Immaculate VW Golf R32 (Mk4) for sale
20 years old this week and looking better than ever – it's yours for £20k…
By Matt Bird / Monday, 16 October 2023 / Loading comments
It’s the middle of October already – how has that happened? The nights are drawing in, the rain’s coming down, and the C-word is being openly discussed already. It’s not the best time of the year. Now, the solution to this woe might be to get another car, because we’re all made happier by something fresh and shiny outside. Though even that’s rather easier said than done at the moment. Bring on 2024…
Anyway, the middle of October is significant for this Golf R32, as it was registered on October 17th. As a 2003 car, it’ll be 20 years old tomorrow, which seemed well worth marking, especially given it’s such a pristine example of what’s become a VW hero. It was sold new at Listers of Evesham, setting back its first owner £22,340 before options. Or £38,850 in today’s money – a Golf it may have been, but the R32 was definitely a significant purchase back then.
It’s easy to forget now, in the hyper hatch age, that having 240hp and four driven wheels in a hatch was such a big deal in the early 2000s. The V6 4Motion Golfs had never mustered much more than 200, and everybody else was scrabbling around with front-wheel drive. This wasn’t a hot hatch for purists, but for elevating all that a Golf Mk4 did well – the solidity, the security, the style – to another plane, with the added appeal of a glorious engine, it absolutely nailed the brief. You only need look at this one to see why it’s preferred to the later Mk5 and why they’re now so loved. It’s surely the best looking version of one of the great hatch designs.
But there’s far more to this R32 than just good looks. It’s a corrosion free and modification free example, for starters, which will be music to the ear of collectors. A three-door, non-sunroof shell in Reflex Silver is more good news. The Golf has been known to the selling dealer for five years and across two owners. The odo is yet to reach 80k, and it’s been treated to a host of parts very recently, including four Michelins, brand new OEM dampers (now said to be obsolete), fresh brake lines and a Dinitrol treatment for the underside and cavities. It’ll be serviced before handover and has never, ever failed an MOT. In 18 tests. It’s one of those kinds of cars.
Once upon a time, precious few people saw the old Golf GTIs becoming as collectible as they are now. The R32 did not have to wait so long; values have been on the rise for a while now, because no Golf since has combined styling, sound and quality quite so persuasively. There have been more exciting hot hatches to drive, but if outright thrills matter then no buyer would be looking at any VW. Back in the day it was simple to dismiss against cars like the Focus RS; now it’s much easier to enjoy the R32 for what it is rather than what it isn’t.
While the mileage averages out to just 4k a year, it hasn’t done so few miles that the next owner couldn’t enjoy that superb VR6 going forward. The asking price is £20,950, putting it right at the top of current R32 values. But the affection for the model shows no signs of going anywhere. And just consider those really old Golfs; you wouldn’t bet against this one still looking just as smart come October 2043…
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