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tips for finding cherry 2012 Golf R


New member
Hi All, I'm looking for a 2012 Golf R because it's a relatively rare beast: an AWD MT hatchback in the US that is fun to drive, doesn't look like a cartoon car, and has a relatively subdued interior. Is it correct that the 2012 model year is the only mk6 Golf R sold in the US? Or is it MY2013, as it was sold in 2012?

Anyway, that means that I'm looking for a ~9 year old car that is a known platform for tuners, enthusiasts and people that drive (or park :p) their cars hard . I've come here to look for advice as to what mechanical and superficial things to look out for as I start looking at 2012 Rs.

  • What mechanical issues should I look out for in a 2012 R? I've read a bit about cam followers, are there other known pieces that commonly fail? Certain signs / sounds to look out for?

  • Is there a certain mileage I should be wary of? Such as if it's at 90k+, know that the timing is going to need to be replaced and valves adjusted, etc. Anything over 120k will likely have X and Y wrong with it, etc? Is the car's maintenance schedule very reliable for actually predicting issues associated with mileage?

  • Are there interior doodads that tend to break / fall off over time that I should keep an eye on? I'm thinking knobs, switches, cloth liners, door panel clips from an epic stereo install, that kind of thing.

  • Any mods that I should be especially leery of a previous owner installing? I'm bringing my own bias to this, but ECU tunes, suspension changes and mucking with the turbo system all seem like things I want to stay away from. Not because they can't be done right, but because I have no way of knowing if the previous owner did them correctly.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!


Go Kart Champion
I'm fairly new but interior wise.. the headliner falling apart. Having proof of proper maintenance history is good practice buying any used car. As far as aftermarket parts, beware of cheap brand crap.


Autocross Newbie
+1 on the headliner, pretty much every one of us deals with this. I budgeted $300 for a new headliner when I bought my GTI. As far as other interior doo-dads, nothing else really falls apart. But most of it is made of plastic, so there will be creaks and rattles in an almost 10yo car.
As was said, decent maintenance records are a must. Mods aren't necessarily bad, but you're right, there's a chance things were done wrong. There's also a chance things were done wrong if the seller did all the maintenance themselves on a bone stock car. You never know for sure with used cars, so you always have to budget extra cash to fix any potential things.


The Fixer
All my used car shopping goes like this- Carfax if possible. Low miles a plus. Check the fluids, drive it. If it passes a general inspection and test drive, I'm not afraid to buy. If you have documentation of service, that's great. If you don't, go ahead and do them. Then you're starting with a (relatively) clean slate.


Go Kart Champion
Tunes are pretty save especially if it's an off the shelf tune. These engines handle tunes well and honestly if someone removed the tune you would never really know that it had one.