What do you get over a 1.8T for your $30k?

 

The question you should ask is where can you buy a $30,000 German car with a 3.2L V6, 240hp and AWD?

The HID's are the only thing that "didn't" make it here in the end. DSG was never a guarantee and probably would have added cost above the base price. Climatronic will be on the U.S. spec cars as will heated seats regardless of whether you choose leather or cloth.

 

So over a standard 20th Anniversary GTI you are getting:

 

- Haldex AWD - $1750 additional on Audi's

- 3.2l VR6 with 240hp - Not a cheap engine by any stretch with the ridiculously complicated 4v head

- Bigger brakes up front

- Climatronic

- Rain Sensing Wiper System

- Heated Seats

- MFA

- Fully Independent Rear Suspension

- Volkswagen Racing Suspension components with even more aggressive setup

- Dual exhaust outlets

- Completely different front and rear bumpers (not just different lower valences)

 

I've driven both the 20th AE and the R32 extensively and they are both great cars (the best GTI/Golf models produced since the A2 generation GTI), but they are different in their execution. One is normally aspirated, one is turbocharged. One is AWD, one is FWD. One has a solid beam rear axle, the other a fully independent rear suspension. One comes with leather the other does not. Etc., etc.

 

The AWD and IRS alone are enough for me personally. If you have ever driven a modded 1.8T and dealt with the wheelspin issues both at launch and out of corners, the R32 is a revelation. It is also a blast to drive out on the track with a more neutral feeling at the limits - you can actually drive the R32 on the throttle.

 

Anyway, yes the R32 has a premium price over the 20 AE. Whether it is worth it is a personal and financial decision you need to make.

 

-jamie