But there was a time when they were at the top of their game. Passat, Golf, Jetta, and Touareg, they all featured this rounded shape transferring the circle theme to the headlights. Most of these are considered modern classics by VW fans, superior to what came right before and after that.
Just look at the Golf 5. It completely changed the way compact cars were made. Before that, soft-touch plastics were pretty rare, and the Golf 6 that came after was just a cost-cutting exercise.
As for the Touareg, this first generation was extremely well-engineered, which is why you still see them on the road. Given its complexity, it wasn't exactly bulletproof, but the R50 version shows VW dared to dream big at that time. It had a 5.0-liter V10 TDI with 350 HP and 850 Nm (627 lbs ft).
Blue paint and an aluminum-look grille are features it had in common with the Golf R32. This had a 3.2-liter naturally aspirated engine that, we think, put the letter R on the map.
In total, Volkswagen has delivered around 200,000 R cars since the R32 of 2002 (an Mk4, not this thing). “Volkswagen R is a small business that employs around 350 colleagues. Everyone in our company contributes to the success of the company. My personal thank you goes out to everyone in the team, but also in the retailer network, who should take pride in this milestone," R boss Jost Capito once said.