Power, performance, and price – Potent hatchbacks taking on the new VW Golf R

The new VW Golf 8 R is going on sale at the end of April at a starting price of R912,800.

Not many hot hatches can compete with VW’s new beast, but there are a few that is up to the challenge.

From under the VW umbrella itself, there’s the Audi S3 Quattro, from BMW, there’s the M135i xDrive, and from Mercedes-AMG, there’s the A35 4Matic, all of which are four-wheel drive and boast comparable performance figures to the Golf.

Outside of the German brands, Honda’s Civic Type RHyundai’s i30 N, and Renault’s last-ever Megane RS300 are possible alternatives to the R, as well as the upcoming Toyota GR Corolla which arguably poses the biggest threat to the sporty VW’s market share.

Golf R specs

The new Golf R comes with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged motor pushing 235kW and 400Nm, in partnership with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with an electronic differential lock and adaptive chassis control.

The hatchback is capable of toppling 250km/h and if it hooks up just right, it sprints to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.

In the cabin, prospective buyers can look forward to a panoramic sunroof, automatic LED lights with high-beam assist, a wireless charger, keyless entry and start, electric tailgate operation, and R-specific Nappa leather seats.

Furthermore, the Discover Pro infotainment system is installed as standard, bringing a 10.25-inch instrument cluster flanked by a 10.25-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice control, and satellite navigation.

In the tables below, we detail where the new VW Golf R ranks against its biggest rivals in South Africa.


Mercedes-AMG A35235kW/400NmAWD
VW Golf 8 R235kW/400NmAWD
Honda Civic Type R228kW/400NmFWD
BMW M135i225kW/450NmAWD
Renault Megane RS300 Trophy221kW/420NmFWD (4-wheel steer)
Toyota GR Corolla221kW/370NmAWD
Audi S3213kW/400NmAWD
Hyundai i30 N206kW/392NmAWD


Model0-100km/hTop speed
Mercedes-AMG A354.7 seconds250km/h
BMW M135i4.8 seconds250km/h
VW Golf 8 R4.8 seconds250km/h
Audi S34.9 seconds250km/h
Toyota GR Corolla5.0 seconds (approx.)230km/h
Hyundai i30 N5.4 seconds250km/h
Renault Megane RS300 Trophy5.7 seconds255km/h
Honda Civic Type R5.8 seconds272km/h


Hyundai i30 NR795,900
Honda Civic Type RR857,500
Audi S3R906,100
VW Golf 8 RR912,800
BMW M135iR930,537
Renault Megane RS300 TrophyR949,999
Mercedes-AMG A35R1,243,353
Toyota GR CorollaTBD

Get South Africa’s latest entrepreneurial or business success stories delivered right to your inbox — Sign up to Entrepreneur Hub SA’s newsletter today 

eBook: 50 South African Entrepreneurs Reveal HOW THEY MADE IT


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *