Volkswagen Golf V R32 DSG test
Intro: The most powerful Golf
Lest we forget, three years have past since Volkswagen proudly introduced the Golf IV R32, and claimed it to be the most powerful Golf of all time. The recipe : a lowered chassis, an ultra-aggressive look with some very imposing aerodynamic appendages, specific 18-inch wheels and of course the V6 engine delivering around 240 horsepower. With 14 000 sold, that is to say 3 times as many as previewed, the fifth generation Golf will have to propose something in the same vain, and today they have with the Golf V R32.
The first thing we can say is that this car is more discreet. It stands out from the other Golfs thanks to it subtle but specific finish, which is a departure from the more aftermarket-tuning trend. The aluminium encircled radiator grill separates the R32 from the rest of the Golf line, as do the bumpers painted in the same colour as the bodywork. From the side youll notice another distinctive trademark of the R32, the blue brake callipers, the oversized brakes themselves and the spoked wheels. At the rear of the Golf are two centrally positioned exhaust pipes. These chrome pipes that exit through the black plastic give an allure of being an air diffuser, and then there is the lip spoiler above the rear window. The interior has also been given its own special touch. There are aluminium plaques located on the doors and dashboard, a unique steering wheel and a graduated speedometer that peaks at 300km/h, all of which makes for a complete well-finished package. The seats are enveloping but terrible demonstrative. For those of you who want something more, bucket seats can be had for an additional charge.
Motorization: 9 more brake horsepower
On the road: Better than the 4th edition
On the motorway, the improvement to the chassis is clear, the Golf R 32 is both smooth and comfortable with an irreproachable road handling, which of course was the case with its predecessor. However, it was far less convincing on the smaller windier roads. The car is too rigid and bounces all over the place and at the end of the day proves to be ineffective. This test was conducted on rain soaked country lanes, which gave us the opportunity to verify the progress made in terms of ground clearance. The first impression, the R32 is still quite stiff but it better absorbs the imperfections in the road surface. The fifth generation Golf brakes better and has more grip and is clearly easier to drive. Unfortunately, the problem with the front axle subsists. When entering a corner too quickly it refuses to turn in and there is not much that can be done to rectify the situation. The more you turn in the more it amplifies the phenomenon and when you climb on the brakes the car does eventually come around but it is far from instant. This sort of problem forces the driver to downshift before turning in and reduces the turn in angle and one must wait to be pointed in a straight line to get the most from the engine. When it comes to driving pleasure there are better choices on the market. The handling of a Golf R32 approaches that of a GT whereas the car is positioned in the top compact range. Volkswagen has made clear improvements with this fifth generation golf but doesnt allow one to let it all hang out. Its motor and look define its sporting nature but there is still some to be desired in the fun and efficiency departments, which is a pity for a sports car.