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.