What is a Golf GTD?
The firm prefers to call the Golf GTD, its new sporting diesel, an “endurance athlete”, placing the emphasis on its long-distance qualities. It adheres closely to the styling formula used for all Golf GTDs over the years by borrowing selected design elements from the current Golf GTI and, in line with recent VW developments, the petrol-electric Golf GTE.
The sporting add-ons are relatively restrained but sufficient to mark it out as a sportier offering.
What engine does the Golf GTD use?
The Mk8 Golf GTD uses the latest version of Volkswagen’s EA2288 Evo diesel engine, a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that delivers 197bhp (16bhp more than the Mk7 Golf GTD) and 295lb ft. For comparison, the Golf GTI’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol puts out 242bhp and 273lb ft. Of its rivals, the Ford Focus ST EcoBlue and its 2.0-litre turbo diesel represent perhaps the biggest threat, with 187bhp and 309lb ft.
Unlike the latest Golf GTI, which can be specified with a six-speed manual, the new Golf GTD is offered exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox featuring steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The revised engine uses two selective catalytic reduction (SCR) filters with dual AdBlue injection. According to VW, they significantly reduce NOx emissions over the previous Golf GTD engine. CO2 emissions are 137g/km and WLTP fuel economy is 51.4-54.3mpg.
Not that it’s slow, mind. It takes care of the 0-62mph sprint in a claimed 7.1sec and runs to 152mph – respective 0.3sec and 9mph improvements on Volkswagen the old Mk7 model. Altogether, there are three driving modes: Eco, Comfort and Sport, with an additional Individual setting to tailor the throttle, gearbox, steering and damper responses to your liking.
Underneath, it uses the same suspension layout as the Golf GTI – MacPherson struts front, multi-links rear – complete with a 15mm-lower ride height than other Volkswagen Golf models and VW’s new Vehicle Dynamics Manager function, which controls both the electronic differential (XDS+) and the adaptive dampers.
Wheel sizes range from a standard 17in up to 19in.
What's the Golf GTD like inside?
Inside, it’s all very contemporary looking, with minimal switchgear. There’s a sports steering wheel with capacitive touch controls and a 10.3in digital instrument display. You notice quite a lot of hard high-gloss black plastic high up within the dashboard and there’s some less than premium materials out of the line of sight. However, there’s also precision to the build quality and a clarity to the digital displays that you don’t get in some rival diesel hatches. It’s also fairly easy to operate, even if some menus within the infotainment system run excessively deep.