Long term tests

Volkswagen Golf R32

Some hard chase-work, followed by some workshop pampering, and the R32 is ready to show Neil Carey its virtues

It’s been a busy month for the R32, and it all started with a trip to Autohaus Northampton. Having returned from chase-car duties on last issue’s ‘£10K Heroes’ test, ZVB was looking a little sorry for itself, but after a day at Autohaus it was not only showroom-fresh again, but also sporting two functioning shift paddles. So with the engine now well and truly run-in, it was finally time to enjoy it.

It only took a few runs to the red line for it to become obvious what the R32’s main attraction is. Its V6 feels a little short on power compared with the straight-six in my old BMW 130i long-termer, especially at low revs, but it more than makes up for it with a stunning soundtrack. It’s easy to find yourself saving your upshifts to enjoy the show, and on the downshifts DSG joins the party by accompanying every pull of the paddle with a sharp throttle-blip.

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It’s during these full-on blasts that the whole package feels most together. In auto mode around town it can feel a little clunky, sometimes going a gear too low and feeling stiffer than a GTI. However, once you start attacking a twisty road and controlling the gears yourself, the R32 begins to flow, and with both hands firmly on the wheel the speed builds surprisingly quickly. Now I just need to keep an eye on the speedo…

Running Costs

Date acquiredNovember 2006
Total mileage2922
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month2101
MPG this month23.3mpg
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