VW Golf R v Audi S3 - review & 0-60mph, 1/4-mile and brake comparison!


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It's time for a VW Golf R vs Audi S3 group test!
As we all know, both the Golf R & S3 are part of VW Group, so as a result, they’re both very similar under the skin - and that's no more evident when you check out the engine stats! They’re both packing 2-litre 4 cylinder engines, although while the Audi can produce 310hp & 400Nm, the Golf R edges it with the ability to put down 320hp & 420Nm!
So on the face of it, you’d expect them to be pretty similar, but will that be the case once Mat gets his hands on them? Will the Golf's slight increase in power be noticeable once he's on track? And even if it is, would he rather find himself sat in the S3's cabin?
You'll have to stay tuned as he walks you through all the key details you need to know, from thoughts on the exterior design through to the boot capacity! Oh, and of course, make sure you stick around for the launch & brake tests!
00:00 Intro
00:31 Price
01:11 Exterior Design
02:02 Interior
03:58 Back Seats
04:58 Boot
05:51 Drivetrain & Brakes
06:54 Engines
07:45 Audi S3 - 0-60mph & Brake Test
08:24 Audi S3 - Driving
11:18 Golf R - Driving
13:54 Golf R - 0-60mph & Brake Test
15:16 Verdict
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  • Mat Watson Cars
    Mat Watson Cars10 dager siden

    Hi Mat here: if I was to give you either of these cars for free which would you take?

  • Jóhann Ingi

    Jóhann Ingi

    10 dager siden

    The Golf R for sure

  • Todd Stevens

    Todd Stevens

    10 dager siden

    I'll stick with my Mk7.5 GTI, DSG+DCC for $35K CDN thank you very much.

  • Manpreet Virk

    Manpreet Virk

    10 dager siden


  • Ivan lee kai wen

    Ivan lee kai wen

    10 dager siden

    I will take both lol

  • dug huff

    dug huff

    10 dager siden

    Golf. That Audi grille???

  • Hon Guo
    Hon Guo10 timer siden

    Can we have a link to your pants?

  • Dana Tenžera
    Dana Tenžera19 timer siden

    Golf is max spec-ed top of the line,in that case the Audi has RS3 as top of the line.....

  • Eddie Michael
    Eddie MichaelDag siden

    Matt,the Golf is better looking then that ugly ass Audi you presented.

  • Marc Mawson
    Marc MawsonDag siden

    I'd be very surprised if that Golf R was making only 320ps. I had a 2016 S3 and two of my colleagues at the time had mk7 and 7.5 golf R's, when we dyno'd them the R's both made way over 325PS and the S3 made 310PS, all of them were bone stock.

  • Marc Mawson

    Marc Mawson

    18 timer siden

    @Steve Cooper That sounds about right, the mk7 Golf R made about that after we did the airbox mods to it, replace the turbo elbow but without tuning it, and that was supposed to be 300PS, when we did the same mods to my S3 it made 333PS, again no tune. We used the same dyno for both, but it was months in between each test and ambient was radically different, so it wasnt a back to back test. Those EA888 engines are amazing things. I am going would be very interested to see what a tuned mk8 R was like vs. an A45s, I know thats the old tuned vs. stock argument, but if you can get the same performance for £10k or so less, now that is interesting.

  • Steve Cooper

    Steve Cooper

    19 timer siden

    Archie Hamilton Racing dyno’d it to 339PS

  • dougie miller
    dougie millerDag siden

    The new Golf actually looks super dull. The MK7 R looks way better. Deary me, what is happening at VW!? Similar to the way bmw have super dulled the new 1 series. Ceed, i30, Focus, Corolla, 1 series, Golf, Leon etc etc. Car design has entered the matrix.

  • Billal mabuza
    Billal mabuzaDag siden

    Mat bringing the Diesel Scandal 😢 😿 VW: Are u here to test cars or what

  • DB Bluskies
    DB Bluskies2 dager siden

    Audi is posher and more dynamic in appearance...VW at same price...prob the S3, then.

  • Scott Glassner
    Scott Glassner2 dager siden

    WHat is slap movie/scene at 2:57?

  • kodfish1985 🇮🇪
    kodfish1985 🇮🇪2 dager siden

    Alloy wheels are getting worse

  • Kgabo Manamela
    Kgabo Manamela2 dager siden

    Both of these cars would get stolen within a blink of an eye here in South Africa, and you can even lose your life for one of them

  • dudu mukanda
    dudu mukanda2 dager siden

    I will go for the Audi S3

  • trapped soul
    trapped soul2 dager siden

    no one would choose a/s series over golf R

  • Herling David Romero Adrianza
    Herling David Romero Adrianza3 dager siden

    I thought the redesign was so ugly at first but that Golf R design is growing on me

    LOLHICRONO3 dager siden

    im in the market for a new car and moving everything into the infotainment + the capacitive steering wheel "buttons" was a dealbreaker for me when it came to the VW.

  • Steve Hughes
    Steve Hughes3 dager siden

    Would take the R in a hearbeat

  • Sibjm
    Sibjm3 dager siden

    Find it really irritating when manufacturers only let you have certain options as part of a wider ‘pack’. Real ripoff by Audi.

  • Sibjm
    Sibjm3 dager siden

    It’s difficult to understand how VW could have screwed up the interior so much. Seats look shite. GTI ones are better.

  • Mo Ghachame
    Mo Ghachame3 dager siden

    Mat did you just say MGA 45? Is this a new brand of Mercedes performance?

  • MassReport
    MassReport3 dager siden

    Damn, I may have to upgrade my 2017 GTI for the R...

  • Muhammad Khalid
    Muhammad Khalid4 dager siden

    plz matt make a video about those super sports suvs that beat sports cars and can also drift like drift cars plz matt.....

  • kamran khan
    kamran khan4 dager siden

    40k car and bonnet still manual 😂

  • John Kelly
    John Kelly4 dager siden

    In Ireland Golf R list price is €62.4K while the S3 is €55.5K. WTF......

  • marenigga
    marenigga4 dager siden

    Hey, Mat! You should have gotten a kick in the ass, for saying... You know! :D I choose Audi. :)

  • David Milenković
    David Milenković4 dager siden

    How on earth did you evade the kick in aRSe for mentioning the Nirburgring? 😂

  • butchmeister general
    butchmeister general4 dager siden

    Wrong wheels you showed on R upgrade they are the GTi 19s.

  • Alan Johnston
    Alan Johnston4 dager siden

    Vw/audi just not for me.

  • Jesse Mcnamara
    Jesse Mcnamara4 dager siden

    They didn’t kick him for saying Nurburgring

  • Abdelkader Baazi
    Abdelkader Baazi4 dager siden

    Hi mat do you review new 308 Peugeot

  • Maor Roffe
    Maor Roffe4 dager siden

    VAG botched this one. Why make the less premium and cheaper car the better car? I want the Audi dealership experience, interior refinement and better looks but with the same power, brakes, rear diff, and adjustable suspension as the Golf R.

  • The Khaki Observer
    The Khaki Observer5 dager siden

    After a couple repairs on the Audi you'll need those plusher seats for your sore bum. I'd still take her though.

  • Lifesloser
    Lifesloser5 dager siden

    Wow the golf seriously has a stick to prop the bonnet up. Wtf all older gen golfs were gas strut maybe even the mark 4. Not a deal breaker but strange. Im sure the 5s onwards were.

  • Algerian_Cars
    Algerian_Cars5 dager siden

    VW GOLF MK8 R 🇩🇪🔥👿💪

  • ButterMilkJesus
    ButterMilkJesus5 dager siden

    The previous generations looked sooo much better. Volkswagen, Audi... Why?!

  • R R
    R R5 dager siden

    The predecessors of these 2 are so much nicer in every way

  • Imperial Sandora
    Imperial Sandora5 dager siden

    I feel like you wanted the Audi to be better so u didn’t care as much with the golf

  • Daniel Santos
    Daniel Santos5 dager siden

    No bonnet lift? My mk4 golf tdi is older than probably 40% of the people that watched this video and has a bonnet lift. What is vw doing?!

  • Matt Williams
    Matt Williams5 dager siden


  • Bombadore Garage
    Bombadore Garage5 dager siden

    Essentially the same running gear slightly differentiated by tuning and couple little bits and different skins imo Wouldnt mind either tbh

  • Car Wow

    Car Wow

    5 dager siden

    T.h.a.n.k.s f.o.r w.a.t.c.h.i.n.g F.o.r m.o.r.e g.u.i.d.a.n.c.e +1......7.....0....4....4....4...4.....0....9 ...8.....8

  • Naeem Gain
    Naeem Gain5 dager siden

    Why not compare it with the Audi RS3 instead of a S3?

  • word for word
    word for word5 dager siden


  • word for word
    word for word5 dager siden


  • Grant Muir
    Grant Muir6 dager siden

    You do know there are other car makers than German ones? ;-)

  • Jurek
    Jurek6 dager siden

    but, there is an rs3 also xD

  • Costacurta
    Costacurta6 dager siden

    Disgusting critisism.

  • Paul Baker
    Paul Baker6 dager siden

    I’d better make my mk 7.5 last a while.

  • Daniel Villafane
    Daniel Villafane6 dager siden

    The launch on that VW GOLF R is DREAMY!!!

  • angel tshabalala
    angel tshabalala6 dager siden

    4 hailo

  • MrArchie800
    MrArchie8006 dager siden

    The A3 shape is starting to look a bit dated IMO whereas the Golf just looks like a Golf (i.e. it doesn't really offend anyone). Plus my lawnmower fits into a golf without having to dismantle but I need to take the handles off to fit in an A3. Plus that extra 0.5 seconds to 60 means I can get to the Co-op and back with my beer a full 1 second quicker - and that is important! I do hate the shitty cheap plastic that they are starting to introduce though!!!

  • Audi RS3
    Audi RS36 dager siden

    S3 is better everyday ans more beautiful

  • Neil Smith
    Neil Smith6 dager siden

    Do you self a favour go watch Rory review on Autotrader channel and just watch how you should do a quality review. Yours are embarrassing and just plain pathetic

  • Dominic Ayanda
    Dominic Ayanda6 dager siden

    So basically the Golf 8 is boring.. It doesn't have the soul of Golf 7 which we South African love it for. Sad day😢😔

  • Boikanyo Mahasha
    Boikanyo Mahasha6 dager siden

    The Golf 8 has grown on me 😍🙈

  • Sikander Uddin
    Sikander Uddin6 dager siden

    Mat sneak out a smack for say Nurburgring.. Haha

  • Ahmed H
    Ahmed H6 dager siden

    Craxy how trash the golf r interior is. Never selling my mk7.

  • MattK187
    MattK1876 dager siden

    The Golf R, for sure. Like you said, it may not be as aesthetically pleasing BUT the drive is what its all about. You clearly enjoyed the R alot more. I myself would really like to upgrade from my MK5 Golf GTDI to any R model, rather than an Audi S series.

  • A.Cypriot
    A.Cypriot6 dager siden

    VW should do a hyper hatch model with a turbo vr6 engine before the petrol era dies. Could you imagine it would smoke the RS3 and the AMG A45.

  • Michael Hall
    Michael Hall6 dager siden

    Mat, you have to stop moaning about that stitching!

  • Kieran Brown
    Kieran Brown6 dager siden

    I would be interested to see how they perform on the same size wheels. Golf is lighter, more powerful, and has smaller wheels hence the large acceleration difference.

  • numbereightyseven
    numbereightyseven6 dager siden

    Why has Porsche never made a hot hatch? Maybe a sort-of 911-based thing. I guess a rear-engine might be awkward though. So ... how about a smaller-than-a-Macan thing?

  • Thorsten Fuchs
    Thorsten Fuchs6 dager siden

    Touch pads are cheeper...😐

  • master yon
    master yon6 dager siden

    Never thought a golf r was better then an s3

  • Symon Muya
    Symon Muya6 dager siden

    Hi Mat, kindly do a review (drag race ) on the Audi Q3 vrs Tiguan both 2ltr

  • Helen Baylis

    Helen Baylis

    Dag siden

    Don't follow the crowd. A hatch/car/bicycle is mutch better/cooler

  • Jason Pears
    Jason Pears6 dager siden

    Bad run on the S3.. Best CarWow Runs: Golf R: 3.95 Audi S3: 4.37

  • Djcurtnes With you
    Djcurtnes With you6 dager siden

    Golf R so quick

  • Karlo Andraka
    Karlo Andraka6 dager siden

    For me vw is better looking ... i would choose the s3 only in sedan version

  • vomErsten
    vomErsten6 dager siden

    The S3 will probably get the power bump and trick bits found on the Golf R when it gets face-lifted in three years. That, or they will only be on the RS3 because VAG wants to better differentiate the S3 from the Golf R this time around.

  • Tim Winchester
    Tim Winchester6 dager siden

    I'm gonna get that golf r.. that thing is sick!!

  • Shakti Shakti
    Shakti Shakti6 dager siden

    Matt NOT Freeeking German Cars. I would rather poke my eyes out with fork than watch this video...PS It's not you Matt,

  • Nagata
    Nagata6 dager siden

    New Golf is hideous

  • moizzkhan
    moizzkhan6 dager siden

    The Golf is growing on me

  • Thabo Lekganyane
    Thabo Lekganyane6 dager siden

    The Audi for sure

  • Carson Ho
    Carson Ho6 dager siden

    Stock wheels are ugly

  • 04oceane1
    04oceane17 dager siden

    Where are the 1/4 mile times like it says in the title???????

  • Rahim Kisoor
    Rahim Kisoor7 dager siden

    Thumbnail on this video says a lot now.....

  • Kiyam Ahmadi
    Kiyam Ahmadi7 dager siden

    Just the way you fuck up the golf lol you made it look shit

  • user
    user7 dager siden

    That Golf is pulling Lamborghini Diablo Times 0-60!!!!

  • Adam
    Adam7 dager siden

    What was the 1/4 mile time?

  • Bot Friend
    Bot Friend7 dager siden

    I want golf r but manual no not dsg a manual

    BASExKING7 dager siden

    2:56 lol wtf😂😂

  • Stephen Kenyon
    Stephen Kenyon7 dager siden

    He’s a right drama queen constantly over reacting

  • LeonGamer 2.0
    LeonGamer 2.07 dager siden

    As we Germans says: Wer bremst verliert

  • steady bloke
    steady bloke7 dager siden

    both hands on the wheel, both braincells paying attention, shut gob and drive

  • steady bloke
    steady bloke7 dager siden


  • Marshall C.T.
    Marshall C.T.7 dager siden

    I'd trade some hp for better build quality. These look like toys.

  • takenxtx
    takenxtx7 dager siden

    These cars are HUGE!

  • 19ksxoulz
    19ksxoulz7 dager siden

    No such word as”Posher”

  • Dani Nothing
    Dani Nothing7 dager siden

    Lol No adaptive Suspension... Thats what my cheap Seat from 2015 comes with as Default.🥴😀👍🍌👻

  • XRB Performance
    XRB Performance7 dager siden

    Journalists complain because the shifter paddles are too small or too big, seems they can never be neutral

  • Neo Hideo
    Neo Hideo7 dager siden

    compare RS3, not S3

  • Bonnie Drasco
    Bonnie Drasco7 dager siden

    As a person who does lighting for a living I absolutely hate overkill on led lighting and I just find all that ambient lighting malarkey inside cars very cheesy, they all look like something out of a badly and cheaply lit Indian restaurant 🍛

  • Bonnie Drasco
    Bonnie Drasco7 dager siden

    Well for the money these things cost I’d buy the Audi just on looks alone

  • rundc_
    rundc_7 dager siden

    Anyone actually used Carwow to buy a new car?

  • Steve Cooper

    Steve Cooper

    6 dager siden

    Nope 🤣

  • Jacques Malan
    Jacques Malan7 dager siden

    I personally like the looks of the golf more. S3 is not ugly by any means though.

  • matiss hansens
    matiss hansens7 dager siden

    i love how Mat makes a german accent. it's funny.

  • james james
    james james7 dager siden

    Are you the boy from Billy Elliot grown up...i wondered what happened to you

    ENNINGS HOVE7 dager siden

    You surely just dont like the Golf....lets face fact

  • Steve Cooper

    Steve Cooper

    6 dager siden

    He said he preferred the golf in the end 😳 god knows why, yes it’s quicker but everything else is 2nd rate

  • dat way
    dat way7 dager siden

    mechanically the same car just down to what badge and look you prefer

  • Peter Harrison

    Peter Harrison

    6 dager siden

    Did you watch the video !?! Not this time !! The golf has more power and a rear differential which the Audi doesn't have.

  • D Mweli
    D Mweli7 dager siden

    Mat is energetic like Golf R, see him doing some exercise lol. Get a bike

  • Trent Rama
    Trent Rama7 dager siden

    When is the a45s amg vs golf R coming out