13. Volkswagen Golf R – $39,375
If you think the Golf GTI is the most powerful Volkswagen’s hot hatch, think again. The Golf R is the top-of-the-line Golf with a powerful four-cylinder turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive and brutal performance for a family hatchback. The R version is the derivate of the mighty R32 Golfs from the early 2000’s, which featured 3.2-liter naturally aspirated V6 engines.
However, the latest versions feature a smaller, more powerful 2.0-liter turbo four that delivers almost 300 HP. As you can expect, the performance is quite brutal for what is basically a family compact. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.5 seconds and it tops 155 mph. Despite being less powerful than the Focus or the BRZ, this Golf is almost as fast while still being stealthy in appearance. This makes the Golf R is perfect for surprising those drivers of expensive sports cars at traffic lights.