Jim Holder
12 July 2009

What is it?

This is the VW Golf GTD, a car which is a triumph of compromise or commonsense, depending on your point of view. It has been introduced to appeal to people who want performance and quality without punishing running costs.

Powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine, it hits an official average of 50.4mpg, which means you can cover more than 600 miles on the 55-litre tank if you’re prepared to drive sensibly. If not, you’ll still get relatively decent mileage, while getting to enjoy most of the benefits of a standard warm hatch.

There’s also the prospect of low running costs to look forward to; emissions of 139g/km equate to an annual VED road tax charge of £120 a year.

What’s it like?

With 168bhp and 258lb ft of torque, the VW Golf GTD is sprightly and enjoyable to drive on a favourite country road, if not exhilarating; it’s clinically swift rather than startling.

That feeling is backed up by engine, road and wind noise that are always subdued, and do nothing to inject any aural excitement into your progress.

The car's handling and ride have been tuned towards performance, and it shows. The handling’s not pin-sharp, but given its relatively heavy kerb weight it copes well and gives confidence.

The ride is firm for everyday use, but fits the GTD’s performance billing without introducing anything approaching harshness.

The GTD also looks the part, sitting 15mm lower than the standard car and featuring styling tweaks including a deeper front bumper with larger cooling ducts, new headlamp graphics, chrome highlights in the grille, wider sills, a hatchback spoiler and a revised rear bumper with twin chromed tailpipes nestled together.

Should I buy one?

It’s impossible not to compare the GTD with the VW Golf GTI. It’s just over a second slower to 62mph, not as much fun to drive and less than £600 cheaper. That means you’d have to be a huge diesel fan to make the call in the GTD’s favour.

And even if you love diesels, the five-door’s £22,435 seems high for a car that doesn’t deliver thrills. If you want an entertaining diesel VW, buy a Scirocco GT 2.0 TDI CR and put £700 in your pocket.

Otherwise, while stablemates such as the Seat Leon FR TDI and Skoda Octavia vRS TDI may have an older and slightly dirtier engine, they are more fun for far less money.

Likewise, you may get more pleasure - and more cash left in your pocket - from mixing performance and economy in the 158bhp 1.4 TSI-equipped Golf GT.

Join the debate

Comments
32

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Save at least 4k before negotiations and buy a 170bhp, 330lbft Alfa 147 Ducati Corse instead.

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Sod off, Greg!!! We want a car that won't spend 364 days a year at the dealer or fall apart after less than a year of use. People buy Golfs because you can drive them for 20 years without major problems. I had a Mark 1 for 10 years, my wife had a Mark 2 for 25 years, I had a Mark 3 for 10 years. Twice I've tried something different from a Golf. First, it was a Ford Escort. Rubbish. Then i tried a Lancia Delta Integrtale. Lovely car but it broke down five times in its first year. Each time I went back to a Golf. Nothing ever went wrong with my Golfs.

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Greg1 wrote:

Save at least 4k before negotiations and buy a 170bhp, 330lbft Alfa 147 Ducati Corse instead.

330 lb.ft from 1,900 cc. them Italians are the dog's bollox at this engine malarkey. respect!

queer though them eyeties still using pounds-feet.

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

brakedust wrote:
We want a car that won't spend 364 days a year at the dealer or fall apart after less than a year of use

I thought that particular stereotype had been put to bed. Obviously not.

That said I would take the Golf every time over a 147, but not at that price - Jeez.

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Lee23404 wrote:
I thought that particular stereotype had been put to bed. Obviously not.

Quite - I suppose word about VW Touareg's horrendous reliability hasn't got out then.

The article mentions that the GTD lacks, wait for it, soul...I'm merely proposing an alternative with character, more oomph and at a price that would make it a serious contender. Let's face it, we're talking about the GTD being about 20% more expensive than the Alfa, before even starting to haggle with the Alfa dealer!

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Greg1 wrote:
Save at least 4k before negotiations and buy a 170bhp, 330lbft Alfa 147 Ducati Corse instead.

No the alfa 147 has 330NM which is 243lbft, which is 15lbft less that what the vw golf produces... or 20NM less if you like.

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

brakedust wrote:
Nothing ever went wrong with my Golfs.

You were lucky then.

I would suggest that the Alfa is now at least as reliable as the Golf, if not more so. I do appreciate the dealers aren't as good though.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

brakedust wrote:
People buy Golfs because you can drive them for 20 years without major problems.
Perhaps he means Golf clubs?

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Once again some slightly dubious research from Autocar. The Leon FR and Octavia vRS now use exactly the same engine as the Golf GTD and as far as I know the Leon at least can match the GTD for both emissions and mpg.

On the subject of reliability, my Golf has run fine for 5 years (so far). Still, they're asking a lot of Golf fans this time with that asking price.

Re: Volkswagen Golf GTD 5dr

4 years 40 weeks ago

Do these smoke and drone as badly as the last (Mk5) GTD I drove?

£22,435; mmm, saving a few quid on road tax will certainly make up for the repayments on that...

  • Let depreciation be your friend...
Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

Just how good is the mighty Volkswagen Golf, Europe's best selling car that's now in its seventh generation?

Driven this week

  • Peugeot 308 e-THP 130 first drive review

    Peugeot 308 e-THP 130 first drive review

    First drive
    23 April 2014 2:10pm

    New three-cylinder petrol performs well in the 308, adding extra appeal to this stylish and upmarket family hatch

  • Audi R8 e-tron

    Audi R8 e-tron

    Car review
    23 April 2014

    We test the prototype all-electric Audi R8 that's capable of 0-62mph in 4.2sec, with an optimum range of 124 miles and a charging time of less than one hour

  • 2014 Volkswagen Polo first drive review

    2014 Volkswagen Polo first drive review

    First drive
    22 April 2014

    Clever tech makes the Polo more economical, cleaner and safer, while new engines offer greater refinement but no more driving involvement

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

    Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

    Car review
    17 April 2014

    Can this plug-in hybrid SUV do more than just cut your tax bill?

  • Volvo V60 Polestar first drive review

    Volvo V60 Polestar first drive review

    First drive
    17 April 2014

    Volvo V60 Polestar lacks edge, but offers a glimpse of more advanced performance Volvos to come from Polestar