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VW Golf R Is The Hatchback to Dominate Small Performance Pack

Dating back to 1974 when it was marketed in North America as the Rabbit, the iconic Volkswagen (VW) Golf has evolved into the Peter Pan of small car performance … forever young in its appeal, making drivers of all ages feel the youthful vigor.

Up against the hot blooded new Honda Civic Type R, the raucous Ford RS and the rally ruling Subaru WRX, the VW offers the Golf R, an unpretentious powerhouse of driving excitement with premium passenger amenities and hatchback practicality.

The VW R exterior is striking in its elegance, delivering the sense of power without extraneous sports moto touches. The four door test vehicle proved accommodating for a back seat crew of kids and adults, and a hatch full of supermarket cargo.

The leather swathed bucket seats, flat bottomed performance steering wheel as well as traditional dashboard layout and easy to use central tech console set the tone of an aviation flight pre-check … sharp and to the point.

And the point of the loaded $42,000 VW R is to squeeze the most fun out of this 16-valve inline-4, 292 horsepower all-wheel drive dual identity crowd pleaser.