Make a list of all your priorities in a car, test drive both, and decide what you could see yourself paying for for the next three to five years.
VWoA does not offer any car in America, from the past to the present, that I would ever consider trading my R for.
I got a very nice R32 for about $15k just shy of a year ago. I was in a similar situation and I wanted a nice car to really drive the hell out of and enjoy. I have spent a few thousand over the past year in maintenance, tires, and a few problems (battery crapped out, CV boot ripped), but to me it has been worth all of it. I love driving it every day and I enjoy working on it.
Finished school, debt free and want to reward your self w a nice car to drive? I can understand that. You worked hard and want to enjoy life a little bit.
So why mk6 Jetta? I dont see any enjoyment or fun in that? Its basicly same as buying Camry/Fusion/Prius/Accord etc. Appliance.
Comparing Mk4 to Mk5 R32 would be more like it, or even mk5/mk6 GTI. I would seriously consider those instead of mk6 Jetta(unless you are talking about GLI).
Mk4 R32 is already 8yrs old and WILL require more fixing. Doesnt have to be a bad car, but the years and milage is catching up w them.
This may get a bit long but, if you want the thorough opinion of another long term R32 owner, here you go.
I bought mine new in May of '04, have about 72k miles on mine, and it's my daily driver. I've never owned another car anywhere near as long. The reason I still have it is due to the satisfaction it gives me. It isn't the best at anything but, it does so many things exceptionally well. And it has never let me down.
I would likely be very cautious about buying one used but, there are a lot of owners out there who take very good care of theirs so, if you have the time and patience, you could find a fine example. You'd be hard pressed to find one up to snuff for under 15k though. Based on my personal experience and years of being on that particular forum I would say they are pretty reliable. If treated and maintained well, they do not have many catastrophic failures. There are some of the annoyances had in some other models but, to me, they seem fairly routine with nearly any car. Sunroof leaks (which can be remedied), cooling fan failures seem to be normal, a few recall items which should have all been addressed by this point. I'm on my third battery. I had the fan replaced early this year. I had to replace the rubber gasket around the antenna base in year six. Front strut mounts seem to wear out/collapse with more frequency than you might expect. That's really about the extent of the troubles I've had but, it brings me to the next subject.
As time passes and, if you spend much time browsing the R32 forum, you will soon get the nearly irresistable urge to start spending silly sums of money modifying the car. Maybe this happens with other makes and models too so, it could just be a coincidence that this is the first car with which I've done this. Now some of what you do may be considered preventive maintenance or, just replacing wear and tear items before they fail so, some of it could be considered justifiable. I'm only being partially sarcastic with this. For example, I replaced my strut mounts with camber plates. Ther are certainly many advantages to the plates and they are certainly an upgrade/mod compared to stock parts. And since putting them in I no longer need to worry about the bushings collapsing, alignments are far more simple to get exact and they stay consistent over the long haul which eliminates the need to get realigned regularly, in addition to making tires last a bit longer. This principle applies to most of what I've done so, I don't feel like it's been unjustifiable.
Then again, almost none of it could be considered necessary. There are many who have enjoyed theirs completely bone stock for 100k plus miles. So if you can resist the urges, cost of ownership should be relatively low. There is some regular maintenance which is a bit more expensive and sensitive than with other VW's, such as the Haldex as mentioned earlier but, it's not a big deal, especially if you diy.
I've contemplated a new car a couple times in the past few years but, I just can't find anything that gives me the pleasure I get from driving this car every day. I've test driven plenty of others and have found them interesting, or even better in some ways. But nothing yet has given me good reason to stop owning this car. Now that I can afford something a bit more upscale, I thought I'd be able to find a worthy replacement. I really have no need, or space for two vehicles. And I just can't imagine myself not owning this car so, I'm sticking with it. Sometimes I wish it was quieter, faster, rode better, got better mileage, was more luxurious and high tech, etc. On the other hand, it's reasonably quick, handles pretty darn good, is quite comfortable, traction in all weather conditions is exceptional, is spacious enough, is reliable, has an intoxicating exhaust note, and gets compliments all the time from people who have no idea what it is or have never even seen one. And most important of all, it makes me happy to own it. There have been quite a few other original owners who sold theirs due to the urge to move on and, later on, missed it so much they decided they had to have another.
If you haven't driven one, I strongly suggest it. If you have and weren't stricken with desire then, nevermind.
Neither. Get a mk6 GTI. It's the awesome MkV with better sheet metal and excellent tunability. The bugs are more or less all worked out. An ECU upgrade and exhaust will get you 250 hp / 280 ft/lbs.
And the interior is much nicer than the Mk4, and nicer than the mk6 Jetta's by leaps and bounds. A mk6 GLI would get you all this too, but no launch control :/
Last edited by thebanker; 10-05-2012 at 01:12 AM.
"It's not a real build until there's Plasti Dip involved."