The Volkswagen Golf R and GTI are blessings unto this land we call America, given that folks over here tend to shy away from any car model with “hot” or “hatch” in its nickname. But of the people who do go for one of these two hot hatches in the U.S., a slight majority opt to go without a third pedal.
The numbers are split about half and half between the Golf R and GTI’s two transmission options—a six-speed manual or an optional, $1,100 seven-speed dual-clutch, which are both good choices depending on what a person wants—according to an Autoblog story on Volkswagen’s manual take rates, which a Volkswagen spokesperson confirmed to Jalopnik were U.S. numbers only. (Take-rate stories have become a trend, if you hadn’t noticed.)
Together, Autoblog writes that the two have the highest manual sales by model in Volkswagen’s lineup, but it’s not quite enough for the majority:
In 2018, 44% of those hot hatchbacks left dealer lots with a manual transmission. Some enthusiasts might be sad to see that more are sold with an automatic, but this seems like a strong rate when you consider that the R and GTI are available with such an excellent dual-clutch transmission. Also, when only about a third of Toyota 86s are sold with a manual, this looks better and better.
Autoblog also wrote that 28 percent of Golf Sportwagens and Alltracks sell with sticks, but that across the trims, only 10 percent of Golfs are sold as manuals compared to 7 percent of Jettas. In the overall lineup, Volkswagen told Autoblog it sells about 5 percent of its vehicles with a third pedal in the U.S. last year compared to Subaru’s 7 percent.
But when it comes to the U.S. specs of the Golf R and GTI, it’s hard to go wrong no matter which transmission you pick—and the good news is that both seem to be in almost equal demand.