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Senior Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Im looking to trade in mk 5 GTI for a used 1 year old R32 mk 5.

Question is how much better is this car compared to a GTI?

Whats it like to drive?
 
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The best peice of advice I could give would be to go drive one! Make sure you get at least an hour in it though to appreciate What the car is and what its all about!
 

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.:R32OC Site Contributor
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Yep, simple advice is go and drive one, as you already have a MkV GTI, so there is no point us desribing the car as it'll be very similar in appearence... and the best way to find out what it's like to drive, is to go and do it... I'd pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed!
 

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R32 mad said:
Hi All,

Im looking to trade in mk 5 GTI for a used 1 year old R32 mk 5.

Question is how much better is this car compared to a GTI?

Whats it like to drive?
I have done exaclty that 2 weeks ago, gone from this:



To This:



The car is very similar at normal driving speeds and crusing in traffic. I went from DSG in the GTI to manual in the R32. If i am totally honest i do miss DSG. It is great fun in manual, but for the type of journey's i do (in traffic and straight roads) the DSG suited better.

The car itself is fantastic, the exhust note is superb and the performance is so much more than the GTI. It has more of a "race" car feel, meaning stiffer suspension, it rattles more, and you can feel the road a lot more through the pedals (if you see what i mean). It draws at lot more attention, probably down to the sound.

Cruising at 60mph, forgetting the sound of the engine i would say, you probably wouldnt know the differnce. Get it on country lanes, around town, or have a Focus ST up your ass, then yes, you will notice a big difference.

Have i made the right dicision in swapping................................ Yes The MKV .:R32 Kick ass, sounds great and look the dogs!!

(but i maybe swapping for a DSG later in the year or next year.)
 

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I can only agree with Kraft on the comparison, if you are in the fortunate position of being able to get a R32, then I would say go for it.

Rob and Caroline also offer sound advice by saying test drive for as long as you can, our tastes are all different.

I drove the GTI then the R32. A minute down the road my mind was made up, R32 for me.

I have had many performance cars from most of the main manufacturers, not Merc though, and I really do think this is one of the best cars I have ever owned. As for DSG I'm a complete convert, just love it, but I accept it's not everyones cup of tea.

Oh, by the way, Black's a good colour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replys, and yes I do want to test drive one at some point.

Nice to here that you all enjoy your R32's.

Kraft and DSGlee since you both know what a GTI is like to drive and hearing what people say about it being nose heavy with that V6, from your experience does the R32 still retain a sharp turn in like the GTI?

Do you feel the car heavier? and a big question thats been bugging me for along time is the performance, you say its more than the GTI? with me coming from a standard GTI, does it really feel that much faster when you put your foot down?
 

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I haven't driven a MkV GTi, but for me, the VR6 engine gives pleasure throughout the rev range, not just when booting it.

Another DSG fan here too. (and my R doesn't rattle, as Kraft suggested)

Go for a long drive, chuck it into to a couple of corners hard as you dare, in any weather, come back via a few tunnels, then see what you think!

I wouldn't say it 'feels' fast, because ride is very good.

Just my 2p's.

However: If you want to go down the modding route, you will get more bang per buck with a GTi.
 

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I'm thinking that the best way to describe it is that it is sure footed, which obviously down to the extra drive and grip.

Yes the car fells heavier but not in a cumbersome way, the MKIV feels even heavier in a much more raw way.

The MKV has been refined, which is not to every ones taste.

I've DSG so the performance is slightly different to the manual.

To me the key to preferring the R32 over the GTI is the pleasure it gives you, that glorious soundtrack, and the torque the car has, cornering is superb. I took mine out for a spin last Saturday just to hear the growl,snarl and bark of the engine as you let it loose. Came back buzzin.

There is a Haldex mod which is talked about a lot on here which puts more drive to the rear. A lot of owners who have done this say it's terrific. At the moment I'm happy with the standard set up, probably don't push the boundaries as much as others.

Other motorists and pedestrians tend to give long looks at the R32 a lot. One hopes in admiration.

Upside. Is smiles per mile.

Downside. Fuel consumption, tyre wear and insurance. A price well worth paying.:D:D:D
 
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R32 mad said:
Thanks for your replys, and yes I do want to test drive one at some point.

Nice to here that you all enjoy your R32's.

Kraft and DSGlee since you both know what a GTI is like to drive and hearing what people say about it being nose heavy with that V6, from your experience does the R32 still retain a sharp turn in like the GTI?

Do you feel the car heavier? and a big question thats been bugging me for along time is the performance, you say its more than the GTI? with me coming from a standard GTI, does it really feel that much faster when you put your foot down?
If you drive it like you drive the GTI then yes the nose will push wider as there is a 6 cylinder upfront so its something to expect.

But drive it like an R32 and you'll find that there's so much more on offer than you got from the GTI i.e. the ability to get some very entertaining sideways action! Also you have the 'off the line' abilities offered by the haldex.... Turn off the ESP rev to 3 - 3.5k and drop the clutch and you'll be in a place the GTI will never take you!

Straight line speed..... Honestly.... You won't feel much difference to the GTI. But thats not what the R is about. Yes they are 'faster' than a lot of things on the road, but its never going to worry the big boys (unless you follow in the footsteps of a few of the folks on here and go Forced Induction!
 

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Rob & Caroline said:
If you drive it like you drive the GTI then yes the nose will push wider as there is a 6 cylinder upfront so its something to expect. But drive it like an R32 and you'll find that there's so much more on offer.
100% correct IMO. It can run wide in slow corners but take a bit off and feed the power half way and it rewards with awesome grip and huge pace!!! Sweeping corners are stupidly fast. Normal/swift driving you won't notice the weight, it's only when you're near the limit. Basically, let the nose settle and it's a weapon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so is the haldex gen 2 upgrade something that will elminate this understeer that causes the nose to go wide?
 

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R32 against Volvo!
[media]http://youtube.com/watch?v=sN8IkOhlF8I[/media]
[media]http://youtube.com/watch?v=TlTO5ueR8ys
And it looses!!!!
 
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R32 mad said:
so is the haldex gen 2 upgrade something that will elminate this understeer that causes the nose to go wide?
Not necessarily no.

The Haldex upgrade puts the power to the rear wheels in a more aggressive way. The chances are it will give you the option to replace the understeer with more easily accessed oversteer.
 

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.:R32OC R-Fest Events Co-ordinater/Organiser
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I've driven at least 5 Golf GTi's and there was always something about them that just never seemed to click with me. Yes, they were fun to drive but when you got in it you didn't think 'Wow, I'm driving a Golf GTi'. This is something I wanted with my next car.

The reason I even drove an R32 in the first place wasn't because I wanted to drive it; one of my good friends asked if I could get one so he could have a drive and I duly obliged. When driving it home it didn't knock me out on the first drive, but when I did the 1 hour drive to Chelmsford on the back roads. THATS when it started to come alive, the more frequent gearchanges also highlighted the absolutely insane exhaust note; how do they get away with this on a modern car?!?!

Anyway, the long and short of it is that my mate didn't by an R32...I did! :D It's due to arrive on April 1st, optional spec as follows;

3dr
DSG
Deep Sea Blue Pearl
Winter Pack
6 CD Player with 10 speakers
Cruise Control
Centre Armrest

All I will say is that if you do test drive one make sure you have it for at least a good 6 hours as like a say it's a car that won't knock you out on the first drive. It's talents lie well hidden but when you find them :D :D
 

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Going to do our yearly pilgrimage to the Stelvio pass and the 'ring this may, and my friend has just bought a Gti. We're going to insure on each other's cars so should be a good swap comparison...

As for understeer... The Haldex upgrade doesn't eliminate, more that it 'enhances' the R32 attributes of being able to tighten it's line on the throttle by bringing the rear into play sooner, once understeer has been kept at bay. As for understeer, a good way to reduce it and if anything invite oversteer to the party is by fitting better anti roll bars.... I've had mine with it's tail hanging out in the wet (track of course..), makes people stare in disbelief when they see it's just a humble golf... Then again it sounds anything but... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
isn't oversteer abit dangerous though? you could end up doing a 360 degree turn when going around corners at high speed?

As for the test drive, do VW let you take the car out for six hours? and will it be unaccompanied? If so do u have to pay for that?
 

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understeer is also dangerous, but oversteer is more fun than going into the ditch front first ;)

Lack of sensible driving for the conditions is what's dangerous, having oversteer to play with is no more dangerous than understeer.
 
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