Sales of the fifth-generation Golf in R32 guise as offered here went on UK sale in November, 2005. It featured an updated 3.2-litre VR6 engine rolled over from the first R32, based on the Mk4 Golf, but with an extra 10bhp engineered in thanks to a rejigged inlet manifold.
At its launch, maximum power available was a cracking 247bhp at 6,300 rpm, with torque unchanged at 320Nm. Its top speed was electronically governed at 155mph and the zero to 62mph dash took just 6.5 seconds in six-speed manual guise as offered here, or 6.2 seconds if the ‘Direct-Shift’ cogbox option was ticked.
Remarkably, although it weighed an additional 40kg than its previous iteration, the Mk5 R32 was 0.1 seconds quicker in the manual version. In the world of blisteringly quick pocket rockets, that difference matters.
Also rolled over from the Mk4 R32 was the Haldex traction-based 4Motion part-time AWD system, powering through original 18-inch Zolder 20-spoke alloy wheels as offered here.
That V6 motor ensures it goes quickly, but stopping the R32 is performed partly via a pair of handsome red-painted brake calipers with whopping (not a technical term) 345mm discs at the front and 310mm disks at the rear.
In 2005, TopGear said “If the Golf GTI is a precision-forged Samurai sword, then the R32 bludgeons like a baseball bat studded with rusty nails.” Nice one.

The Vehicle

This handsome, low-mileage Golf R32 received its first UK registration on the 8th of December, 2005. Since then, the car has been enjoyed by just 3 registered keepers prior to being acquired by the current keeper last autumn.
Along with the V5C, the car will come with a valid, advisory-free Mot to December, 2023.
There is also a leather-bound folder containing the owner’s handbook, audio system manual, a fully-stamped, up-to-date service record book and two sets of keys. The vehicle received its most recent service in December, 2020, with the mileage recorded at 52531 miles. Since my ownership I have serviced this car regularly has all the receipts and full service, had some welding done OSR sill and the bottom of the car is all sealed to prevents future corrosion issues. Car has been used to travel to and from work and now is on 72000 miles. Car comes with 4 new Michelin tyres.

On the Outside

At the time, Volkswagen gave the R32 a distinctive set of clothes over the standard Mk5 Golf. The new nose design with its twin-strip chrome grille, centrally mounted exhausts, deeper bumpers, 20mm lower ride height and 20-spoke 18-inch alloys with red brake callipers afforded the car a bullish stance and huge dollops of road gravitas. It was offered in five- and three-door body styles as offered here.
The exterior of this metallic grey R32 example presents in truly immaculate condition, which reflects the manner in which it has been looked after and cared for during the past sixteen years.
The light lenses are clear and show no hint of the age-related fogging often found on a car of this age. The front and rear bumpers are blemish-free and in remarkable condition. The striking alloys are shod with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4’s (perfect for this performance car) and show no scuffs or evidence of being ‘curbed’ and again, are in pristine condition.
The brightwork around the car is in exceptional condition, none of which has a scratch or mark to its surface. A cursory glance down each flank of the car shows no evidence of damage at any time in its 16 years and even the front number plate and valance, for all their vulnerability, remain blemish free.

On the Inside

Inside, the story is a familiar one of excellent care and attention given to the car during its life so far. While a smidgen short of showroom standard, the interior of this Golf R32 presents in exceptional condition and this writer frequently had to remind himself that this is a sixteen-year-old car.
Even back in 2005, the Golf R32’s full-on leather interior knocked every one of its rivals for six. None used the same expensive materials or has such a sensible, clear and user-friendly layout.
Sporting touches worthy of the R badge were tastefully executed, such as the turned aluminium dashboard trim, VW Racing logos and translucent blue instrument needles.
This writer recalls attending the media launch of this car and wrote at the time: “Attention is also lavished on the driver who enjoys a comfortable, supportive seating position and a tactile steering wheel. I could enthuse all day about the stubby, short-throw gear lever which is a joy to use with enthusiasm.”
The roof lining, soft furnishings, door cards and full set of R model-specific mats present in exceptional condition and all instruments, light and switchgear are said to be in perfect working order
Even today, this R32’s cabin really is close to faultless and continues to make a great place to spend time.


As one might expect of a low-mileage car, the underside also presents very well for its age with just a little discolouring due to natural oxidation.
The engine compartment is clean and tidy and the custodian reports this R32 to be in excellent mechanical condition with steering, brakes, 4x4 system and V6 engine performing as well as their respective engineers intended.

History Highlights

It’s evident from its appearance that this super tidy, low-mileage R32 example has been maintained to a very high standard. As stated, the car comes with a full service history and a near-12-month MoT.

It's a gentleman's hot hatch that even today, stacks up solidly as a performance car…and seventeen years on, it’s still something special.
In 2005, Jeremy Clarkson called the Golf R32 ‘the full Sunday roast’. Anyone for dinner?
Viewing is always encouraged. This particular car is located in Doncaster, M18 of Junction 4, we are open weekdays between 8am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below.