The base Golf is officially a better horsepower deal than the Golf R, or so some would have you believe.

The conclusion is the result of the Horsepower per Dollar Index , a 633 car spreadsheet that was released last month by Autoblog. The list contains the HP rating and the price of every car on the list, then divides the two to determine the cost per horsepower.

The list is flawed for a number of reasons, not least of which because its relentless focus on horsepower means that the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan American Value comes third overall ($75.60 per horse). The data is also pretty crude, but the list was compiled in the spirit of fun, so it probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

All the same, it does provide some fascinating insight.

VW’s first entry in the list is the 2015 Golf (170 HP for $17,995), which comes in 65 th place overall at $105.85 per HP. The Golf R ($36,595) on the other hand comes in 166 th , with each of its 292 horses costing the princely sum of $125.33.


The GTI ($24,785) splits the difference. Its 210 HP each cost $118.08. Interestingly, the Beetle and the Jetta 1.8 both beat the Golf R, their stables costing $118.79 and $111.74 per horse, respectively. That despite both vehicles and the base Golf producing 170HP.

The list proves that most cars come with a healthy amount of horsepower these days, since price is one of the biggest factors for a high ranking on this list. It also suggests that refinement, chassis, and options are where you spend your money when you buy a car.

Case in point, the Chevrolet Camaro V6 tops the list with its 323 HP at $23,705. Chevy charges only $73.39 for the power of a horse.

Despite a flawed premise, it’s still fun to see how to get as many horsepower as possible for the fewest dollars, even if that means driving around in a minivan.