VW Golf R32 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 85 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Other than either the "Blue is fastest" threads or "Whats best DSG or manual " arguments this is probably the next most asked question.

"Whats best … the Mk4 or the Mk5 ?'

Having owned my DBP 2003 Mk4 Golf R32 for 2 years and covering just 12k miles I decided to change to a newer steel grey 2005 Mk5 R32 as I felt it the logical upgrade.

So decided I'd write my own thoughts as it may be of some use to someone.

My first impression of the Mk5 are good, Infact it feels more solid, better built and overall more civilised. Dare I say 'grown up'.

As you climb into the interior of the Mk5 (Climb being the word if you have bucket Recaro's) you'll notice its more spacious and that VW have updated the speedo dials.
They now glow more white at night, with blue needles, much fresher than the Mk4's red and blue.
Until now I hadn't seen a set of dials I preferred but if I'm honest I doubt the Mk5 speedo will get as many 'ooh I like the blue dash" comments.

The Bucket recaro's are firmer and have bigger bolsters than the leather Mk4's Konigs and I think they really make the Mk5's interior sporty. However I know how Konig seat bolsters wear so I really wonder to what state the Recaros will wear over time.

Mk4 and Mk5's are both well laid out, all the controls where you expect them and both feel good solid cars.
The Mk5 however has what I really prefer…… Black headlining. You feel more encapsulated and its not going to show up every VW technicians oily finger prints after a service or in some of the younger Mk4 owners cases…. Ladies foot prints !

Ok, Turn the key and start the engine….

Mk4 wins hands down for stock noise. End of.

I had non resonated milltek which was awesome but occasionally I did wish I'd opted for resonated. Sometimes its fun to scare old people sat outside pubs in Yorkshire while your sat in traffic (you know who you are) but other times I want to be more discreet.

Inside whilst driving the Mk5 is quieter in the cabin and has a similar deadened sound that the Rs4 has. Basically its well soundproofed which makes motorway trips less of a an ear bashing drone.

Weird…. As I set off I hadn't snapped any passengers necks or bounced the car down the road like a learner driver,
Yes the Mk5 throttle is tame in comparison to the Mk4.
In fairness I had Revo Stage 2 on the Mk4 but I do remember at stock it being quite twitchy. One of my real pet hates with the Mk4 that, as there is nothing worse than edging forward in traffic and having to slip the clutch or you'll take off.
BUT… I did like that when you planted your foot in the Mk4 it instantly took off. Maybe a remap in time will address this on the Mk5 ??

Next… The brake feel of the Mk5 is awesome, its firm but remains progressive.
The Mk4 however whilst initially after upgrading from the 1.8T they felt a world apart, however overtime I realised the R32 is a big heavy car, and whilst the brakes do the job they are supposed to, sometimes they did feel almost like I was putting my foot into the middle of a sherry trifle.
When you look at the two cars side by side you'll notice the Mk5 brakes are even bigger ! And we all know size DOES matter !

As a side note I hated the Redstuff pads on the Mk4 and I personally advise giving them a wide berth, Ok for track days but setting off in the morning and straight into stop start traffic they quite frankly are worse than stock. (I didn't realise how bad when I ordered them)

The overall ride is softer and more civilised in the Mk5, So this is the one area that's going to come down to personal preference.
Where I live there are a lot of poor country roads either with bad undulations or just potholes. So for me I'm going to say I can and will drive the Mk5 faster on average round the country roads of the UK because I'm not constantly fighting to keep the Mk4 straight or indeed out of sodding potholes.

It would be unfair to really compare both cars handling wise as I've not been able to test the Mk5 on some of my favourite roads around the Lakes yet, and i've only had the car a full day .But my overall first impression is this.

If your after a car that you regularly want to track then without doubt the Mk4 is for you, If you however after a fast cruiser that will keep you entertained on the twisty B roads whilst being comfortable then the Mk5 wins.

So to answer the question which is better ????????????????

Well I'd have to say both have good points, The Mk4 being the more distinctive looking car and in general tends to be driven by a higher percentage of VW purists, The Mk5 in my opinion has some of the Mk4's best bits plus some extra.

If the Mk5 wasn't improved in some areas over the Mk4 then VW would have failed. This isn't a criticism of the Mk4 just a fact that technology progresses.

Overall….. Go drive both if your in a dilemma over them, and make your mind up based on my above points.

But for me i'm really glad i've owned a Mk4 its been a really great daily driver.
Just hope after another two years the Mk5 can keep the grin on my face that the Mk4 did everytime i pressed that loud pedal.

6 Month review will follow.

MacD
:fight:
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
479 Posts
Excellent read :congrats:
 
  • Like
Reactions: ad_182_uk

· Gold Member
Joined
·
2,230 Posts
That is always going to be the case what ever your new car is especially if its the same model you don't go and buy a mk5 then upgrade to mk4.

But MacDaddy I bet if asked the question when having the mk4 you would of said that was better.

Suppose I'm just jealous.

Nice buy when did you get it any pics...
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
nigp007 said:
That is always going to be the case what ever your new car is especially if its the same model you don't go and buy a mk5 then upgrade to mk4.

But MacDaddy I bet if asked the question when having the mk4 you would of said that was better.

Suppose I'm just jealous.

Nice buy when did you get it any pics...
Indeed, I'd driven both before i bought the Mk4. Price being the definitive decider at the time.

I read so many mk4 and mk5 owners saying which is best despite never owning/driving one or the other so i thought i'd voice my opinion now i feel qualified to comment on both.

In fairness i've not changed my opinion. I knew the Mk5 was the more refined cruiser, perhaps my taste has changed.

Buying a Mk5 hasnt made me anti Mk4, The Mk4 is why i got into the whole R32 scene in the first place.

Hope no one thinks its a Mk4 bashing. I'm just highlighting the differences.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
117 Posts
the mark v is bound to be a better car or the technicians and designers at VW in germany would be sacked , not many cars get worse , however some people prefer older classics , the nostalgia etc. why would people buy classic old ferraris and porsches for vast sums, its not for there performance its personal choice , it is not fair to compare we all agree we like the car we have got and we should stick together fight against the common enemy that is the chavvy jap cars!
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Agreed Sam.

They are the most obvious differences. I have said i cant make a comment on how both compare handling really as i havent had chance to test the Mk5.

I'll be sure to update in 6 months tho with how its going.
 

· Gold Member
Joined
·
2,230 Posts
I know I would have loved a mk5 but back in Jan they were 20ish grand got mine as a bargain for 14 grand and will not sell at the moment poor resale on some cars not the R32 tho lol.

Besides the Mk4's turn more heads the mk5 blends in, just my opinion.

How you getting on with DSG now I would love that gearbox.

Had a go in Gti Dsg when they first came out awsome.
 

· Gold Member
Joined
·
2,230 Posts
Oooooops read the bottom of Nelson's speck.

Is the clutch as lite as the Mk4.

Had a Leon Cupra R and could'nt believe how nice the golf was compared to that thats why I tested the Gti DSG thought I wanted auto till I found the Mk4 and heard it.

Macdaddy said:
I opted for manual.... DSG isnt my thing.
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
925 Posts
I have owned both a Leon Cupra R and a Mk4 R32 and I thought the clutched were light on both. Having said that the Leon had 9,000 miles and the R32 had 18,000 miles.

Collecting my MK5 R32 on Saturday 13th Dec. So after I drive it 400-500 miles home I will be able to compare it to the mk4.
 

· .:R32OC Site Contributor
Joined
·
5,377 Posts
Great write up MacD :top:

Ideally I'd like to keep my MkIV forever (especially now I'm spending more money on it), but wouldn't mind a MkV too!
 

· .:R32OC Site Contributor
Joined
·
4,262 Posts
It's good to aee a reveiw from someone who has had both. Look foteard to hearing what you think in 6 months. My only problem is that I've just bought some red stuff pads :( any chance of elaborating on your problem.

Good luck with the new car mate
 

· Senior Member
Joined
·
5,420 Posts
Spot on review there mate,

Mk5 suspension is great as it is - lovely long travel, but awesome damping. That's exactly why I've been saying Coilovers on the mk4 are a waste of time for road use.

Throttle Response - If u remap the car, you'll get that snappy lurchy feeling again, that's one thing about a remap that I DON'T LIKE, and if u remap your car, you will get that again to some degree.
I love the muted throttle response from the stock mk5, it suits the car's character really well I think.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
6,584 Posts
Macdaddy said:
Thats pretty accurate. There are better pads out there.
Also i've heard redstuff eat oem discs badly.

Thanks for the comments.
Its only info i've picked up of you lol.. Glad your liking the r mate, you've got to get the upgraded gen 2 haldex with the switch when you start upgrading, wish you could do it on the mk4, would def be the first thing i'd get done if i owned a mk5
 
1 - 20 of 85 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top