This week we learned that the next Volkswagen Golf R will finally pack some much-needed heat, unlike its last few iterations. But in spite of its flaws, I've always liked this car: the second-generation R32.

There's just something about stuffing the 3.2-liter VR6 engine into a little hatchback and giving it all-wheel drive that really appeals to me. Enthusiasts panned the car when it launched in 2008 because it only had a DSG transmission, but I feel like that would go over a lot better today, given how they have only increased in popularity since then.

John Davis and Team Motorweek found the 250 horsepower R32 to be a throaty, reasonably quick hot hatch that "clicks into corners with enthusiasm," even if it won't really scare any Evos or STIs.

Still, it's got character, power and refinement. I'll stick up for you, R32, even if no one else will.


MotorWeek Theater is our showcase of some of our favorite classic reviews from public television's finest motoring program. How does this video only have 25,567 views on YouTube? It's clearly our favorite fast Volkswagen!