R32 Then there's the 'S' position for the fully automatic Sport mode.
Then there's the 'S' position for the fully automatic Sport mode. It's fun but unless the bank balance is healthy, it's best kept for short bursts as you can almost watch the fuel gauge needle drop. Fuel consumption figures for the test car are posted as 21.4 mpg and 36.2 mpg for the urban and extra-urban and the combined works out as 28.8 mpg with 235g/km CO2 coming out of the twin tailpipes.
The manual gearbox figures are 18.8 mpg, 33.6 mpg and 26.1 mpg for the same cycles, so they are very similar. As are the top speeds; 154 mph for the DSG and 155 mph for the manual and the 0-62 mph sprints are 6.2 and 6.5 seconds respectively.
DSG is available in other cars within the Golf range but for the R32, it has been beefed up to cope with the 4MOTION, 4WD system. This is electronic and acts like a centre differential in conjunction with ABS, ASR traction control, EDL Electronic Differential Lock and ESP, which, in itself includes more system initials than you can shake a stick at, but it all works.
Through twisting country lanes, the car retains its composure and remains flat and steady. It seems to enjoy swift changes of direction but no matter how good the tiptronic system is in this scenario I would prefer a manual gearbox. You just don't get the same feel from tapping a lever or pulling on a paddle. The performance is never in question but there is an element of remoteness and while this is confidence inspiring it lacks the rawness found in other hot hatches.
The sports suspension is around 20mm lower than the rest of the range and the 18-inch alloys are clad in low profile tyres, which seem to be no more than thick rubber bands. Nonetheless, the ride is comfortable, even over bumpy surfaces. Between the spokes of the wheels, the blue brake calipers can be seen, gripping the large ventilated brake discs, they work extremely well. After recently driving an array of MPV's, the ferocity of the braking took me by surprise and the brake pedal felt more like an on/off switch. However, it's comforting to know that they are that efficient and you get used to it after a while.
The R32 has front airbags with a cut-off switch for the passenger seat as well as curtain airbags and front seat side impact bags.
The R32 has its own styling pack, which includes unique front and rear bumpers and an aluminium-effect front grille that made the car look a bit MINI-ish.
Volkswagen Golf Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Golf R32 V6 4MOTION|
|Body Type||3-Door Hatchback|
|Colour||Deep Blue Pearl Effect|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||154 mph|
|Transmission||DSG (Direct-Shift Gearbox|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||36.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Years / 60,000 Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 18/11/06)||£25,570|