2008 Volkswagen R32

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One week ago today I enthusiastically wrote up one of my preferred daydream cars, the original MkIV R32. When it came out, the R32 was the superGolf I’d always dreamed of but thought only existed in Hans Dahlback’s shop of terror. The MkIVs obviously still entice me today with wide fenders, deep growls, and a VR6/6-speed/4Motion combo that makes them very special hatchbacks indeed. Where I caught myself was trying to make an argument that MkIV prices have fallen far enough to be a great performance bargain.

MkIV R32s are certainly accessible hot hatch performance, but it’s not a bargain if you can get the following model, 4 years newer with nicer equipment, a little more power, and lightning-fast DSG for the same price. This MkV R32 brings all of that and fewer miles while still ringing in around $15k. The MkV may be in the running for the least desirable generation of Golfs, but the features outweigh the generational spite. With 250hp, all wheel drive, and a very sharp interior, this is an even better performance value than last week’s blue R32.

Click for details: 2008 Volkswagen R32 on eBay

1996 Volvo 850 R Estate

Fashion icon Iris Apfel was noted for saying “life is gray and dull and you might as well have a little fun when you dress and amuse people.” Adapt this quote to automobiles and you are speaking my language. So much of what we see offered today by manufacturers is boring and drab, trying to maximize profit while giving consumers the vague whiff of individuality. There are still a few cars out there which will help you stand out. Continuing on with the Swedish theme I seem to be on this week, Volvo has been one of the few brands to offer what has become a niche vehicle with a rabid following: the performance estate. These cars are an attempt at offering the family man his cake and allowing him to eat it, too. And with this formula comes a bit of whimsy.

It all started in the 1980s when they started turbocharging their five-door offerings. Then, in the 1990s, Volvo went all out and fielded an 850 Estate in the British Touring Car Championship, with the help of Tom Walkinshaw Racing. This spawned a street version, the 850 T-5R. With an engine developed in conjunction with Porsche, this car packed 243 horsepower and was available in both sedan and estate form. The T-5R was then succeeded by the 850 R, essentially the same car with some improvements. This 850 R for sale in Kentucky is a rare sight, an example in very good condition with just 65,000 miles on the clock. Want some sport with your utility? Read further.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Volvo 850 R Estate on eBay

2012 Volkswagen Golf R

I suppose I’m not a very fair consumer, if I’m honest. For years, I decried Volkswagen for depriving Americans of the very best offerings it had. Golf Rallye and Country? Nope, and not the Limited either. Passat G60 Syncro? Nope, we didn’t get that either. There’s a string of great TDis that didn’t come here (and still don’t), along with one of the ones that really bugged me – the 4 door GTi. It just never made sense to me how you could argue the GTi was a super practical car when they made a more practical version that just wasn’t brought here. Of course, that ended with the Mk.V, so then my annoyance turned back to the Golf Limited. Sure, we had the R32 – by all rights, a great car, that was not available in 4-door version in the first generation and then not available in either a 4-door or manual in the second generation. To me, in an effort to be gimmicky Volkswagen had really lost the bit. Apparently I wasn’t alone in that thought, because Volkswagen finally made my GTi wishes come true in 2012 with the U.S. introduction of the spiritual successor to the Golf Limited – the Mk. 6 Golf R. Gone was the VR6, replaced by the more potent and tunable 2.0T which could now be specified with a manual and all-wheel drive, and importantly in 4-door guise. Did I buy one? Nope, because this German wonder priced in at a shocking $36,000 with options. For a Golf, mind you. A year later, if you’re willing to put up with some light wear and tear and some mileage, you can find used examples at or below entry-level two wheel drive GTi prices, such as today’s Carbon Steel Grey Metallic example:

Year: 2012
Model: Golf R
Engine: 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 44,000 mi
Price: $23,599 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R on eBay

Original owner great car.

2012 Volkswagen Golf R

The GTI 2.0 we featured yesterday could be considering anything but blisteringly fast. Just a decade later, the R32 helped progress the hot hatch game. Now Volkswagen has now unleashed a 256 horsepower, all-wheel drive monster on the hot hatchback scene. The R is the automotive equivalent of the four year itch. Volkswagen had R versions of the 2004 and 2008 Golfs, which both featured the VR6 engine and the DSG automatic gearbox in the 2008 model. For 2012, Volkswagen has chosen turbocharged, four-cylinder power and the sole transmission available is a 6-speed manual. Available in two and four-door configurations, the two-door, non-sunroof/navigation model starts at a shade under $34,000. This lightly used R for sale in Texas is the “base” model and offers buyers a chance at this limited production hot hatch at a very slight discount.

2012 Volkswagen Golf R on eBay

Only 1K Miles, One Owner, Features Include: Bluetooth, Heated Seats, Climate Control, 6-Speed Manual Transmission, Xenon Headlights, LED Daytime-Running Foglights, 18′ Wheels, Touch Screen AM/FM Stereo with CD/MP3 Player, Aux-In Outlet, Satellite Radio-Capable, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel with R Logo, Steering Wheel Controls, Armrest with Storage and Rear Air Vents, All Wheel Drive, Turbocharged 2.0T Engine, Rear Spoiler, Black Grille with R Logo, Center Dual Chrome Exhaust, Tinted Windows, One-Touch Auto Up/Down Power Windows, Power Locks, Side Mirror Turn Signals, and Much More! Volkswagen Certified Pre-Owned means you not only get the reassurance of a 2yr/24,000 mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty, but also a 112-point inspection/reconditioning, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a complete CARFAX vehicle history report.

The last time I visited a Volkswagen dealer, I spotted a four-door Golf R on the lot. The sticker price was a little over $38,000. Across the lot was a brand new Audi A4 2.0T Quattro sedan for around $34,000. The A4 is down 45 horsepower in comparison to the Golf, but I’d honestly save a few thousand dollars and go for the Audi.…