2023 Volkswagen Golf R Performance

Volkswagen Golf R Performance Rating

2023 Golf R Performance

Let's not kid ourselves and think that the Golf R is just a spicy hatchback built for school runs and fuel efficiency: it was made to go fast and be entertaining as its primary objective. Thanks to its AWD drivetrain and quick-shifting transmission (especially the seven-speed auto), the Golf R gets off the line like a bat out of hell. For the amount of power it makes, it's impressively quick; the VW Golf R's official 0-60 mph sprint time is in the mid-four-second range, but as the previous year's model has proven, that figure can tumble in the real world. The punchy 2.0-liter engine delivers oodles of torque and catapults it to its top speed of 155 mph without any strain. If there were one complaint, we'd say it's the lack of a rowdy exhaust note, but that can be mitigated by fitting an aftermarket exhaust system.

2023 Golf R Performance Photos

2023 Volkswagen Golf R Front View Driving Volkswagen
2023 Volkswagen Golf R Rear View Driving Volkswagen
2023 Volkswagen Golf R Side View Driving Volkswagen

Engine and Transmission

Like most other hot hatchbacks, the Golf R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In this case, it specifically uses the EA888 engine that has been refined over the past decade and now delivers smooth and punchy power in a beautifully linear fashion. The headlining figures are 315 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque in the six-speed manual car, growing to 295 lb-ft of torque in the seven-speed automatic. Maximum torque is available from only 2,000 rpm, making this one plucky performer.

We found that the VW Golf R's engine displays little turbo lag in town and always feels eager to respond to throttle inputs, no matter how small, and putting the car in its most aggressive driving mode sharpens throttle response up nicely. On the highway, the Golf R pulls like a freight train; there's always enough power, no matter what speed you're cruising at. Enthusiasts know that this engine responds well to tuning, and it's rare that you'll find a Golf R without some sort of software or hardware modifications.

2023 Volkswagen Golf R Performance Specs:

Volkswagen Golf R TrimsVolkswagen Golf R EnginesVolkswagen Golf R HorsepowerVolkswagen Golf R TransmissionsVolkswagen Golf R DrivetrainsVolkswagen Golf R MPG/MPGE
2.0T2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas315 hp @ 5600 rpm
315 hp @ 5900 rpm
6-Speed Manual
7-Speed Automatic
26 MPG
20th Anniversary Edition2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas315 hp @ 5600 rpm
315 hp @ 5900 rpm
6-Speed Manual
7-Speed Automatic
26 MPG

2023 Golf R Gas Mileage

According to the EPA, the six-speed manual Golf R manages 20/28/23 mpg on the city/highway/combined circuit. That figure improves to 23/30/26 mpg for the seven-speed automatic model. With a 14.5-gallon fuel tank, the Golf R will manage to get around 333 miles with the manual and 375 miles with the DSG on a single tank.

2023 Volkswagen Golf R Fuel Capacity

Volkswagen Golf R Trims2.0T20th Anniversary Edition
Volkswagen Golf R Fuel Economy (Cty/Hwy)20/2820/28


Which VW Golf R model is the most efficient?

The seven-speed auto will manage 23/30/26 mpg on the city/highway/combined circuit, which is an improvement on the manual version's 20/28/23 mpg.

Does the VW Gold R require premium gas?

Yes, VW recommends the use of premium gasoline in the VW Golf R.

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