Used 2008 Volkswagen R32
Pros & Cons
- Muscular V6, fantastic automated manual transmission, comfortable and quiet cabin, excellent steering feel, everything except a nav system is standard.
- Hefty curb weight dulls handling on twisty roads, choosing the optional nav system deletes the CD changer, pricey for a compact hatchback.
Edmunds' Expert Review
At more than $30 large, the 2008 Volkswagen R32 is pricey for a compact hatchback. But with its standard 250-horse V6, all-wheel drive and abundance of luxury features, it's worth consideration from those who want something different that's fast, comfortable and rare.
What would you get if an early '80s Audi Quattro coupe and the current VW GTI found themselves on a deserted island with an endless loop of Barry White's Greatest Hits playing? Well, glossing over that whole icky age-difference part, you'd likely end up with a spawn that resembles the 2008 Volkswagen R32.
That first Audi Quattro coupe packed a powerful turbocharged five-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, offering enthusiasts who had to deal with snow and slush a performance car they could drive all year round. Carrying that spirit on today, the Volkswagen R32 is similar to today's GTI but offers two things that hot hatch doesn't -- a ripping V6 engine and all-wheel drive.
The latest model is a follow-up on the limited-production, Golf-based R32 that VW sold in the United States a few years ago. Of course, with the R32 being a compact sporty car with a muscular engine and all-wheel traction, everybody will want to compare it to the forthcoming redesigned Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. That's not exactly apples to apples, however, as the R32 is more a fast, comfortable GT than a rip-roaring, apex-attacking super compact.
Yes, the Evo will leave the R32 behind on a tight twisty road and will outgun it in a stoplight sprint. But the Vee-Dub is still plenty quick enough (zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds, says Volkswagen), handles better than most drivers will ever need and would make a much better daily driver and road trip companion thanks to its smoother, quieter ride. The R32 is also more mature, as this performance car does without the gaping air intakes and wing-and-spoiler bonanza. It also has a nicer interior that gives off a neatly tailored European vibe typical of the brand.
Priced at more than $30,000, the 2008 Volkswagen R32 occupies a niche in the hot-hatch segment. It's more expensive than natural competitors and lacks the performance one can get from the Evo or Ford Mustang GT. But this super-sporty Vee-Dub's appeal lies outside the norm. With only 5,000 bound for American shores, the R32 is rare and holds obvious appeal to VW fans, making it a worthy über-GTI. Heck, maybe even the dearly departed Barry White would want to own one.
Volkswagen R32 models
The 2008 Volkswagen R32 comes as a two-door hatchback in a single, fully loaded trim level. Highlights of the standard features list include a unique aluminum grille, xenon headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, center-mounted dual exhaust, power sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front sport seats with power lumbar support, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium sound system with six-CD changer and satellite radio.
There is but a pair of options: all-season tires in place of the standard performance rubber and a navigation system. Opting for the latter adds an iPod adapter to the sound system but takes away the CD changer.
Performance & mpg
A 3.2-liter V6 (hence the "32" in the car's name) with 250 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque powers the R32. It's paired with a dual-clutch sequential automanual gearbox ("DSG") that sends the power to all four wheels via Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. The V6 provides a broad power spread and a hearty exhaust note, while the DSG snaps off shifts as soon as you flick the wheel-mounted paddles. Left to shift on its own, it works just fine, but selecting the "Sport" setting results in it downshifting (often with a "clunk") when it's really not needed.
Performance estimates put the 0-60-mph sprint at an estimated 6.5 seconds, which is respectable considering the R32's rather portly (3,500-pound) mass. Passing maneuvers and high-speed cruising are effortless and relatively hushed, a result of the car's autobahn pedigree. Fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
Antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side airbags and side-curtain airbags are all standard. Though no crash tests have been done on the R32, those done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on the Volkswagen Rabbit (on which the R32 is based) yielded strong scores. In that agency's frontal offset and side impact testing, the Rabbit scored "Good" (the highest possible) for both tests.
When pressed on a serpentine road, the 2008 Volkswagen R32 is capable, but not as nimble as more sharply focused sport compact cars. With the grip of all-wheel drive and communicative steering that's not calibrated to go-kart spec quickness, the R32 is fairly forgiving when pushed hard, tending toward understeer that diminishes as speed is scrubbed off.
The R32 feels more comfortable when the hairpins turn into sweeping bends. It rolls a little, settles in midcorner and sticks without needing any steering adjustment. Road feel is excellent for an electrically assisted steering system, and the thick rim of the steering wheel provides a satisfying connection between the driver's hands and the hardware.
Thanks to its supple suspension, the R32 feels as at home while cruising on straight roads as it does blasting through canyons. That effortless freeway running character, along with its roomy, quiet cabin and supportive seats make this performance car a great choice for road trippers.
The R32's sport seats, borrowed from the GTI, grip well without forcing you to climb into them. Scrutinize the well-appointed cabin and it's obvious that VW is related to Audi, given the tight fit and finish, and high materials quality. Burnished metallic accents spice up the cockpit and a flat-bottom steering wheel furthers the sporty feel. Controls and displays are easy to see and use. A roomy rear seat offers decent room for a pair of adults and when flipped down, opens up a massive 43 cubic feet of cargo space.
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Trending topics in reviews
- driving experience
- handling & steering
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- emission system
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- ride quality
- climate control
- fuel efficiency
- road noise
- maintenance & parts
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Most helpful consumer reviews
Follow up from Sep 2008 when I bought it w/ 12k miles. I now have 42k on this car and it remains rock solid. Over time I've gotten very used to getting the most out of it without killing gas mileage. It's best on long twisty road and takes 20 mph S-turns at 60-70 mph w/o even thinking about it and is so much fun to drive. I get 23 combined and 26 highway MPG but still think it needs a taller 6th gear. It's hard to find a better AWD car. AWD and DSG maintenance is spendy and only had a strut go bad. With all that said I wonder what it would do with an additional 100 hp.
I wrote about my car shortly after receiving it in 2007. Here we are nearly two years later, and I still love it. No mechanical problems at all. Gas mileage is still mediocre (25mpg at very best, all highway driving, more like 18 in the city . . .) but understandable when there's so much power on tap. Seats continue to be completely supportive even after two years. Just wanted to chime in and say that the enthusiastic glow that so many of us feel right after buying a car has continued with this one. My favorite car I have ever owned, and that includes a long string of Audis, BMWs and various Japanese makes. No regrets whatever.
My wife drives a 2007 bmw 328ix and she loves her car but takes the R32 whenever she gets the chance, for a little more excitement. The complete package is almost perfectly balanced between comfort, performance, safety and can I Dare to say fuel economy. The one thing that stand out among any of the other pocket rockets on the market is the styling. No other car can really compare to the dynamic styling of this car inside and out. It is outside the box and beyond smart. I give it an 11 handling is sweet will keep up with anything on the hairpin road and the some.
I too love this vehicle. It is sporty, functional, and fairly comfortable. However, as some of you have mentioned, I too have had this gas tank problem. My R32 was idling when it just started dumping multiple gallons of gas everywhere. The tank wasn't full and it came from the underside of the car. The VW people assure me that this problem was unique to my car. However, all the parts are back ordered. The have had my car for almost 2 weeks and said it could be 2-3 weeks more. Sounds like VW needs to admit this design flaw.
Features & Specs
|2dr Hatchback AWD|
3.2L 6cyl 6AM
|MPG||18 city / 23 hwy|
|6-speed automated manual|
|250 hp @ 6300 rpm|
Is the Volkswagen R32 a good car?
Is the Volkswagen R32 reliable?
Is the 2008 Volkswagen R32 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2008 Volkswagen R32?
The least-expensive 2008 Volkswagen R32 is the 2008 Volkswagen R32 2dr Hatchback AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $32,990.
Other versions include:
- 2dr Hatchback AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6AM) which starts at $32,990
What are the different models of Volkswagen R32?
More about the 2008 Volkswagen R32
Used 2008 Volkswagen R32 Overview
The Used 2008 Volkswagen R32 is offered in the following submodels: R32 Hatchback. Available styles include 2dr Hatchback AWD (3.2L 6cyl 6AM).
What do people think of the 2008 Volkswagen R32?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2008 Volkswagen R32 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2008 R32 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2008 R32.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2008 Volkswagen R32 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2008 R32 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2008 Volkswagen R32?
Which 2008 Volkswagen R32s are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Volkswagen R32 for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2008 R32s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,995 and mileage as low as 92595 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2008 Volkswagen R32.
Can't find a new 2008 Volkswagen R32s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Volkswagen R32 for sale - 4 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $17,384.
Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $8,054.
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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Volkswagen R32?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Volkswagen lease specials