2016 Volkswagen Golf R vs 2016 Audi S3

When it comes to performance vehicles, you have a number of options, and in some cases they can all look equally appealing. When comparing the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R vs 2016 Audi S3, you’re looking at identical powertrains, with each having the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while also offering standard all-wheel drive. With such a similar configuration, it’s understandable that many are left debating. Audi has the badge that many shoppers are looking for, as the name is synonymous with quality. Volkswagen is known for plush interiors, but the automaker offers more economical choices. With this in mind, does Audi really deliver enough to make up for the nearly $7,000 increase in price over the Golf R?

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2016 Volkswagen Golf R vs 2016 Audi S3
$35,650 MSRP $42,500
22 city/31 hwy MPG 23 city/31 hwy
292 Horsepower 2.0T TSI Engine 292 Horsepower 2.0T TFSI
22.8 cu. ft. Cargo Capacity 10 cu. ft.

Why you’ll love the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R

The main draw of both the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R and the Audi S3 is undoubtedly the powertrain. This being the case, it only makes sense that the Golf R has an advantage since its starting price is much lower. They both come with two trims, and this year the Golf R comes standard with a manual transmission. Many enthusiasts feel this option is the only way to go, and it’s oddly absent for the Audi S3. Those who prefer the dual-clutch can still upgrade to have one in the Golf R, and you won’t come anywhere close to the Audi pricing.

When it comes to interior quality, you might find the Audi S3 has a better setup, but you won’t exactly be strapped for comfort. Standard features include dual-zone climate control, keyless access with push-button start, ambient door trim, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats, three-mode electronic stability control and App-Connect features. It may be true the Audi has a certain sense of luxury, but the Golf R offers many of the same premium features at a much lower cost. Plus, the S3 doesn’t come in a hatchback this year.

Think the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R might be a solid choice for you? Stop by New Century Volkswagen to take it for a test drive and see for yourself.

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