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.

On Nov-19-13 at 05:45:51 PST, seller added the following information:

Deposit refundable within 48 hours after inspection if you are not satisfied. You may inspect the car within 3 days of purchase via ebay. Full payment within 7 days of winning auction or deposit is lost.

On Nov-19-13 at 15:59:29 PST, seller added the following information:

No accidents, no paintwork. All service at dealer.

On Nov-29-13 at 11:27:33 PST, seller added the following information:

Car had routine service completed on 11/29/13. Brakes were checked and measured. Was told brakes may last another 40,000 miles. Service records from this visit are in photos. Car needs nothing is ready to go. Nothing needed for at least 10,000 miles until next oil change.

This car is truly the car I wanted Volkswagen to import in 1990, and it looks great – though as with the R32, there’s a heaviness in the appearance of the Golf R that doesn’t seem to me as noticeable in the GTi. Still, it’s the best looking Golf to me since the second generation and the understated performance really channels the Golf Limited well. I’m not a fan of the Talledega wheels and Carbon Grey probably wouldn’t be my choice of color were I paying up front, but due to the mileage on this car you’re getting a pretty substantial discount over the sticker price of just a year ago. Is it worth it? The performance on the Golf R is impressive, moreso to me than either of the previous R32s even if they had a better exhaust note. Add into that 4-door practicality and all-wheel drive performance, and this is truly a giant-slayer of a car at a much more reasonable price that it’s originally offered at.

-Carter

2001 Audi TT Convertible

In my opinion, the Audi TT is a misunderstood car. Many people pass over considering it as an option because it’s just not sporty enough. Well, the truth of the matter is that the TT just isn’t a sports car. If you can get that out of your mind, though, there are a lot of things to appreciate about the TT. It was uniquely styled, perhaps not to the liking of everyone, but it certainly does get attention. Aside from looking the part, the TT offered a reasonable practicality. It’s all about perception – if you think of this car as a turbocharged, all wheel drive convertible Golf in a great looking body, it makes a bit more sense. The recipe for what would become the TT was what most of the Volkswagen and Audi crowd would have wanted in a new car for a long time; but when they launched, the reception was lukewarm from most enthusiasts. That’s resulted in lower values than some of the other German convertibles, but opens some opportunity to get into a fun, good looking, quick and practical convertible, such as this TT for sale on eBay now:

509

Year: 2001
Model: TT
Engine: 1.8 liter 20V turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 69,000 miles
Price: $11,000 Buy it Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi TT Convertible on eBay

2001 Audi TT Quattro Roadster 2D Convertible 1.8 Turbo All-Wheel drive. 4-Cyl, manual 6-speed transmission, 225hp leather racing steering wheel, gray with baseball stitch leather seats, black power automatic folding top, 6 disc CD player, Heated seats, alarm system, airbags Low mileage at 69,000 miles, new tires and breaks, 20-26 mpg

This car is so FUN. This TT has baseball leather stitching and is fully loaded! It has a new clutch and has been well maintained. It zips through LA traffic and purrs up PCH. All the functions on the car work perfectly. The convertible top is in great condition. There is a small tare in the leather but that is it. Good brakes and good tires.

509

Let’s be frank – when you put the top down on a car, your hair blows around regardless of whether you spend $100,000 or $10,000. No one will ever accuse the Audi TT of being the best at anything, but it’s very good at quite a few things. It can be used as a commuter, gets reasonable fuel mileage, won’t break the bank to maintain, looks pretty cool, goes very quickly when you want it to, and has all wheel drive that renders it more useful in inclement weather. This particular TT looks quite pretty in Nimbus Grey with the Baseball Glove Leather option, and the polished “Fat Five” wheels are my favorite look on the TT. The 6-speed manuals suit the car well and are fun to drive, and it even makes a pretty good noise when you wind it out.

Maybe it’s not everyone’s dream car, but at $11,000 dollars, I think you can have a useable and enjoyable weekender, and most people would be very surprised when you told them how little you spent for so much style. Don’t repair the seat yet – get your money’s worth of solar radiation with the top down, and keep your eye out for someone parting one down the road to grab the seat bottom. I feel that in the not-so-distant future, more people will appreciate the unique looking TT, and it seems to be aging much more gracefully than the Z3 or SLK.

-Carter

2008 Volkswagen R32

Starting in 2004, VW has started the every four year tradition of releasing an R version of the Golf. Starting with the 2004 R32, these cars were an instant hit with VW enthusiasts, and performance enthusiasts alike. With a 240bhp narrow angle V6 (VR6) 6-speed manual gearbox, and Haldex AWD these cars are capable on the road, and at track days. While the first generation was a hit, the second generation R32 was met with much hesitation among enthusiasts. Based on the MK5 platform, the 2008 R32 offered the same VR6 torque monster, however the 6-speed manual was replaced with VWs DSG dual clutch gearbox. While the DSG was a technological masterpiece, with launch control, and split second shifts,  it still left manual lovers shaking their heads in disgust.

As polarizing as the DSG gearbox is, the R32 still possessed all of the elements for success. With the 3.2-liter, 250-horsepower V-6 engine, six-speed double clutch transmission, Haldex 4 AWD system, electromechanical steering the MK5 R32 did its MK4 predecessor proud.

This Tornado Red on Black 2008 R32 for sale at VW of Oakland is sure to be a cop magnet for whoever buys it.

2008 VW R32 on Cars.com

This is a car that I’m on the fence about.  I have driven the DSG, and it is a great transmission for flogging the R32, but it tends to be quirky around town in everyday situations.  no matter how great it is on paper, I still missed the visceral feeling of ripping through the gears.  All that aside, this 10K mile car is one of the cleaner R32s I’ve seen for sale.  At around 2500 miles annually, this car has seen an easy life.  The asking price of $26,991 (cars.com has an older price advertised) is right where it should be for a car this clean, making it a great deal no matter what your position is on the DSG gearbox.

-Brian