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The Volkswagen Golf R is a fast, grippy, advanced hot hatchback. However, it’s not alone in the performance segment, not by a long shot. In addition to the AWD super hatch, there are some great coupe and hatchback options to satisfy your performance wishes. Check out these four Volkswagen Golf R competitors and alternatives, like the new Toyota GR Corolla or the Chevrolet Camaro 2SS. 

  • Honda Civic Type R
  • Toyota GR Corolla
  • BMW M240i
  • Chevrolet Camaro LT1

Is the Honda Civic Type R a viable alternative to the Volkswagen Golf R?

The Honda Civic Type R, like the Camaro 2SS, is a solid alternative to the Golf R.
2023 Honda Civic Type R | Honda

The Honda Civic Type R packs 315 horsepower from its turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder powerplant. On paper, that’s an exact match for the range-topping Golf. However, the Civic Type R leans on its pedigree as a more traditional driver’s car, with front-wheel drive (FWD) and a manual transmission. Instead, the Golf R packs grippy, launch-ready AWD and an available seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The result is a hot hatch that will hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. 

Instead, the more traditional Civic Type R will pack a more traditional FWD setup. While the upgraded Type R is as powerful as the Golf R, it’s unlikely to launch as hard or grip as well as the sharp Volkswagen. Still, it’s a great alternative to the Volkswagen Golf R and starts at a lower price point than the German hatchback. 

Is the Toyota GR Corolla an AWD competitor for the Golf R?

The Toyota GR Corolla will pack grippy AWD similar to the Volkswagen Golf R. However, the GR Corolla packs a turbocharged three-cylinder mill instead of the Golf’s four cylinders. The upcoming 2023 GR Corolla produces 300 horsepower, and with its AWD system, it promises to be a handful. Moreover, even with AWD and adjustable biases for daily driving and drifting, the GR Corolla Core has a starting price tag of around $36,995. 

The Toyota GR Corolla is another AWD hot hatch, making it a great alternative for the Golf R.
Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Edition | Toyota

Of course, the higher trim Circuit and MORIZO Editions will demand higher starting prices. The Circuit trim will offer front and rear limited slip differentials and a suite of comfort features like a heated steering wheel. At that price point, that power, and that kind of grip, the GR Corolla is an excellent alternative to the Volkswagen Golf R.  

Is the M240i fast?

The BMW M240i xDrive is deceptively fast. The M240i can hit 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, making it faster than the Volkswagen Golf R. In fact, the diminutive BMW is even faster than the lighter Toyota GR Supra 3.0 with which it shares a motor. If that’s not enough to put the BMW M240i on your list of Volkswagen Golf R alternatives, the AWD BMW starts at $48,895, or roughly $3,700 more than the Golf. 

However, with performance akin to a purpose-built sports car, the BMW coupe is worth the extra money. 

Is a Chevrolet Camaro 2SS really an alternative to the Volkswagen Golf R?

The Chevrolet Camaro 2SS might seem like an odd alternative to the Volkswagen Golf R, but its merits are plainly apparent. First, TrueCar says the 2SS’ 6.2L V8 produces 455 horsepower and offers a manual transmission. That’s enough to move the muscle car to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, the same as the AWD Volkswagen hatchback. Moreover, the Camaro 2SS starts at $45,995 with features like heated and ventilated seats. 


Volkswagen Golf R vs. New Honda Civic Type R: Hot-R Hot Hatches

The Chevrolet Camaro 2SS might lack the practicality of the AWD Golf R hatchback, but it’s every bit as fun. Would you take any of these versatile Volkswagen Golf R competitors?