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The Ford Mustang GT is a grand tourer-esque muscle car with speed and styling to boast. However, there is a king on hot hatchback hill that will dethrone Ford’s time-honored pony car with swiftness. The Volkswagen Golf R is an all-wheel drive (AWD) hot hatch with fiendishly fast acceleration. In fact, it’s a hatchback faster than a V8 Ford Mustang and a bunch of other performance cars, too. 

Is the Golf R fast?

The Volkswagen Golf R isn’t just quick; it’s properly fast. The 315-horsepower Golf R will hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. That makes the Volkswagen hot hatch faster than a late model Ford Mustang GT, the 485-horsepower Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack, and even AWD German sports sedans like the Audi S4. Moreover, the Golf R is much faster than other hot hatchbacks like the 2021 Honda Civic Type R. In comparison, the 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition can reach sixty in 4.8 seconds. 

The Volkswagen Golf R is a hot hatchback faster than a Mustang GT and its V8.
Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen

Of course, the upcoming 2023 Honda Civic Type R will produce 315 horsepower, too. That means the gulf between the two hot hatchbacks will be closer than ever. However, the Golf R uses a DSG gearbox and AWD to launch hard and attack the track. Unless the new Type R follows suit, it’s unlikely it will be as swift. 

Is the Golf R AWD?

Unlike the Volkswagen Golf GTI and its historical namesake, the Golf R packs AWD. The R’s 4Motion AWD system isn’t just for surefooted handling in inclement weather but also blistering launches and sharp driving experiences. In addition to its AWD system, the Golf R earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for crashworthiness and safety. 

Unfortunately, though, the Golf R’s heavy AWD system lends itself to less-than-impressive fuel economy. In Car and Driver’s testing, the R managed a combined average of 23 mpg. However, the Golf R isn’t much worse than the 2021 Honda Civic Type R and its EPA estimated 25 mpg combined. 

How much does the Volkswagen Golf R hot hatchback cost?

In addition to the lackluster fuel efficiency figures, the Golf R is pretty pricey for a hot hatchback. The 2023 Volkswagen Golf R starts at around $45,385, nearly $6,000 more than a 2022 Ford Mustang GT and over $8,000 more than the upcoming 2023 Toyota GR Corolla hatch. That’s a steep ask for a hatchback. 

The Volkswagen Golf R hot hatchback is faster than a V8 Mustang.
Volkswagen Golf R | Volkswagen

Try a Volkswagen Golf R to Skip Sensible For Safety and Speed

Should you consider the hot hatchback over a Ford Mustang GT?

The 2023 Volkswagen Golf R is quite a bit more expensive than the Ford Mustang GT, Toyota GR Corolla, and other performance-focused cars. However, the Golf R is also faster than its competitors and boasts a top safety rating and AWD. If you’re looking for a top-performing five-door car with practical cargo capacity and organ-rearranging acceleration, the R is difficult to beat. 

Scroll down to the following article to read more about hot hatchbacks and muscle cars like the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Mustang!