PH Blog: Golf GTD eight years apart


I was one of the first to get the new Mk5 Golf in the UK, and thanks to an error on the company car option list I was able to spec the 2.0 TDI GT. Soon this error was realised and colleagues had to settle for lower spec and smaller engined versions of the Golf, but my flat red (I couldn’t afford any options) five-door (all that was available at launch) was delivered as promised. Being young(er) I immediately swapped the standard wheels for some 18-inch TT replica alloys and I was a happy chappy. Less than six months later I swapped back to the original wheels again, largely due to the fact that I wanted to tow a caravan ... but that’s another story.

Garlick and the Golf: steady evolution
Garlick and the Golf: steady evolution
So eight years later and I am in the latest version, and as you can see we have both changed. I still feel the same inside as I did in 2004 and the same is true of the Golf - literally nothing has changed in essence bar a few trim and detail upgrades. The engine sounds the same with the familiar VW common rail diesel noise, the seats are as I remember them to be and the mpg (late 30s) is almost identical too. It’s perkier, that’s for sure but overall it’s a very familiar experience for me, despite the passing years.  

OK so we both look a little different on the outside….The earlier Golf looks smooth and uncluttered whereas the new one is weightier and a little fussier (like me). Chrome and shiny bits are new for 2012 giving a heavier look overall (don’t you dare say anything) and it looks more grown up. I think we’d all like to look a little younger and maybe the Golf would too?  

So everything changes, yet it’s all very familiar. When something works well I guess there is no point in changing it. Fortunately I didn’t think the same about my hair…

Garlick

Comments (88) Join the discussion on the forum

  • masermartin 21 Mar 2012

    SteveC123 said:
    I'd suggest there's something wrong with that, then.

    ... snipped ...
    Great information - thanks. Will take a look. thumbup

  • SteveC123 16 Mar 2012

    Raoul Duke said:
    It seems that a fair few of the comparisons are made with 6-cylinder BMW diesels. Thats hardly fair as the Golf has never been marketed against one of these. Buy new and the beloved 6-cylinder BMW would cost you 000's more, yes its better - no one is going to sensibly argue otherwise - but we should be comparing apples with apples!
    However stop to think about the fact that people are drawing these comparisons, and you start to realise that perhaps the Golf punches above its weight.
    • ding*
    If we want to discuss something more comparable, the E46 3 Series, these have a tendency to lunch their turbos in derv form, suffer with the same potential dire consequences for the engine should a swirl flap decide to make a run for it, and the auto boxes are worth a premium on the second hand market because so many fail.

    Nice cars too - a friend has a 320d (which has just had to have a new turbo), and it's a nice place to sit but I'm not so sure I'd have one given the major failures these can suffer with.

  • Raoul Duke 15 Mar 2012

    It seems that a fair few of the comparisons are made with 6-cylinder BMW diesels. Thats hardly fair as the Golf has never been marketed against one of these. Buy new and the beloved 6-cylinder BMW would cost you 000's more, yes its better - no one is going to sensibly argue otherwise - but we should be comparing apples with apples!
    However stop to think about the fact that people are drawing these comparisons, and you start to realise that perhaps the Golf punches above its weight.

  • 24lemons 15 Mar 2012

    Raoul Duke said:
    There is a definate fashion to be a VAG basher on here!
    I am no VW fan boy, but look at the GTD objectively and there isn't much better if you want something that balances understated / discreet quality, with a bit of poke and decent fuel economy. Its not "fast" by any means, however its plenty swift enough for day to day use and has a feeling of quality that matches its high(ish) price new.
    As for economy claims, VW suggest it should be getting 43mpg urban and 55mpg combined and they are fairly accurate. I am sure if you drive it like you stole it you could get it down to low thirties, but nothing ( Bavarian or otherwise ) is going to get close to the claimed figures if you do that!
    Since its easy to say whatever you feel like on t'internet have added some evidence below, first pic is the overall avg i achieve - its almost entirely urban, with lots of stop / start in traffic. The second was todays avg, a mix of about 150 miles, City, A / B road and motorway. This was achieved with little, or no effort on my part. Have roofbars and bike rack permanently on the top and use cruise control whenever possible. If i did away with the bars and cruise control another 10% should be fairly easy to obtain.

    Nice to read a sensible post that reflects my own experience of this car. There's a lot of hate directed at golfs and alot I feel is unjustified. Sure it s not the car most people dream of but is a golf really that worse than the majority of its rivals? Ok so it's not the most exciting car available but as the previous poster said it's understated and more than pokey enough for daily use plus the fuel economy means you don't have to remortgage the house to run it. It would be lovely if we could all afford to own and run TVRs but the reality is we can't and I don't think it's fair to condemn others on choosing something you wouldn't. Some people don't like TVRs for example! Anyway, for what it's worth I like my GT TDI it is discreet, comfy, very well equipped and I enjoy the surge you get on acceleration. It also gets the fat end of 600 miles out of a tank and will average mid to high 50s on the run into work. If you don't like golfs none of this will convince you to change your mind but I like mine and that's all that matters!!

  • Garlick 15 Mar 2012

    Who would have thought my comment of late 30's MPG would be so controversial!

    I never said more wasn't possible, just reported on what I saw over the weekend smile

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