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R32 Mk4 Buyers guide


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#1
Macdaddy©

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The R32 was available as a 3-door or a 5-door in the following colours:
Deep Blue Pearlescent (the light blue colour colour unique to the R32)
Diamond Black Pearlescent
Reflex Silver Metallic
Moonlight Blue Pearlescent (A very dark navy blue)
Tornado Red
Grey Anthracite Pearlescent (gunmetal grey)

Deep blue, Diamond black & Reflex silver are by far the most common colours. Moonlight blue & Tornado red are much rarer. Grey Anthracite is extremely rare. Only 31 RHD R32s were made in this colour.

Climate control, 6-speed 'box, electric windows & mirrors, Gamma stereo with 6-disc in-dash changer, Xenon headlamps, headlamp washers & 1/2 leather 1/2 cloth heated seats were all standard. Options were:
- 1/2 leather, 1/2 suede heated seats
- Full leather heated seats
- Sunroof (electrically operated)
- VW MFD Sat Nav (with boot-mounted 6 disc CD changer)
- Cruise control
- Space-saver spare wheel (otherwise you just get a 12v pump and a can of tyre repair foam)

The standard R32 puts out 241BHP @ 6250RPM and 236lb-ft @2800RPM

Prices range from about £12,000 for tatty & high mileage examples, up to £17000 for complete minters on dealer forecourts. Sellers usually think their R32s are worth more than they actaully are. Buying a 2003 model with 30-40k on the clock privately you should be looking to pay no more than £14,500 (maybe £15k if it has factory sat nav)

You would have thought that on cars only 4-5 years old, serious problems would be quite rare. Think again. A lot of R32s out there have been run by blokes who can't afford to maintan them properly. This seems to be particularly true of the deep blue ones.

MAF sensor failure is common, resulting in a poor idle, throttle hesitation & lack of power. £100 to put right.

Failure of the radiator fans is also a common fault. With the climatronic set to "Auto", the radiator fans should run constantly at low speed (almost silent). If they do not turn, or keep alternating between off and high speed (noisy) then the fans are knackered and must be replaced at a cost of £450 (the parts alone are over £200).

Listen for clonking & clicking noises coming from the suspension as you go over bumps and manouver slowly at full lock. Failure of the front strut top mounts is partcularly common. I'm not sure how much this costs to put right, but I doubt it's cheap.

Rear springs have been reported to snap on a few cars too, very simple to check this.

Beware of any R32 that has been lowered. This can knacker the diff over time.

Check that the Haldex oil was changed at 20k, or soon thereafter. This is a £150 job.

Many UK R32s suffered from a flat spot / hesitation between 2000 & 3000RPM. This was a VW recall item and the fix was to apply the VW 6463 update to the ECU. If the car exhibits jerky acceleration at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle between 2000 & 3000RPM chances are this update hasn't been done. Some dealers will do this update free of charge, even on out-of-warranty cars. See:
Tyresmoke Forums

The flat spot should not be an issue on a remapped R32.

Milltek exhausts are a common mod. These have fatter tailpipes, sound very juicy and increase power a bit (especially in conjunction with an ECU remap). But be aware that there are two versions - one with a resonated centre section and one with a straight-through. The straight-through Milltek is VERY noisy and probably not what you want on a daily driver. You want the one with the resonated centre section. The resonated Milltek costs £600-£700 fitted, so there is money to be saved if you can find an R32 with one already fitted.

R32s were VERY popular with thieves. There are a lot of previously stolen/recovered ones that are recorded as CAT D. An HPI check is ESSENTIAL. A CAT D record knocks at least £2500 off the value of the car. An HPI check will also show you if the car has any finance still owing. Walk away if it does.

Vandal damage is also a problem with these. Look for keyscratches and badly repaired panel damage. The deep blue ones seem to incite the most jealousy, unfortunately.

The interior is standard mk4 stuff, apart from the Konig seats, the fatter steering wheel and a few bits of aluminium trim dotted about the place.. The 1/2 leather seats are very hard-wearing, but the full leather ones can suffer quite badly with bolster wear and unsightly sagging on the seat base.

Fuel economy-wise, expect ~28mpg on the motorway and ~22mpg round town, averaging out at about 24-25mpg.

I think that covers the main things. The R32 is a devastatingly effective point-to-point car and an almost perfect balance between performance, comfort & practicality. It has all the strengths of the Golf VR6 (lovely noise, exciting power delivery and that "unburstable" feeling), but none of its weaknesses (i.e. poor torque at low revs, lazy gear ratios and iffy traction). Find a good one and you'll wonder how you could have ever driven anything else.

When you view it...make sure the puddle light in the door works and turn the lights on,open the door and make sure the left light alarms works...if not you want at least £100 knocking off as that is how much a new lock mechanism costs...You can fix it for about £10 though or get a second hand lock off ebay

Tailgates known to rust due to water ingress from faulty seals around rear hatch handle (as well as drainage holes being blocked with sealant at the factory preventing correct draining of trapped water)

Ensure water drainage holes have not been blocked up. Remove rear plastic trim over wiper mechanism and inspect tailgate from inside for signs of rust.

As I said, look at as many as you can before buying. Good luck!.





Many thanks to Antera309 for this well written guide. :proud:
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#2
Golfgirl

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Very good - there's always people signing up to forums asking for common problems without using the search first....now we can just direct them to this thread. One thing though, you missed Indigo Blue off the colours!
R32 - gone but not forgotten....

#3
John_C

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Very usefull info!
Mk 4 Pearl blue, grey interior, non res miltec with Hi Flow Cats, carbonio CAI, revo stage 2, R line wheel caps,cut out grills, AVIC X1 BT, Hella RCCR's L.E.D side lights, KW V'3 coilovers, KW rear arms, 10mm H&R spacers front and back, polo rear wiper, EBC turbo grooved disks with yellow stuff pads all round, L.E.D sides lights and eip billet accesseries!:)

#4
Macdaddy©

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Very good - there's always people signing up to forums asking for common problems without using the search first....now we can just direct them to this thread. One thing though, you missed Indigo Blue off the colours!


Its called moonlight blue which is the R32 version of indigo blue iirc
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#5
Golfgirl

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No, they're two separate colours. Moonlight blue is really dark (virtually black) and Indigo blue is the navy blue seen on other Mk 4's.

You've got them broken down by colour [ame=https://www.r32oc.com/showthread.php?t=165]here[/ame] and they are both in the back of the R32 brochure.
R32 - gone but not forgotten....

#6
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very good guide

#7
Aqua

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I agree, great job

#8
Very Cherry

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nicely done :D

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a very good guide indeed. From this i've just had the 6463 update applied & i think my front bump stops need changing. This forum has been very useful to me & i've only been a member for a short time.

#10
Robbo5522

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Hey Mac D, has anyone had broken rear springs, had to replace left rear on Last R32, also anyone know what Brake Discs/ pads best to fit and what is the size, have had 2 diffrent answers on that one

#11
Macdaddy©

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Robbo, at least two on here i know of have had broken springs yes.

As for pads and discs theres a few threads about asking the same.
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#12
Robbo5522

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Cheers Mac D appreciate your time

#13
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Check for posts by Mattcony and Mat_Ed30 for broken springs.

#14
MoJo

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Excellent guide. Many thanks, I found it particulary useful as looking at an R32 to replace my GTi.

#15
Enigma1992

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Excellent write up - the only thing that dates is the pricing of the cars.

Does anyone want to do a write up of the mk5?
Andy

The car - Currently in the car graveyard following a head-on meeting with a Rover 25!

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Hi great write up, i'm looking at buying an 07 plate with DSG is this a good option or is manual better , regards Andy

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Personal choice DSG or Manual,

me its DSG all the way, lazy left foot, and one hell of a downshift sensation in sport mode combined with flappy paddles as much if not more fun than manual imo.

#18
Enigma1992

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Hi great write up, i'm looking at buying an 07 plate with DSG is this a good option or is manual better , regards Andy


Welcome to the forum! :ciao:

As SWC says, it's personal choice but I wouldn't buy a car without it. The gearchange is perfect and imho the car is FAR more economical when driven regularly. I suggest the steering wheel paddles to change with the multifunction s/w.
Andy

The car - Currently in the car graveyard following a head-on meeting with a Rover 25!

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#19
sdmac27

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Hi great write up, i'm looking at buying an 07 plate with DSG is this a good option or is manual better , regards Andy


I've got DSG as well and it's immense but as the guys above have said it's all down to personal choice. I like it because it gives you the lazy ass option or the speed demon option!

Good luck choosing! :hello:

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on my run home from work doing relaxing driving I have seen a regular 31-32mpg with the drive option.
Slip her into sports and the car changes its character and becomes a serious speed demon hooning round some country lanes last night sent shivers down my back the car handles accelerates so well it is unbelievable and that roar from the car as the DSG drops a cog is immense.

#21
James (caxton01)

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32 MPG,

I have only once got 31 MPG and I was driving like a old man to get that, well i'm 36,lol.
James :)

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2003 (53) DBP - FULL LEATHER - MILLTEK NON RES - STAGE TWO APS REMAP - DELOCKED DOORS - DOOR ALARM BLUE LED's - CARBONIO COLD AIR INTAKE - BLUE SPORT HALDEX CONTROLLER - UPGRADED BRAKES FROM JORDAN'S GROUP BUY - WITH PROJECT U PADS - FRONT (25mm) and REAR (21mm) H&R ARB WITH DEFCRON2 BUSHES - FULL INSTULATION OF LED BULBS - MK5 REAR WIPER - SEAT CUPRA FRONT SPLITTER - VENTED FRONT SIDE GRILLS - VW CENTRE WHEEL CAPS - R32 TAX DISK - "R"-SIDE DECALS - DBP ENGINE COVER - DBP REAR VW BADGE - R32OC.COM STICKERS

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I was driving like a old man to get that, well i'm 36,lol.


you young whipper snapper you, I'm feeling positiveley aged now. :dong:

#23
James (caxton01)

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you young whipper snapper you, I'm feeling positiveley aged now. :dong:




Ha ha , I bet you are 21,lol :marchmellow:
James :)

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2003 (53) DBP - FULL LEATHER - MILLTEK NON RES - STAGE TWO APS REMAP - DELOCKED DOORS - DOOR ALARM BLUE LED's - CARBONIO COLD AIR INTAKE - BLUE SPORT HALDEX CONTROLLER - UPGRADED BRAKES FROM JORDAN'S GROUP BUY - WITH PROJECT U PADS - FRONT (25mm) and REAR (21mm) H&R ARB WITH DEFCRON2 BUSHES - FULL INSTULATION OF LED BULBS - MK5 REAR WIPER - SEAT CUPRA FRONT SPLITTER - VENTED FRONT SIDE GRILLS - VW CENTRE WHEEL CAPS - R32 TAX DISK - "R"-SIDE DECALS - DBP ENGINE COVER - DBP REAR VW BADGE - R32OC.COM STICKERS

#24
sdmac27

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on my run home from work doing relaxing driving I have seen a regular 31-32mpg with the drive option.


I've only seen and ave of over 30mpg twice - and both times were stuck in slow moving traffic (30-40mph) for absolute miles! And I use 'D' most often!

:shot:

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I should add that I have been on one or two courses designed to make you aware of the road and its surroundings and to conserve your fuel,
Reading how the road is running can have a massive say in fuel consumption. Charging into a bend and stamping on the brakes then powering out is very good fun for all, But in conservation mode it is easier to carry speed and flow through without the brashness and still cover the ground at speed.

#26
Enigma1992

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I should add that I have been on one or two courses designed to make you aware of the road and its surroundings and to conserve your fuel,
Reading how the road is running can have a massive say in fuel consumption. Charging into a bend and stamping on the brakes then powering out is very good fun for all, But in conservation mode it is easier to carry speed and flow through without the brashness and still cover the ground at speed.


Spot on. I can easily get 30 - 33 on a run to work - it's all about anticipating the traffic ahead and not using brakes on the motorway. I can only get less by using full throttle often and braking often.

This car has got to be one of the most economical serious performace hatches around.
Andy

The car - Currently in the car graveyard following a head-on meeting with a Rover 25!

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#27
dubzter

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one thing and I have said this many times the 6463 update was not an official VW recall

#28
tubsy250

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they didn't make a r32 in grey pearl it is called blue anthracite pearl paint code lc7v so you were right blue is the fastest colour:dancing2:

#29
fozzy500

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quality guide to buying a 32 so will take it all into concideration wen buying cheers.

#30
Predator_R32

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Great stuff just what im looking for




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