How Are the Golf R and Golf GTI Different?

Golf R vs Golf GTI

Before we pull apart what makes the Golf R vs. GTI each their own, it's important to realize all of their similarities. Both of these beautiful gifts come in small packages and run like the wind. They both seat five and pack a boatload of style and aesthetic appeal into frames that can fit into any parking spot. Lastly, though in different ways through different beasts under the hood, these smaller cars move swiftly.

Without further ado, it's time to meet this dynamic duo and for you to begin deciding between an immediate evolution in your driveway or the car that's next in a legendary racing lineage. Will the Golf GTI or Golf R take the podium next in your driveway? Let's ride.

Pure Performance

Test-driving is one of our most recommended ways to decide which model fits best between a duo that you can't seem to separate. When you take the wheel of both of these compact cars you'll feel a boost beneath the gas pedal that's not common in vehicles of this size. Their power comes from differing setups and produces at different marks but rest assured, you'll feel the speed built in to the Golf R vs. GTI models. We break down the major measurements so you can see how the high-pace capabilities of these miniature movers stack up before you get behind the wheel yourself.

Pressing the gas pedal down and slingshotting out of the blocks is a hair-raising thrill that you can capture today inside the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The 2021 VW Golf GTI gets up to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds and produces 228 horsepower on a steady frame that's ready to rock whenever with six stability-enhancing systems embedded within. It's a car that's quick without hurrying, paramount for high-traffic conditions where a split second can mean the difference between getting off at your exit or having to take an untimely detour.

2021 Golf GTI S
2021 Golf GTI
Starting Price $28,695
Engine 2.0 L, inline four cylinder, 16V, turbocharged/intercooled, TSI
Horsepower 228 hp
0-60 5.6 seconds
Top Speed N/A
Torque 258 lb. ft.
Drivetrain FWD
Shop Model: 2021 VW Golf GTI
2022 Golf R (estimates)
2022 Golf R
Starting Price $44,000
Engine Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4

Horsepower 315 hp
0-60 4.3 - 4.6 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph
Torque 310 lb. ft.
Drivetrain AWD
Shop Model: Reserve Your 2022 VW Golf R

What the difference in hp for VW GTI vs VW Golf R?

The 2022 VW Golf R doesn't have any official specifications listed but Volkswagen is talking a big game for this racing-inspired model's debut in late 2021. Though you'll have to wait, getting into the driver's seat of the car that has yet to drop is supposed to be the speedier selection between Golf R vs. GTI. In the absence of true measurements to compare, the VW Golf R has an expected output that will put away its fellow VW compact car. The Golf R is expected to live up to its racing-inspired genesis with a powerful setup that produces 315 hp. Reaching 60 mph from a dead stop is expected to happen as quickly as a mere 4.3 seconds, a fast-twitch figure some sports cars will grow green with envy looking at. We can't blame them. Nobody who enjoys racing likes the view from behind in second place.

What engines do the Golf R and Golf GTI have?

Different engines produce the power within the Golf R vs. GTI. The Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0L, inline-four cylinder, 16V, turbocharged/intercooled, TSI engine that provides plenty of pep in your step as you fly around through errands and lighten your load. This speedy setup also runs at an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 highway miles per gallon.1

If you're looking to get into a speedy setup fast, this is your immediate go-to option for slaying your to-do list in record time.

The 2022 VW Golf R is expected to rely on a turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine that reaches up to 155 mph at the peak of its pump. It does not have EPA estimates yet but those should be coming in the latter half of 2021 as launch day nears.

It's a more powerful option if you're willing to wait to get your hands on a turbocharged challenge-taker that knows no bounds.

Pricing and Trim Levels

The 2022 VW Golf R does not have a trim list as it is reappearing after some time under wraps in redevelopment. The last Golf R model to release in 2019 was praised by expert vehicle reviewers for being a car of high quality available to every customer. It only came in one trim with several color options inside and out and we expect a similar format to follow for the 2022 model.

The 2021 VW Golf GTI is available in three trim levels, giving you a trio of terrific picks to try out.

  • 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI S - With a starting price of $28,695 MSRP2, this miniature marvel has several dynamic driving modes, VAQ limited-slip front differential lock, and excellent driver-assistance features.

  • 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE - The SE edition boasts LED headlights that illuminuate the way forward, a panoramic sunroof that opens up to the sky, and leather seating that brings the entire car together in maximum comfort. It can be all yours for the starting price of $32,665 MSRP.2

  • 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn - Rounding out the lineup is the Autobahn trim, starting at $36,945 MSRP.2 DCC® adaptive chassis control creates a car crafted to embrace fast without fear, summer performance tires are made to go, and the Fender® Premium Audio System can boom with the best of them. It's available right now for the starting price of $36,945 MSRP2.

Features & Tech

Driver- assistance features are the biggest jump forward for the reemergence of the VW Golf R, as the technology that's now becoming standard across the board in vehicles was still in its infancy. Recent models like the Golf GTI are good indicators of what's to come in the 2022 release. VW driver-assistance features are an amazing asset for attentive drivers and make your cabin safer in many manners of situations.

Features like lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitor, available adaptive cruise control, light assist and rear traffic alerts are all programmed to help you through the numerous driving predicaments we all run into in the midst of sharing the road. Your eyes and ears will appreciate your enhanced awareness of the road and traffic challenges that are coming and going.

When does the 2022 Golf R come out?

While the 2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI is available right now in three trims, that is not the case for the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R. The VW Golf R is expected to come out of the shadows in the latter half of 2021 after over two years of absence from the Volkswagen annual portfolio. Expect some more details on the performance and fuel efficiency capabilities to arrive as the summer comes to a close.

For the best chance at getting your hands on the Volkswagen Golf R return before anyone else, get in contact with your local VW dealer and let them know you want as advance notice as possible on this sleek, speedy silhouette. When the VW Golf R returns, we're all in for a change in compact cars and their perceived limits. This car is built on finishing first and we believe it has a worthy chance of beating out any comparable vehicle when it comes out later in 2021.

Golf R vs Golf GTI - VW Kennesaw - Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Dimension Differences Between Golf R and GTI

Two terrific compact car options stack up similarly side to side. In fact, if you were walking around the perimeter of these two models, we're not sure you'd notice the subtle 0.4-inch differences in height and width. However, diving into the rest of the car's measurements reveals some stylistic differences between the compact car you can have today and the one just peeking over the horizon.

Estimated figures for the 2022 VW Golf R suggest a cabin that's similarly sized lengthwise and that like the VW Golf GTI, seats five. The upcoming model is expected to have a similar passenger volume but take on increased cargo capacity. That means that in addition to more arm and legroom for all of your fellow travelers, they can bring along more with them as well. So, make your next road trip count with a cabin that can bring stacks of suitcases, several sets of golf clubs, and a barrage of backpacks anywhere you need.

2021 Golf GTI S
# of seats 5
Cargo Capacity 17.4 cu. ft.
Passenger Volume 93.5 cu. ft.
Length 168 in
Width 70.8 in
Height 57.8 in
Curb Weight 3133 lbs.
Shop Model: 2021 VW Golf GTI Lease Deals
2022 Golf R (estimates)
# of seats5
Cargo Capacity 22.8 cu. ft.
Passenger Volume 93.5 cu. ft.
Length 168.9 in
Width 70.4 in
Height 57.4 in
Curb Weight 3400-3450 lbs.
Shop Model: Reserve Your 2022 VW Golf R

VW GTI vs Golf R in Atlanta, GA

Our selection of Volkswagen vehicles is almost more than our lot can handle. We're proud to have a full and flamboyant collection of capable Volkswagen cars that demonstrate their high quality character for drivers daily. These cars were designed for drivers to take on challenges with unconquerable confidence. It's our pleasure to offer options far and wide for all kinds of drivers, whether they're looking to purchase a long-term family car that's going to hold down the budding next generation after school or to lease a gleaming, newly-released show stopper - we've got them covered.

In addition to hosting a myriad of models, we pride ourselves on offering an excellent customer experience as well. Service here goes far beyond maintenance and upkeep on your vehicle as the miles pile up. It's about delivering peace of mind and pertinent solutions to whatever car challenges or questions that have popped up for you. When you come into our one-stop-shop for everything Volkswagen cars, you'll feel the warmth and clarity featured prominently in our hassle-free customer care process.

We're super excited to meet you and help match you up with a car that fits you like a glove. After you try on some models for size through an easy-to-schedule test drive, you'll be well on your way to being the captain of whatever road you're on. If a compact car that's determined to excel at every turn is your type of deal, we know you'll enjoy comparing options on the Golf R vs. GTI.

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123 city/30 highway mpg (2021 Golf GTI 2.0L, 6-speed manual transmission). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.

2Price excludes destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.