I have liked the new GTI ever since it was introduced. I even tried to lease it last year instead of the TSX my wife currently drives. When I heard that the R32 would be coming for the 08 model year, I was looking forward to it. In terms of looks, it’s pretty much like a hatchback Jetta. Pretty decent assortment of standard features such as AWD, 18″ alloys, ipod jack, leather seating, etc… (The seats are not powered though.) The chrome finish on the grill/bumper is certainly more attractive than the honeycomb grill found on the GTI. You don’t get a lot of color choices though; red, blue, white, gray, orange(?) are the only colors available (can’t believe it has no black! This car would look so pimp in black because it make the chrome grill jump out!). The GPS unit costs another $2000, bumping the MSRP to around $35300s. Yes folks, a tiny 6cyl hatchback for 35k, what is VW thinking?!?!?
How does it drive? It is actually not bad. It does feel rather hefty for a small car, but the V6 engine does roar like the Batmobile. DSG is impressive to say the least. I theorize that within the next decade day, manuals will be phased out in most cars as the technology becomes more widely accepted. F1 racecars have been using this technology for quite some time now. It’s about time it started trickling down to “everyday cars”.
I had a lot of fun burning rubber gunning it out of right turns and revving the engine (the exhaust note is very sweet). This car does have good amount of power for its size, coupled with AWD, the R32 should zip around extreme weather conditions without any issues. My biggest complaints? About $5000 to $7000 too much and no black.