Comparison

This German Hot Hatch Shoot Out Will Make You Forget About The Focus RS

The Ford what?

The hot hatchback field has never been better, especially with all-wheel drive options like the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG 45. Torque steer is a thing of the past, kind of like the old Mazdaspeed3 (those of you who own or have driven one will understand). But which of these AWD hot hatches is the best? Autocar wanted to find out by doing a head-to-head comparison test between the Golf R and AMG 45.

Unfortunately, the AMG 45 isn’t even sold in the US; you’ll have to settle for its four-door coupe counterpart, the AMG CLA 45, instead. And that’s kind of a shame because the AMG 45 is such a wonderful thing, but it does cost quite a bit more than the Golf R. Question is, is it even worth the extra investment?

The Golf R comes with a total of 306 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-liter. Zero to 62 mph happens in 5.1 seconds, but the car in today’s test was equipped with a six-speed manual, meaning no Launch Control. The AMG 45 is also powered by a 2.0-liter turbo four, only it produces 376 hp and 350 lb-ft of twist, blasting its way from a standstill to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds. That’s seriously fast, but you’re going to pay serious money to have that, begging the question whether a hot hatch, even if it’s a Mercedes-AMG, is worth the extra dough? The Golf R is quite a bit less, as is another (non-German) competitor, the Ford Focus RS. Life’s tough when there are awesome choices such as these.

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Volkswagen Golf R
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