The immediate impression upon climbing aboard the R32 is how sumptuous it is. This may be a small, two-door hatchback, but it’s lavishly equipped: heated leather sport seats (they’re simply fabulous), dual-zone climate control, Sirius Satellite Radio, glass moonroof, cool “F1” flat-bottom leather wheel, optional navigation. The cockpit fits me like a wetsuit; it’s tight but — for me at least — ideally proportioned.
The R32 is a power saw: it does its work effortlessly, but it’s a more brutal tool and you’ll flex your muscles more moving it around. The ride is also stiffer than I remembered from my earlier quick drive — not harsh, but you’ll never forget you’re piloting an enthusiast’s car.
The one and only transmission is VW’s brilliant six-speed DSG automatic. Man, do I love this shifter. The shift paddles are small flanges mounted behind the wheel; they’re unobtrusive but lie in perfect reach of your fingertips: paddle right shifts up, paddle left shifts down.
Source: Motor Trend