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Such is the pace of change in the motor industry that a 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.1 seconds can now be combined with an official economy figure in excess of 40mpg in a 300hp petrol-powered hatchback.
The VW Golf R uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with a 4Motion all-wheel drive system, and is available in three or five-door form and with either manual or DSG automatic gearbox options.
The latter takes acceleration below 5.0secs and drops CO2 from 165g/km to 159g/km, but it costs an extra £1415.
The car's performance is phenomenal for a sub-£30,000 hatchback, and on a motorway cruise the trip computer was reading a surprisingly high 37-38mpg.
The R retains 43.4% of its value over three years to return a predicted cost per mile under 70p per mile. The 250hp Ford Focus ST can beat that due to being significantly cheaper and less powerful, but the Golf is about as sensible as silly can get.
Volkswagen Golf R 2.0 TSI 300 3dr
Model price range
BIK 20/40% per month
Boot space min/max
Given the performance, mpg and CO2 are very impressive