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8 Best 2017 All-Wheel-Drive Hatchbacks

6. Volkswagen Golf R

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf R has a 5-star NHTSA safety rating, useful design, sport tuned suspension, and high performance turbocharger buttering the gas pedal. These are only some reasons why the Golf R is one of the best AWD hatchbacks. The standard AWD 4-door Golf R has VW’s classic rugged and heavier based drive that can handle all weather conditions. Starting at $39,375 the Golf R is powered by a 4-cylinder 2.0L turbocharged engine with 292 HP, capable of taking you from 0-60 in less than 5 seconds.

The Ford Focus RS starts around $36,120 with a 4-cylinder 2.3L engine with 350 HP. The MINI Paceman, which drives most similar to the Golf R, starts around $28,600 and comes equipped with a 4-cylinder 1.6L turbocharged engine and 181HP. The price difference is supported by the advanced features the Golf R offers:

  • Keyless access with push to start
  • Bucket-style sport seats
  • 19” alloy wheels
  • Heated seats
  • Rearview camera
  • Touchscreen display
  • Blind spot monitors and lane assist
  • Navigation
  • Fender premium sound
  • Dual exhaust system
  • Adjustable cooling glove box

This is only a taste of the standard features that tie a bow around the Golf R and make it one of the best all around AWD hatchbacks for your money. Of course, nothing is perfect. Downsides to the Golf R are that it comes standard with a manual transmission and it is in the ballpark of $1,100 dollars to order an automatic. The 4MOTION AWD system has the ability to send torque to the rear axle when needed. Standard features like 4MOTION, blind spot monitors, and lane assist are what separate the Golf R from the MINI Paceman, Ford Focus RS, and most other similar AWD hatchbacks.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]