After being gone for two model years, VW’s Golf R is back and better than ever. Golf R’s come fully loaded with standard all-wheel-drive, performance brakes, and all sorts of cool-looking, but understated styling touches. You can choose black, white, or eye-popping lapiz blue.

The same two-liter turbocharged four is here but horsepower jumps by 27 up to 315 for satisfying performance. This six-speed manual is an excellent transmission and it’s the one I would choose in the Golf-R. You can also get a dual-clutch automatic.

You can configure the virtual dash in several ways including adding a turbo boost gauge. Navigation, Apple Car Play, and Android Auto are all standard. Touch controls for audio and climate are awkward to use and sometimes slow to respond.

Adults fit just fine in row two although, the legroom can be snug. The practical side of the Golf-R is the plentiful cargo space. With excellent power, balanced handling, and good brakes, the Golf-R is a blast to drive. A true, all-season sports car.

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So for the 2022 Volkswagen Golf-R, I say thumbs up to more power, tasteful styling, and practicality. Thumbs down to awkward touch controls instead of knobs. The Golf-R averaged about 23 miles per gallon and the as-reviewed sticker is just around $44,000.