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 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 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.
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.
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.