Should you get the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI or the 2022 Golf R?

By Product Expert | Posted in Comparisons, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Volkswagen Golf R on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 at 3:07 am
2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Gray driving on the road

What’s the difference between the 2022 VW Golf GTI and the 2022 VW Golf R?  

When you think about performance hatchbacks or hot hatches, as they are commonly called, the first two names that come to mind are the Volkswagen Golf GTI and the Volkswagen Golf R. While the VW Golf GTI has been there for over four decades, the Golf R was introduced in 2002 as VW’s most powerful Golf. Fast forward to 2022, both these hot hatches are in their eighth generation, aka Mk8 Golf GTI and Mk8 Golf R.  

If you are thinking of buying one of them but are confused about which one to go for, this comparison from Karen Radley Volkswagen in Woodbridge, VA, might come in handy. So, keep reading.  

2022 VW Golf GTI vs. 2022 Golf R – Design Comparison  

Front end of a gray 2022 VW Golf GTI parked on a track in the desert
Golf GTI
Front quarter view of a blue 2022 VW Golf R driving on a road
Golf R

The 2022 VW Golf GTI and Golf R have identical exterior and interior designs and similar modern technology. However, a few differences make the Golf R look a bit sportier and more aggressive than the GTI, such as its sharp side skirts and more aggressive diffuser featuring a quad-tip exhaust. The Golf GTI is a muscular upgrade over the standard Golf model and is wider and bigger. It has a beefy rear bumper featuring a dual-tipped exhaust, side skirts, and unique multi-beam LED fog lights which give it a distinct look, especially at night. And while the Golf R wears the R badge on the grille and tailgate, the GTI sports the GTI logo.   

The Golf GTI also sports a red grille and red-painted brake calipers. It is available in White Pearl, Moonstone Gray, Kings Red Metallic, Atlantic Blue Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic, Deep Black Pearl, and a special Autobahn trim-exclusive Pomelo Yellow Metallic exterior paint job. On the other hand, the Golf R comes in signature Lapiz Blue Metallic, as well as Pure White and Deep Black Pearl exterior paint options.  

Read More: How Much will the 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI Cost?

2022 VW Golf GTI vs. 2022 Golf R – Interior Technology  

The cockpit of the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R.
Golf R Interior
Image showing the interior cockpit inside the 2022 VW Golf GTI
Golf GTI Interior

Both the 2022 Golf R and Golf GTI feature sporty yet driver-centric cabins with some exclusive equipment. The Golf R features an exciting “Drift mode” that does exactly what it says – makes the hot hatch drift better.

You get sport seats on both the cars, laid out in stealthy black with contrasting red stitching on the GTI and blue stitching on the Golf R. The Golf R also has a unique “R” button on the steering wheel that lets you change drive modes, while the Golf GTI gets iconic plaid seat inserts that you do not get on the Golf R.   

2022 VW Golf GTI vs. 2022 Golf R – Performance  

Side view of a blue 2022 VW Golf R drifting on a track in the desert

Perhaps, the most significant difference between the 2022 VW Golf GTI and Golf R is how they perform and what is under the hood. The 2022 Golf GTI carries a 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine which can be paired with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG automatic transmission and puts out 241 horsepower, 13 more than the predecessor 2020 MK7 GTI, and 273 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Golf GTI to date. 

However, the Golf R has a more powerful 2.0L turbocharged TSI engine that cranks out 315 horsepower, 27 more than the previous generation Golf R and 295 lb-ft of torque with the DSG transmission, or 280 lb-ft with the manual.  

To put things into perspective, the GTI does 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, while the Golf R sprints to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Nevertheless, the 2022 VW Golf GTI and the 2022 Golf are super performers on the road and will surely turn heads with their unique yet instantly recognizable designs. And no matter which model you choose, you are bound to get a thrilling and exciting drive.  

Find the 2022 VW Golf GTI and 2022 Golf R near Washington D.C. at Karen Radley Volkswagen  

If you are looking for either the 2022 Golf GTI or the 2022 Golf R in the Washington D.C. area, check out the online inventory at Karen Radley Volkswagen. You can also call us or visit our Woodbridge, VA dealership to learn more or take a test drive of your favorite hot hatch.