Volkswagen Golf R32 – What Is It About Them? – Boost And Camber

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Dubs, VW, Volkswagen, whatever you call them, they have produced some pretty awesome cars over the years, from the VW Up GTi to the Touareg R50. There is one that stands out from the rest and get everyone talking and that is the mk5 Volkswagen Golf R32.

But what is it about the R32 that people love? Is it the power? Is it the heritage? Is it the engine? Or is it just in total a mix of everything? We will try to answer these questions throughout this post and get to the bottom of why it’s such a popular car.

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Why Are They Called “R32”

The Mk5 Golf R32 was one of Volkswagens R range that has been around for a while, producing more than just the Golf. They also had an R Passat, Touareg And T-Roc (which received a whatcar 5/5 rating).

But the R32 was one of those Golfs that was a bit special, because it had a different engine. The reason the R32 was called a 32 was because of the displacement on the engine. It’s a 3.2 v6. Makes sense doesn’t it, just like the Passat R36 has a (you guessed it) 3.6 v6. Clever right?

The R32 was a noisy beast, with a great V6 rumble, even without a straight pipe the car is a bit of a loud one, but it does give off a beautiful noise as it roars past you.

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What BHP Does The R32 Have?

This sexy little number comes with a standard BHP of just short of 250 Bhp and even though it is fast ish, pulling you from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds, it just doesn’t feel fast. I mean if you come from driving a 1.0 Lupo, then yes it’s going to feel fast, but the pull from a turbo engine feels faster.

Even though it feels a little flat, it makes up for it on the corners as it grips incredibly, being a 4WD car. It also makes up for it with its addictive soundtrack as you boot it through the corners. It’s a truly fun car to drive and gives you a love for driving again.

The only down sides to the Golf R32 are that you do find yourself at fuel stations quite regular, which is worth it if you ask me. The cost of insurance is quite high too as it’s in group 36 and the tax for the year varies between £325 and £570 per year. But if you’re happy to pay for the fun, go for it!

What Makes Them Desirable?

What truly makes the Golf R32 a spectacular car to drive and own is the engine. It’s really down to be noise of the V6 why this Golf is so popular and it’s something that VW are missing a trick with in the newer models.

If the engine doesn’t tickle you, maybe it’s the Volkswagen heritage or the beautiful colours it’s available in? Or what about the fact you can buy one of these in either 3 or 5 door, manual or automatic with a range of specifications available.

Volkswagen really hit the nail on the head with the R32 and the Golf hasn’t seemed the same since the Mk5 in our opinion. Although that doesn’t mean that the mk8 Golf R won’t be an impressive machine.

Do They Really Live Upto The Badge?

Something that Volkswagen do well is produce well-built cars. Throughout the range you know you’re going to get a good car no matter what you buy as they have been known to be incredibly reliable.

So when VW produce a new car, especially the performance models, they have a lot to live up to, not to mention their strong competition with the likes of Ford. The R32 was brought out in the same era as the Focus ST and between them the competition created some sexy results.

The Golf R32 more than lives up to the badge and deserves a spot in the VW car hall of fame. It’s styling, the dual exhausts, the 3.2 V6, the Seats, everything about them is cool and they stand out from the crowd. I don’t think they could create a VW to live up to the R32.

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Should I Own One?

Considering the Golf R32 is around about 15 years old a used example won’t set you back too much and as VW are known for their reliability and the 3.2 V6 is a strong engine, you’ll be more than happy with owning one of these bad boys.

Although their costly on the running of them, they can set you back quite a bit in fuel, insurance, tax and repair bills IF the inevitable happens, just make sure to check them over fully before purchasing one.

But if you are thinking of buying one, they are a car everyone should drive at least once in their life, even just for the noise or pure enjoyment of the handling of the car. They are brilliant, fun and an icon in the dub world.


Overall the Golf R32 is a brilliant example of German engineering and is one of those Hot Hatches people love to talk about. A great car, great to look at and great to listen to.

If you liked this post or want to share your experiences of owning a VW Golf R32 or think any of the other Golfs deserve a mention, drop a comment below or find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to share your thoughts.

Peace out


Founder of Boost And Camber

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