Thursday 21st February 2013


'A useful turn of speed for sensible shoes Monday to Friday transport' we say, before ducking for cover

Now, we’ll tread carefully here because the last time talked about diesel Volkswagens it seemed like the whole of PH was going to explode in a gigantic fit of righteous indignation.

Sensible shoes, GTI-esque looks
Sensible shoes, GTI-esque looks
Bear with us, though, these things do exist and, ahead of the new Mk7 Golf GTI, Volkswagen has announced that the first of the hot ‘new’ Golfs out of the blocks (that Mk6-based Golf R cabrio doesn’t count) will be the GTD. Indeed, VW is claiming a decent headstart overall in the warm-to-hot diesel hatch, having “introduced European car drivers to an intoxicating blend of practicality, high performance and abstemiousness” 30 years ago now.

The new GTI promises much, a trick active locking differential included, but it seems the GTD is more a spec option than a true GTI-TDI. True, it gets a significant power boost to 184hp and 280lb ft over the current range-topping 2.0 TDI GT with its 150hp and 236lb ft. It’s also usefully more potent than the Mk6 GTD, which had 170hp and 258lb ft. It’s not slow either, 0-62 taking just 7.5 seconds (8.1 in the previous GTD) and topping out at 142mph. As you’d expect, the figures that’ll really interest many are the CO2- and mpg-related ones, which come in at a very impressive 109g/km and 67.3 for a manual three-door as opposed to 139g/km and 53.3mpg on the Mk6.

34hp hike over the 2.0 GT TDI is useful
34hp hike over the 2.0 GT TDI is useful
This being from the posher >120hp end of the new Golf range, the GTD also gets the fancier multi-link rear suspension set-up and a smattering of GTIesque fixtures and fittings including the traditional plaid cloth upholstery, 18-inch Nogaro wheels, smoked rear lights and ‘sports suspension’ among other things.

VW has confirmed a European starting price of 29,350 euros, a 2,500-euro hike over the next most expensive diesel in the range. In the UK that equates to a GT 2.0 TDI, which starts at £22,810 for a three-door manual. Call it £25K by the time you’re done then; a 218hp BMW 125d M Sport that’ll do 0-62 in 6.5 seconds, by comparison, is yours from £27,500. Slower, then, but potentially more attractively priced, the GTD brings a useful turn of speed for sensible shoes Monday to Friday transport. Which you can, with luck, exorcise at the weekend with something noisy and more fun.

Author: Dan Trent
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