Build or Buy: Golf R32

It’s hard to believe, but the original Volkswagen R32 is nearly a 20-year-old model. That’s right: it’s on its way to classic car status. And signs are pointing to it being a highly collectible model, so if you’ve ever wanted an all-wheel-drive, VR6 hatch, now may be the time to pick one up. But do you buy one built, or build it yourself?

Option A: Buy it Built
Article: 2004 Volkswagen R32

There are three important things you should know about this ’04 R32 right off the bat. First, it only has 1,800 miles. That’s not a typo. Second, the current bid is (gulp) $45,000. That’s also not a typo. And third, this car is listed on bringatrailer.com and there’s still 4-ish days left on the auction, so there’s no way to know how much this little blue hatch could go for.

So what does $45,000+ get you? Well, a ridiculously low-mileage car. And we’re sure you’ve figured out that low miles equals low wear. We doubt there’s another R32 out there as immaculate as this car.

Being an R32, this MKIV-based uber-hatch has Volkswagen’s almost-iconic narrow-angle VR6 engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission, with power going to all four wheels through a Haldex system. It also has Konig leather seats with R logos, 18″ Aristo wheels, and surprisingly, an aftermarket Milltek exhaust.

So if you’re making the big bucks, and you missed picking up an R32 back in 2004, this is as close to new as you’re gonna get, so bid now. This Deep Blue Pearl R32 is in Middletown, Connecticut.

Option B: Build it Yourself
Article: 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32

There are three important things you should know about this ’04 R32. First, it needs work. Second, it has 150,000 miles. Third, it’s about 84% less than the BAT R32. That leaves a lot more change in your pocket.

Yeah, we know a car with 83 times more miles will never be as nice as a low-mileage example, but this one is a perfect candidate for a restoration. Sure it needs body work, and there are of course some mechanical issues, but according to the seller, VWvortex member vwsnaps, most of the parts are included. And it’s driveable as-is including cold A/C.

So if you’re looking for a modern car worthy of a restore, check out vwsnaps’s classified ad in our forums, or peruse the ad on his dealership site. This ’04 R32 is in Lincoln, Nebraska.