From £30,0959

Capping the production volume of a performance car is a sure-fire way of justifying almost any asking price, and so it goes with the Clubsport S.

The question of comparative value is rendered void by the fact that the Clubsport S sold out almost immediately.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

We would like to see the next generation Clubsport S to have a bit more poke and to make the rear-axle to be a bit more playful

But it won’t have hurt that both the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS cost more than £30k, as indeed does the much-venerated Golf R.

In fact, considering the temptation to charge exorbitant amounts for special-edition hot hatchbacks (the previous-generation Honda Civic Type R Mugen was priced at £38,599 a full seven years ago), this Golf’s exclusivity actually appears quite affordable – and you are also investing in the confidence that your money is in a relatively safe place here.

Wolfsburg’s decision not to hollow out the car’s interior quite to the level of a Mégane Trophy-R makes the Clubsport S an unexpectedly usable car to boot.

By retaining the Golf’s Discover Navigation infotainment system and making climate control a no-cost option (which puts 11kg back into the car’s kerb weight but which you should immediately tick anyway), the S seems homely enough around its heated race seats and semi-slick Michelin tyres.

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The loss of a spare wheel, adaptive cruise control and a number of safety features are all easy-to-bear subtractions from the Clubsport’s longer kit list.

So, too, is the inevitably higher CO2 emissions figure (its 172g/km being marginally north of the Golf R’s quotation) – especially when combined economy is claimed at 40.4mpg. We recorded 35.5mpg at a cruise against a 29.1mpg overall average – both gently superior to the Golf R’s scores.

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