Used 2008 Volkswagen R32 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.
Over the years I have owned or purchased a number of performance vehicles, a short summary: 1997 BMW M3, 2001 BMW M Coupe, 2003 Honda S2000, 2006 Porsche Boxster S. I do have to say the R32 doesn't quite hit the handling and performance of some of these cars, but it does something none of them could do (with the exception of the 97 M3) and that is provide performance and practicality. It certainly beats the M3 in bad weather because of AWD, but in pure head banging acceleration, you won't get it with the R32. What you will get is manners, knowing that the car in under your control, not the other way around, which happens when people buy too much car for their capability. The R32 is great!
I am the #1 fan of VW/Audi vehicles and have owned both brands for years. They both make world class vehicles. VW has hit a home run with the R32. I just took possession of the car and the driving experience is incredible. It has all the safety option you need: ABS, AWD, 6 airbags, ESP, seat belt pretensioners, and the list goes on and on. The build and quality in unsurpassed. The AWD and the VR rated tires make this a great handling car. The interior is plush and well thought out. Although I would have like to see 300 hp, the 250 hp V6 engine is sufficient, unless you are racing the car. The car is rock solid throughout. i opted for the car without navigation.
After taking three long test drives comparing the new EVO, STI, and R32, I decided to purchase the VW. While both the EVO and STI will out perform the R32, I felt the VW was the best overall blend of performance and comfort.
Day after I bought the car it started hesitating and the car stall on me in traffic. Took the car to the dealer the next day and they said they couldn't find the problem. After taking the car several times to the dealer they finally found the problem. It took them 13 days to fix it while I was given a rental car. They replaced the "EVAPCANIST".
I have had my R32 for 4 days now. I had previously owned a 1995 Jetta VR6. I knew what to expect with the power and performance. However I had no idea how smooth and precise the DSG was until my First Road Trip - from Detroit to Atlanta (750 miles). I learned that "S" means See Ya later! I was comfortable and enjoy the drive. Unbelievable handling and acceleration! This vehicle is low key and stays under the "Radar" with police. I look forward to adding a Cool Air Intake in the coming weeks to help with gas mileage and possibly more.
I have been wanting this car ever since it hit our shores at the end of 07, however, I didn't want to pay sticker (or more) simply b/c it was a limited edition vehicle. Ended up paying $29K for my new non nav R32. I love the styling, DSG & all wheel drive grip of the Haldex 4motion system. This car really offers the best of the "boy racer" fun, but yet the practicality of a 3 dr hatchback without all the hood scoops and large winged spoilers. The fuel economy is the only real negative; and it's not the 18 mpg in the city that bothers me, its the short cruising range of 225 to 270 mls; the answer would have been a bigger tank. Otherwise no complaints; it's a great car that I would recommend.
Buy this car! The build quality is in Audi territory. The interior is great (steering wheel feels fantastic in hand). The car has grip for days, the body might roll a bit but the AWD goes exactly where you want it. Not to mention one of the best shades of blue ever. And yes it is FAST! The mid range passing power is always right there. I drove both the STI and EVO, they are both faster, but that's the ONLY place they beat the R32. Both the STI and EVO have interior build quality that suggests the occupants were only an after thought.
After a year and a half this vehicle has had THREE major recalls. One required dropping the entire fuel tank (read nightmares involved with this on VW forums). I will not go into my adventure with this except to say VW service is questionable. Now the DSG transmission (mine is starting get "clunky") just got the latest recall. Be careful when buying a used one. Ergonomics are strange. AUX input in glove box, Bluetooth controls on steering wheel, however, Bluetooth is not an option (dealer will not tell you this unfortunately), cruise control is a switch on turn indicator (should have put it where the worthless phone button is on the steering wheel), paddle shifters are small.
I purchased a 2008 R32 back in January. It was a great little car, had good performance thanks to the AWD, and sounded magnificent with the dual exhaust. Coming from an '06 Z4 3.0i, it was a totally different experience. Not as luxurious and not has sporty handling, but it felt just as fast. Ultimately, I missed the convertible and didn't think the "boy-racer" styling fit my personality, so I traded it in for a BMW 135i convertible.
I paid too much for a Over Steroid GTI. Not a bad vehicle but not what I expected for the price. I only have 901 miles on it and it sits in the garage. When I do take it out I pray that someone will steal it or total it out. I can't even give away as a cheap trade in. Basically, I did not do my homework.
So I finally jumped overboard and got the car ive always wanted. It put me in the hole but I was able to get it. Perma smile when driving is not uncommon. Much undesired attention from kids. Plenty of HP/TQ as expected. I had an 02 VR and fell in love with the exhaust note, the R32 has not let me down.
There are after market sway bars on her and she handles amazing. 0 body roll. Enough power to accelerate off the apex. I love it
Bought this R32 used with 12k miles. It is everything that I thought it would be. Solid build, handling, acceleration. DSG is surprisingly quick and responsive. 23 MPG mixed so far but am surprised at the amount of revs in top gear. This engine could easily handle a taller gear and would probably get better gas mileage. Unlike others, I think this vehicle is exactly what it was made to be and should be. "FUN" The only thing I'm disappointed in is the IPOD adapter. $75 Harmon Kardon add on unit does a far better job.
I was set on buying a GTI until i found a dealer that was selling their last 2 R32s for $4K below the list price (including the VW rebate) instead of $4K over like my local VW dealer. I ended up paying $29.3K (without Nav.) which is only about $3-4K more that an optioned up GTI. So far the car has lived up to its billing. The power is more than adequate for in town driving, the handling is great and the exhaust note is pure magic. The gas mileage is even acceptable as long as you keep your foot out of it. It was the Reader's Reviews on Edmunds that convinced me to got for it and i have not been disappointed.
This car wasn't even a consideration for me until a friend told me about it. I fell in love with the car on the test drive. It's comfortable on long drives, and just a hoot zipping around the city. It's hard to drive the car "easy", so I'm not sure of the MPG yet.
I bought my blue R32 (with nav) in April and drive 85 miles a day to work. This car is a great commuting car; fun to drive, comfortable ride but a ton of torque at any speed. I have had an Audi S4 and S6 and neither is as fun as this car. The only two things that I have added to the car is a clear bra and a Parrot blue tooth system that integrates directly to to the phone button on the steering wheel. It works wonderfully with my iphone 3G.
The R32 is quick and fun to drive, but I expected more improvements over my 2004 R32. I think the 04 had a better exaust and certainly got better mileage. The seats seem cheap compared to the 04 which had stitching on the R. It just seems VW did less than was expected after having an 04. Maybe the GTI has gotten far better and the R32 needed to excell even more. I also had an 20T GTI with DSG. Compared to other cars the R32 is above the crowd.
I tested both GTI then the R32 on the same raod and same driving style. If it was not the price tag, it will be a no brianer R32 is the one. I picked the R32 anyway. This car is super fun to drive. After getting used to the car and start pushing it, I was shocked that how much a $33000 car can do! Especially on wet road, this car car pretty much beat any moving object on the road! If you can totally master this car, you can out run most of the higher power cars on the market even with the only 250bhp. I often play with my co-worker's BMW 335i, as long as there are some turns, he will has a hard time to catch up. The sweetest feature... Lanch Control!!
Very cool and at the same time conservative in nature just by its looks, however, press the gas pedal and it bcomes my pocket rocket. Great integration of controls and ease of use while driving.
Was researching for a sports sedan/coupe with AWD, stability control, full air bags & side curtains, and being reviewed as quite respectable in the performance, safety, and handling categories-- safety being first. I found a certified low mileage  R32 in Naples, FL via Autotrader and negotiated a price over the phone-- $23900 + tax & title. Have since added 8000 miles, and they were all driven with a smile on my face. The R32 is a great daily "sports" driver, esp. in city traffic due to the excellent DSG tranny which is left in auto 100% of the time, per the tests that one can't shift as fast as this tranny in manual mode/paddle shifter or console. 21.5 MPG overall--26+ MPG hwy.
This car is everything and more than I expected. Great fun to drive, very comfortable, excellent build quality. AWD is awesome and the sound of the engine is intoxicating. Fuel mileage is so-so but improving on every tank. Has risen steadily to about 24 mpg on last tank, mostly interstate driving at 65+ mph. DSG is very nice, smooth almost seamless shifts.
I was going back and forth between the R32 and 2008 STI since I wanted a performance hatchback. After much angst, I decided to get the R32 - came down to I wanted a moonroof. While the car is fun to drive, it doesn't have nearly the same zip as my 2006 WRX which I still own, and find driving it more fun. The R32 is a great car to drive if you want to have fun and don't want to deal with shifting gears in traffic. Since I'm only leasing the car for 2 years, I will probably unload it and get the new STI - 305 hp!!! There is no comparison.
It took a long time coming, but I finally found a car that was fun to drive with style, luxury and enough speed to keep my heart racing. Audi, BMW, Mercedes have nothing on this car. Saved 15k over BMW and got way better quality car.
If slot cars could be full scale this might be it. Steering is right on, just point where you want it to go. Suspension is firm but does not beat you up. Transmission is a blast with the engine being eager all the time. Relaxed when you want it to be, fun when you need it to be. Roomier inside than you'd think.
In the price range of new c300, 328i,G35 and is350, this car is truly for the VW enthusiast who doesn't mind paying a lot. You get a great sounding engine (thank you VW engneeer!), transmission, semi-sleeper styling, more than enough power for non-racers. But this is basically a golf, which first came to EU in 2003. Especially the interior is feeling a bit old already (shame on VWoA for being so slow). This has been my second day with the car, and I already started to hear interior pieces rattle on rough roads. Stereo sounds ok until you crank up the base - then it sound like some economy speakers.
Just picked up my Mk V R32 today! This is my second as I had an Mk IV since new in 04. 20k miles later I'm ready for my new car. A lot more refinement and still that great VR6 motor. Worth the extra money over the 2.0T motor for the sound alone. Road trip to PDX tomorrow (with the radar detector).
First off, I am a 43 year old fun car junkie with a family. The Corvette has to wait till the kids leave. This is one cool car in the meantime. Looks different, lots of fun to drive. Not as fast as an EVO or STI, but so much more upscale and solid, still plenty fast enough though. My first AWD car, I have had both FWD and RWD, don't like FWD, like RWD, and now I also really like AWD. I have always owned a standard manual transmission so the DSG was an experiment, very very cool, I may never go back. Extremely linear power delivery, sounds cool while doing it to. Only have a few tanks on it so far, gas mileage is about 19 in mixed driving and no abuse since it's still not broken in.
Coming from an 06 GTI, I am not sure if I should have moved to an R32. It has everything the enthusiasts want - incredible road grip, throaty exhaust, V6 power, and AWD. But, the zip (even with lag) of the GTI's 2.0T was great for me. The premium price for the exclusivity of owning one of 5,000 is a bitter pill to swallow, but the car does everything the manufacturer promises and more. Because of the power and AWD, the car literally sucks gas. I feel like I am driving an SUV when I have a compact car. Mileage has been about 19-20 in mixed driving. My GTI pulled at least 27 mpg.
The new R32 may not be as rugged as the previous-gen R32, but it definitely feels a bit more refined with a stiffer chassis, precise handling, more upscale interior material, more comfort features, etc.; all while still retaining its crown as the ultimate hot hatch! The VR6 has a very nice grunt from all around the rev band and is a perfect match with the DSG's lighting fast, crisp gear changes. You can definitely feel the VR6 open up with the more miles you put it through. It feels MUCH more aggressive now (1200 + miles) than it did when I picked her up with 12 miles. If I can describe the R32 in a few short words: it's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
This replaced a 3.2 Audi TT quattro. Same basic running gear, but it has all been so much more refined. DSG no longer grabs as if you'd popped the clutch when you tip in too quickly. Power is seemingly endless and always on tap. DSG continues to be the miracle transmission; no regrets and no need for manual even though I have driven shift for years. The dividing line between Audi and VW is fluff, things like, tipping-down mirrors, homelink and such, luxury features. This car is more elemental and more to my liking because of it. Just completed a 2K roadtrip and have no complaints!
Currently, I have no CDs in the CD changer, no iPod connected and Sirius radio has yet to be activated - the exhaust note and engine resonance are (simply put) addicting! The motor has a lot of grunt. It has a good amount of low end torque and, once the horsepower catches up, it just keeps pulling and pulling! The AWD Haldex system is great. It doesn't struggle one bit - just tight, neutral handling. VR6 + DSG mate extremely well. Fast AND smooth; how do they do it?? The interior design and ergonomics are top notch. There's a very thin line between VW and Audi nowadays! What can I say about the exterior? It's gorgeous. Very upscale/mature, but you can tell it wants to play.
Just three days in and I am absolutely sure that this is best purchase in 27 yrs! We have had an 03 Jetta, and currently have an 06 Passat. I had bought a GTI in Feb but couldn't resist the all-wheel drive. But that is nothing compared to what I felt and heard out of that tailpipe! Deep, soothing sounds that send chills up your spine! Sport and luxury all at once? Great job VW. Just give us a manual next time please!
This car is amazing! Even the DSG has convinced me completely. Of course it is not the same and you need to go through a learning curve, but once cleared, it is amazing! The grip is outstanding, the steering is precise, comfortable, transmits enough info. It feels faster than the official numbers from VW. Love engine sound! I specially enjoy the "stealthiness" that you get with this car, perfect for a business meeting. In addition I do not get people trying to race me every light, but when it happens they really get surprised by the car performance. Cool car.
Amazing car. I take my 4-yo daughter to school every day and I was skeptical about the two doors, but I find it actually more comfortable stepping in from the driver's door right in front of her than doing the side fumbling through the rear door in my (now traded in) Jetta.
I owned the original GTI pocket rocket in the 80s. It was a revolution in small cars, and created ripples throughout the automotive universe. Today, I own a 2008 r32. It feels like it was forged from a solid chunk of billet, (unlike the beer can feel of my former Subaru WRX). Glove soft leather interior, all the latest safety technology, plenty of honest all wheel drive "non boosted" performance, and the practicality and roominess of a hatch. Is it a $30k plus auto? Maybe not for you - especially if you live in the 0-60; quarter mile universe. But for an old GTI hot hatch man like myself, I cant think of anything better. It's the natural evolution of what I owned over 20 years ago.
Just got the R32 and can't wait to drive it every morning. In the past I have owned a 2002 WRX and a 2004 STI. The WRX was a fun zippy car to drive and the STI was a very serious brute that has incredible performance, but my passengers hated it always complaining about how uncomfortable it was. To me the R32 is the perfect blend of the two. This car is a pleasure. I enjoy every moment that I am in it. It is much more comfortable then the older Subarus and still has the performance edge that I require. The DSG transmission is as good as the hype and really makes this a practical and fun to drive car. For me this is the perfect everyday driver
Absolutely love my new R32 but a few things to know during test drives. Note that the door speakers do rattle with moderate to high bass music. Also, there is a electric buzzing noise produced by the fuel pump coming from passenger side rear (listen for it at idle). If you can get over those two, and the 19 mpg fuel economy...this is a fun car. The note on the exhaust sounds similar to the BMW 330 at idle and M3 with full throttle. I got mine for $31,995 (with no Nav) but I'm sure you could do much better.
This car drives out great; balanced, solid, quiet and well behaved when you desire or sporty and aggressive when you need it. The DSG is a great transmission and after logging 2200 miles I don't miss my manual trans one bit. This is the best sounding car I have ever owned. In fact, I was having my Subaru Spec B serviced when I heard an mkv R32 run through a few down shifts as it entered the dealer; I purchased #989 10 days later. Car has more interior space than most hatches. We have taken two weekend trips with our son including luggage with no problems. Overall, I am very pleased with this car to date. This car really fits my life as a middle aged professional.
My respect for VW's new R32 grows with every drive. The sounds that emanate from the exhaust when pushed turns pedestrian heads. Yet the supreme comfort of the seats and adjustable wheel makes the perfect driving position available to anyone. The dual zone climate control quietly keeps the car comfortable and the systems auxiliary heater gives me warm air within a minute even at single digit temps. 4Motion works effortlessly in snow while the DSG automated manual impresses with its quick, smooth shifts. Handling is much sharper than the GTI when turning at speed as the engine tourque is split between all four wheels. This car definitely has the soul of a long distance autobahn cruiser.
I have had my 2008 R32 since December 07. In February of 08 the car stalled on me at a red light, and the check engine light came on. I had to put the car in PARK to start it again. Several times after, the car hesitated on acceleration. I told my dealer about this problem and made an appointment. The car stalled on them 3 times on testing. It ended up being the fuel canister (it was soaked), and was replaced. I was given a rental car. I am now experiencing the same problem, and will be taking the car back to the dealer this week (4/18/08), for what I suspect is the same problem. Has anyone else had this problem w/ their 2008 R32? Could this be a design flaw?
Purchased used and can't even think of getting rid of it
Approx. three weeks after receiving vehicle it started to hesitate periodically. After documenting fuel- ups and problem occurrences I brought it to the dealership. Was told I probably topped it off. I probably did. Not an issue with my four previous GTI's. Dealership replaced a faulty charcoal canister unit and purge valve. Was given a rental. They were excellent. Filled it up today. (Repaired on 4/28/08) Engine malfunction light never went on. Will see what happens this weekend.
Great car, lots of power and the all wheel drive is very tight. Much better than my Porsche. It's worth the extra cash and has a great resale value.
Overall this car is great. Performance isn’t blistering, but a nice bump up from the gti. And the AWD system although not amazing, does the job for 95 percent of drivers. Interior is spacious and well equipped. I wish there had been a manual transmission, but most LOVE the dsg. I just miss that three pedal feel.
still pushing along a mk5 .:R32 currently at 242k original miles. 3.2 engine is well built, maintain it myself. like having an Audi TTquattro in the Golf. If you floor it with a nice exhaust mod you get the wonderful VR6 music, but the gas drops. with minor tuning I ran 14.2sec 1/4mi. which is on par with the 2004 R32 that was a bit lighter with a standard stick. Resale value is still good for this age cause only 5000 came to the U.S., mk4's are still expensive despite the wear & age. to me this has less problems then the gli/gti with 2liter turbo. that direct injection nonsense is a nightmare that should just stay on diesels. but they always built the VR6 right, & this was THE last chance to get it in a modern Golf.