Review article: MkIV R32 vs. MkV R32

It's not often I see a new article on the VW MkIV Golf R32 so I was pleasantly surprised to come across one. This article published in Evo compares the Euro-spec MkIV R32 with the new MkV R32. I think it's a safe assumption that comparing the U.S.-spec versions will be much the same.

What struck me the most about this article was the author's description of the MkIV:
"Jumping from our R32 into the original, the difference is much greater than I had been expecting. On paper there’s not much between them – their bhp/ton figures differ by just two points – but the earlier car is much more organic feeling, communicating exactly what’s going on through beautifully weighted controls, the boomy V6 all the while making its considerable presence felt in the well-appointed cabin and leaving you in no doubt that you’re driving something hardcore.

The new car is much more the shy, retiring type. Seeing the two together really highlights how discreet the current R32 is, looking only a little squatter and more square-jawed than your everyday Golf. The mk4 is altogether more aggressive, with its big, bulbous arches and gaping air vents giving the impression that there’s too much car in there for the bodywork to cope with."
Part of the appeal of my R is that I've always considered it relatively stealthy, that Joe or Jane Public won't recognize the R for what it is and just assume that under the hood it's merely another Golf. I admit another reason I purchased my R is that I like how it looks: my R may not look "normal", but neither does it scream "look at me!" After reading this article, though, I wonder whether I've been deluding myself and my R really does appear as aggressive as the author describes. On the flip-side, does the new MkV really look *that* demure?

Anywhoo, here's a link to the full article, by Neil Carey. All of the MkIV R32 reviews (U.S.-spec) I've found can be found by following this link: R32 reviews.


  1. I love that second shot of your car.

    Other than the wheels, I can't really tell how the MKV is different than the regular GTI. At least, yours has the body kit to give it a bit more presence. So I guess it's a keeper?

  2. Funny you say that - I read that review too, and thought the same, that the MKIV R32 doesn't really shout out boy racer... which at the tender age of 47, is why I'm about to buy one!!! :-)


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