"VW threw everything at this flagship sports car to make it the hottest hatch ever. The only pure european GT hatch you can buy in N.A. More refined than any other car of it's kind. I doubt there will be another V6 hatch. Buy this muscle car while you still can. If you don't believe how good this car is, read what other owners say. Cons? fuel economy (sacrificed in favor of aggressive ratios), navigation, spotty quality dealers. Pros? Refinement, features, specs, Haldex all wheel drive, glorious V6, limited edition."
"It is not the fastest car in the world. I'm about even with the new GT Mustangs and I've lost to my share of cars. What makes this car great is the reliability, comfort and performance all in one package. I have over 155 thousand miles and I've never once worried about it starting. On my way to work today I raced and beat a new Acura using the launch control and I do that regularly - so don't get the idea that I have that number of miles because I am nice to the car. It has enough room to fit my wife and I, as well as our three little girls in car seats and still have room for groceries. The transmission on this car is fantastically smooth. The races I do lose I watch other drivers fight to keep their cars in a straight line while I could tie my shoes at full throttle. This is the best car I've ever owned and far more fun to drive than my Corvette. I have no plans on selling it (ever) but if you do find someone willing to part with theirs jump at the chance."
"I never thought I'd like a "automatic" trans but the DSG in th R32 gives the driver a lot of control. Put it in the sport mode and get on the gas and just goes.
It's been a snowy winter and with 4-motion it hasn't been a problem. Can't wait for spring."
"This is far better than a nissan 350z (the car I almost bought instead). I test drove both, and the 350 was faster but no where near the same quality, comfort, or luxury. This car makes you feel like your driving a cool, high performance, high tech, luxury car, because you are! This is a very cool car and very exclusive unlike the 350z. This car gets comments like "cool ride" and "wow, this is nicer than i thought". Plenty of room in the trunk and my 6'3 200lbs dad can fit in the back without sacrificing his legs! I plan on buying the next R32 when it comes out in a few years!"
"Once the recall for the fuel system was fixed which was two visits to the dealership, the car was excellent! Handles great, looks great, fast and comfortable to drive. Also will get much attention from all ages when parked. The problem you will have though is everyone will want to race you, especially the Subaru guys! Enjoy the car!!"
"Previously i drove an Infiniti G35 Coupe, and this car blows it out of the water. Fun to drive, reliable, comfortable, fast, handles incredibly and gets looks everywhere i go. This is just an excellent vehicle and by FAR the best purchase I've made."
"First, I have to admit I am a VW Hatchback fan. I had an '02 GTI. We bought our R32 in September. We absolutely love this car. It has great handling, looks great, and has an interior that rivals the Audi's we've owned. Then there's that sweet exhause growl!!! You are never wanting for power and the DSG is as smooth as silk. We've already taken it for a few long trips. It is a wonderful touring machine. Granted, you have to like hatchbacks to want to spend $35k on this VW, but if you do this car is worth every penny and then some."
"The engine has an addictive sound when you start the car. The car is luxurious, sporty yet very comfortable to drive. However, if you need to hustle, just put your right foot down and you are there. Better than the BMW 330 and a much nicer car than the Japanese competition. I would buy another now just to have 2! Only complaint? the ipod plug in is in the glove compartment...WHY VW??"
"I am honored to say that I have one of the most attractive, more aggressive cars on wet pavement or snow in Alaska, or even the most dependable car I have ever own. I had wondered about the stability and reliability of the R32 for about six months before deciding to buy the car. Honestly, if you are a driver that wants a vehicle that is heavy, quick, road gripping, as well as feeling safe behind the wheel of a sports car, the R32 is definitely a dependable car while driving on snowy road of Alaska. I strongly recommend that VW re-evaluate the vehicle to produce more! Personally, with the technology and the well design behind the R32, a call to the future, this is one little car that will catch anyone’s attention. The R32 is truly a remarkable and well engineered piece of equipment. I find it a shame that more of the R32s are not offered in the United States. When and if the R32 is redesigned, with comparable equipment or more advance equipment, I will most definitely be at the dealership to get the next generation of R32s. – Louisville, Kentucky"
"let me start by saying that I am a fan of most products from the VW Audi group, having owned, 1 polo, 2 audi's, 2 Rabbits/Golfs
I have had 2 MK5 Golfs with the R32 being my second and latest.
This vehicle is great, when you need to get lots in the seats fold down to a surprisingly large cargo carrying area. Yet just 1 or 2 up with the performance this car has, it adjusts to a great sports tourer.
My friends are always surprised the first time they get in the vehicle at how quick it is!
I've been skiing many times and the all wheel drive has been great - no need for a huge 4x4 - I have 4 people ski's and snowsboards in no dramas!
around town the nimbleness is great as is the ability to park! Then when heading out of town the v6 really allows you to cruise with ipod, zune, siruis playing the miles away.
Great car, I'd still get this car over the brand new Mk6 Rabbit GTI - reasons:
1. the engine is great
2. styling still looks sharp against the new model
3. residual values are great - just 5000 cars made as an R32
4. more sporty than the GTI and just a little more different from the crowd!
Go check one out and see what I mean!"
"This car rounds out my experience with owning sports cars of all types by being in the AWD category. I traded a 2006 350Z for this 2008 R32 (got an excellant trade value and asking price used so the value is there)
I've put 7000 miles on it in 60 days, its a joy on long drives but not as engaging on runs as a true manual RWD sports car you can get silly with.
From zero to 60 using launch control a stock R32 edges out the pre-2006 350Z, and outpaces it around a track with short straights... yet during 600 mile trips drives like a small Mercedes sedan.
The R32 has the unique ability of being very firm and steady for a small car at high speeds when you stretch it's legs. 100 feels like 70 in a bigger car.
The brakes are magnificent and the stock winter Dunlops are OK but beware side pinching which the 40 series tires are prone to.
This is a car you want to have 2 sets of tires/wheels (for summer/winter) and leave everything else alone. Otherwise you will be hounded by the check engine light. Not a good platform for modifications but if you want a daily driver that treats you to luxurious and affordable front of the pack cruising and weekend camping or autocross fun, look to pick one of these up used for $25k @ 20k miles!"
"Captivating daily driver, whether in the city or on the highway. The DSG tranny is a engineering marvel--do not use the paddle shifters or Tiptronic console shifter--distracting and less performance per DSG.
The curb weight of almost 3600 pounds is never intrusive to one's driving if the vehicle is handled as a sports car with proper set-up between the accelerator and brakes. Brakes are fantastic in feel and compliance, esp for left-foot braking, using "trail-braking techniques"--only way to drive this vehicle.
Recall on the DSG and the evaporative fuel system--no big issues, as handled by Dealer. DSG factory warranty then extended to 10 years or 100,000 miles from the five year--60000 mile warranty.
Great suspension for road/chassis alignments and tire wear durability; secret in maintaining the correct tire pressure per tires used.
Am recording over 18mpg in tight city driving, but do use the great "Marvel Mystery" oil in every gas fill-up for upper cylinder lubrication and maintenance, plus Amsoil synthetic European and VW spec oil--5w-40.
Live in Northern Ohio, have over 40 inches of snow, but a secondary set of alloy wheels with true snow tires, and the intuitive electronic stability control system of the R32, keeps one on the road, and out of trouble.
Purchased certified-VW dealer used in 2009, driven over 43000 miles, and being 81 years of age, the family will bury me in this vehicle--my last love!"
"Purchased as a pre-owned VW executive use car in 2008. This is my 4th VW and it has proven to be a good purchase. I like owning out of the norm cars, so this fit the bill (only +/- 700 red R32s delivered.
Hope to keep it on the road for a few more years. I also drive high-performance Audis and a couple of Porsches, but as a daily driver, have enjoyed it every day. Wished it was a 4-door (not available in the U.S.) and a manual transmission (not available), but nevertheless, highly recommended."
"Where to start...the exhuast note is one of the best in a stock system you will hear.
Engine is always right on cue with power at any RPM
The DSG is top of the line (this coming from someone who always prefers manual shifting)"
Pros: "Pulls hard, shifts perfectly and handles great."
Cons: "Tight on bumpy roads, 19 MPG is worth it!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The combination of the strong, narrow VR6 motor, magical DSG and solid, stable Haldex AWD means this car pulls hard and sticks like glue the the twisting curves of your neighborhood.
VW has really perfected the DSG and the two modes allow a mellow and smooth run up and down through the gears or a ripping flawless climb up the gears in sport mode. I used to love rowing up and down the gears in a manual but these days I have a cuppa coffee and a phone call to make. DSG makes that easy but when you are ready to have that VR6 sing, drop it into sport mode and it just snarls like an F1 racer! It automatically blips the throttle on downshifts and that is music like a Wagner symphony. Mileage is about 19 city but the fun is so worth it. Great comfortable heated seats. Interior is fully upgraded and impressive but the Navigation is a bit dated and runs off a CD. I see an upgrade in my future to an Advent system for about $1600 and that solves the bluetooth, iPod and phone compatibility issues that bring it out of 2008 technology. The car is exclusive and a real performer. Get one used while you can and driving will be a blast! Plus the hatch and seats make it practical. It's a sleeper but the performance guys will know what the .:R32 badge means-Fast, fun and solid ride."
"I have driven the car approx. 600 miles per year, it has never seen rain, garage kept, covered. Changed the oil 7 times, all other fluids, I.e. brake fluid and, anti freeze, etc. Exterior, United gray metallic, Interior, Anthracite leather, Weather Tech Floorliners, front, back and cargo area. Battery tender on at all times when car is stored."
Pros: "Stealthy, Fast, Fun, Great Handling and Practical"
Cons: "The back seat access is tight in the 2 door"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"With the 3.2 V-6 reviewers suggest it feels nose heavy but this makes it an excellent long range highway cruiser. Car feels larger than it is on the road let is compact and maneuverable in the city. I had some trouble with the DSG and hesitant shifting but it was fixed by the dealer under warranty with no trouble. Beautiful interior, I sometimes wish it had the easy access of four doors (mine's only two doors).
All wheel drive makes it great in the snow and wet. Good all season tires help. Back seat is surprisingly comfortable. Mileage isn't great...19-20 in town and mid 20's on the highway albeit averaging 75 ."
"This car is always a joy to be in, and is awesome in slick conditions. Passengers are always surprised by how refined the interior is, and I am always pleased at how much fun it is to blast down the road. The German build quality is rock solid. For a real-world, adult sport compact, there isn't a better choice."
"I fell in love with this auto the first time I laid eyes on it. The performance aspect is overwhelming the first time you take a drive, and the quality, fit and finish is impeccable and beautiful.
I recommend this rocket for the person who loves performance and quality, with a well known manufacturer of fine cars."
Pros: "Fun to upgrade, drive, very comfortable and awe"
Cons: "decent stock sound system no great"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Is a great car especially in the snow the one time i drove it, in the summer it is an amazing vehicle mine has about 300 horsepower which is 50 more then the stock 250. Very easy to get there with safe bolt ons and performance software upgrade. have never had an issue with it, would recommend new speakers once you get it it makes the driving experience much better but i prefer the exhaust note with a cat-back exhaust you won't want music playing on this car. Mine gets 27 mpg on the highway which is better then what they have estimated. Another great thing is there are only 4500 of these left in the u.s. since they predict at least 500 of them have been destroyed, damaged beyond repair, or shipped other places. Great car will be keeping it for many years."