Find The Best Mods For Your Car!

Car Search

Golf R Ultimate Exterior Mods

We are affiliated with the eBay Partner Network affiliate program and may make a commission when you purchase products through links on this page.

Table of Contents


When it comes to the world of high performance hatchbacks, the Golf R is undoubtedly a household name. This excellent sporty hatchback has the perfect blend of power, agility, and practicality that make it a perfect daily driver for a car enthusiast.

However as every enthusiast knows, there’s always room for improvement. In this article we’ll look at the best exterior mods for your R.

From eye-catching body kits to performance-enhancing aerodynamics, we’ll cover the must-have upgrades that will not only turn heads, but also elevate your driving experience.

Coilovers/Lowering Springs

When it comes to lowering your Golf R’s suspension for improved handling and aesthetics, there are two popular options: coilovers and lowering springs. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, and the choice ultimately depends on your goals and preferences.

Lets start with coilovers.

Coilovers are complete suspension units that replace the factory shocks and springs, providing a fully adjustable suspension system for your Golf R. This means you can fine-tune the ride height, dampening, and spring rates to suit your preferences and driving conditions. Coilovers are typically the go-to choice for serious track enthusiasts or those who want ultimate control over their suspension setup. They also usually allow you to go lower than lowering springs.

Coilovers are typically more expensive than lowering springs, and provide a stiffer ride. This is a good thing if you are focused on the performance aspect, however may be too much for some who use their Golf R as a daily. You have many options from reputable manufacturers like Stanced, KW, AP and Bilstein. 


Now lets take a quick look at lowering springs.

Lowering springs are an excellent option for Golf R owners looking to upgrade their suspension for a more aggressive stance and improved handling without breaking the bank.

The most apparent benefit of lowering springs is the lowered ride height, giving your Golf R a sleeker, more aggressive appearance. This reduction in wheel gap can significantly enhance the overall visual appeal of your vehicle.

Lowering springs also reduce the R’s center of gravity, which can lead to improved handling and cornering capabilities. While not as adjustable as coilovers, lowering springs still provide a noticeable boost in performance for everyday driving and spirited weekend drives

When deciding between coilovers and lowering springs for your Golf R, consider the following factors:

If cost is a significant concern, lowering springs may be the better option. Coilovers can be more expensive, especially if you opt for high-end, performance-focused models.

If you want the ability to fine-tune your suspension for different driving conditions or personal preferences, coilovers are the way to go.

If your primary goal is to improve the appearance of your Golf R with a lower stance, lowering springs may be sufficient. However, if you’re wanting to go really low, coilovers are the better choice.

Keep in mind that coilovers can create a stiffer ride, which may not be ideal for daily driving. Lowering springs can also lead to a less comfortable ride, but the impact is usually less significant than with coilovers.

We actually have a dedicated guide to the best lowering spring options out there for the MK7 Golf R which you can check out here.

Wheel Upgrades & Spacers

Upgrading to a set of bold aftermarket wheels is one of the simplest yet most striking mods you can do to your Golf R. With so many options available and styles, you can find a set of wheels that compliment whatever look you are going for. Perhaps you want a set of dark wheels to blend in with the blacked out body and windows, or maybe you want a “big dish” set of wheels that stand out in their own right. 

When selecting aftermarket wheels, try stick to sizes within an inch of your R’s original wheel size to maintain optimal performance and compatibility. The OEM Golf R wheel sizes range between 18 inches and 20 inches. 

You don’t have to go aftermarket to upgrade your wheels. You can also opt for OEM options, for example upgrading from 18 inch wheels to 20 inch wheels from a newer R. Upgrading to larger wheels can give your Golf R a more aggressive appearance however can be a harsher ride – especially if you live in a place where the roads aren’t the best.

Aside from upgrading your wheels, you can also look at adding spacers to your R! By widening the wheel track, spacers create a more aggressive and sporty stance. 

Depending on your wheels and suspension setup, you may only be looking for a slight width increase or you may be looking for them to be exactly inline with your wheel arch. Common spacer setups on the standard suspension by many owners is 12mm on the front and 15mm on the rear.

Front Splitter

A front splitter is a piece of bodywork that extends from the front bumper of a car, giving the impression of a lower stance from the front. The Golf R already has an aggressive look, but adding a front splitter will make it even more aggressive and give it an even sportier appearance.

Aside from aesthetics, a front splitter also has a functional purpose. By improving aerodynamics, the front splitter increases downforce on the front wheels, resulting in better traction and stability at high speeds. Furthermore, the splitter can reduce air turbulence under the car, leading to improved fuel efficiency and reduced drag. While the actual noticeable performance benefits will be minimal in the majority of driving conditions, they can be noticeable when combined with other aero mods on the track.

You have the option of purchasing a bespoke splitter for your R from a manufacturer like Maxton who produce body kit parts. These are made specifically for your Golf R model so should fit with minimal tinkering. If you opt for a universal styled splitter, then you will need to find your own way to mount it and you may need to trim or sand it down to align it with your bumper.  


Sideskirts provide a smooth and seamless transition between the front and rear wheel arches, resulting in a sleeker and more visually appealing profile. This enhancement accentuates the sporty design of your Golf R, giving it a more aggressive and dynamic look.

Sideskirts can also give the illusion of  a lowered stance. While lowering a car’s suspension can achieve this look, sideskirts offer a more accessible and cost-effective alternative. By adding sideskirts to your Golf R, you create the illusion of a lower ride height without making any significant mechanical changes, all while maintaining performance and comfort.

Pairing sideskirts with front and rear splitters, a rear diffuser and spoiler can further enhance your Golf R’s overall look, setting it apart from the crowd.

Aside from the visual benefits, sideskirts can slightly improve the aero on your R by streamlining air flowing in from the sides of your car. The lower the sideskirts are to the ground, the greater the aero performance benefits.

Rear Spoiler

A rear spoiler makes your R’s rear end sportier and more aggressive. It’s a simple modification that can make a big difference in terms of style, setting your car apart from other Golf R’s on the road. Additionally, aftermarket rear spoilers are available in a variety of materials, finishes, and designs, allowing you to personalize your Golf R to match your unique taste.

For a subtle spoiler, you can go for an extension styled spoiler that isn’t too prominent but adds a bit more thickness to the OEM Spoiler. If you are wanting something that pops out and really makes a statement, then you can go for a more out-there option like this. 

Aside from looking mean and sporty, an aftermarket spoiler creaetes additional downforce at the rear, which can result in better high-speed stability and handling. This increased stability allows for more confident cornering and improved overall performance on the road.

Rear Diffuser

An aftermarket rear diffuser can instantly add a sportier, more aggressive appearance to the rear of your Golf R. This sleek and aerodynamic component gives the impression of a racing-inspired vehicle, accentuating the performance capabilities of your car. The diffuser’s design lines and contours enhance the bumper area, which is complimented by the bold 4 exhaust tips.

A rear diffuser can really compliment other aftermarket body parts on the car such as a rear spoiler/sideskirts etc.

As with other aftermarket body components, rear diffusers also serve a functional purpose when it comes to air flow. An aftermarket rear diffuser can reduce the drag and increase downforce, helping improve traction and stability at higher speeds. 

There are some different bespoke diffusers for the R available online from Maxton and ECS.

Finishing Thoughts

The Golf R’s impressive performance and practicality make it a truly versatile hot hatch, but as we’ve explored today, the possibilities don’t end there. With the right exterior modifications, you can transform it into a personalized statement of style and performance.

So, gear up, embrace your creativity, and let your Golf R be a reflection of your unique vision.

Happy modding!

Golf R Best Interior Mods