation is still reminiscent of the iconic early models in terms of styling.

One big difference that sets the Golf GTI apart from the standard Golf model is its turbocharged 2.0l engine. It produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, powering the front wheels. In terms of transmission, the Golf GTI is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG automatic. This automatic transmission has been widely praised for its intelligent shifting and rev-matching, and is perfect for Troy, OH drivers that want the convenience of an automatic without sacrificing an engaging driving experience.

Other highlight features include front sport seats, available adaptive suspension, electronic limited-slip differential, upgraded brakes, and available Fender sound system. Especially when equipped with the adaptive suspension, the ride quality of the VW Golf GTI is a cut above the competition. Comfortable and forgiving for daily driving, but responsive and controlled for cornering, the GTI's suspension takes full advantage of its turbo engine. The SE trim and up have standard leather interior, which adds to the Golf GTI's upscale, European sensibility.


Golf R

So if the GTI is Volkswagen's performance variant of the Golf, where does the Golf R fit in? In summary, it takes the GTI's performance and kicks it up a notch. Let's look at the Golf R's unique features, so Dayton drivers can decide if the upgrades are worth the increase in price.

Visually, the Golf R and Golf GTI look pretty similar, with the biggest exterior differences being the wheels and tires. While the GTI comes with standard all-season tires, the Golf R comes with upgraded summer tires which help maximize performance. In terms of powertrain, the Golf R has a more powerful turbocharged engine producing 288 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and all R models are AWD. Its transmission options are the same manual and dual-clutch automatic offered on the GTI. However, the upgraded tires, engine, and AWD result in a 0-60 time that is a full 2 seconds faster than on the already sporty Golf GTI.

In addition, the VW Golf R comes standard with all the available options from the Golf GTI. It also offers unique interior options, and a whopping 40 color choices.


Should You Buy a Golf GTI or Golf R in Dayton, OH?

Both the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Golf R offer superior performance and comfort to many competitors, and are truly unique vehicles in the US. But which one should you choose? Chances are, you already know if the Golf R is the vehicle for you. But for some Dayton shoppers, the difference in price between the GTI and R could be too much to justify the extra performance. Both offer the same practical, upscale interior, and deceptively strong performance.

The most attractive thing about these two sporty Golf models, is that there is really nothing else like them on the road. To get similar performance, Troy buyers will be looking at less practical sports cars, or much more expensive luxury vehicles. Volkswagen has managed to bring not one, but two high-performance hatchbacks to the Dayton, OH market. Whether you want the ultimate high-performance Golf R, or the long-standing favorite GTI, you can know you're getting a vehicle like no other.

Above, you can view Evans Volkswagen's current inventory of VW Golf models. If there's another model or color you don't see in our inventory, just let us know. We can bring any Volkswagen in Ohio right to our dealership in Dayton. It's also easy to apply for financing right on our website, and we always have great specials available. Contact us if you have any questions.

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