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Autodealer Dream Buy: Volkswagen Golf R32


The Volkswagen Golf R32 is not only a rare car to find, it’s also an iconic car.

It has a 184kW 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine under the hood and features the brand’s all-wheel-drive system. If you’re looking for a special Volkswagen then the R32 is something you should consider. However, there are some things to look out for when buying one.

The key points:

  • The R32 comes with a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG); make sure that when you drive the car there are no shudders when changing between Reverse, Neutral, Drive and Sport. Make sure it’s had the DSG and Haldex serviced along with all the regular servicing. If it hasn't, well, you're potentially asking for trouble. The DSG should be super smooth with no bangs, clicks, whines or hesitation. Listen for any whining coming from the rear as that could indicate an issue with the rear diff.

  • Make sure there is no squeaking when you start the engine as that could be a starter motor problem or worse, the Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF) is on its way out. Also, listen for any metallic rattling when switching off the engine and also any noise that disappears when idling as you shift from Park to Neutral to Drive, as that could also be a DMF issue.

  • When it's idling, lift the bonnet and listen to the side of the engine behind the oil cap. If there's a noise that sounds like beans rattling in a can then that is more than likely worn timing chain guides.

  • Have a listen for any exhaust blowing from the front of the car under throttle as the flex pipes might be split. All the exhaust noise should come from the rear.

  • Have a good check of the brakes, especially rears, as they're known to stick/bind. Make sure the car has been serviced by professionals and that all records are up-to-date.

  • Spend time with the car; check for any oil leaks under the car. It is also wise to know that the R32 is not the most economical Golf out there and it can be quite costly as a daily driver. If you want to use it as a daily drive, make sure the interior is up to standard. The leather bucket seats can tend to tear on the driver’s side right bolster. This is a fairly common issue with bucket seats and one that can be easily fixed by a qualified upholsterer.

The Golf R32 is a car with many flaws, however, it is a true gem; it makes a fantastic noise and it is one of the first true hyper hatchbacks. It is a soon to be classic and that’s why it’s our Dream Buy.

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