Volkswagen Golf GTD 5 door 2 litre manual TDI
Having once been the proud owner of a Mk2 VW Golf 3 door GTI in Mars Red, I was always going to like the Mk7 GTD diesel version that I drove recently in Yorkshire. Aimed fairly & squarely at the company car driver, the Golf GTD is an impressive mix of power & practicality, offering the driver the thrill of a 0-62 mph time of just 7.5 seconds , whilst at the same time returning 67.3 mpg on the combined cycle to with CO2 emissions of just 109g/km. The Golf GTD really is a sensible alternative to the petrol GTI, which although a second quicker to 62 mph only averages 47.1 mpg on the combined cycle & has higher C02 emissions of 139g/km.
To make it stand out from other Golfs, the GTD comes with smoked LED rear lights with LED licence plate illumination, along with standard bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, chrome dual tailpipes, 18″ Nogaro alloys with 225/40 tyres, side skirts, a rear diffuser, sports suspension & a roof spoiler. Despite how this might sound, from the outside it remains typically Volkswagen, in that it’s nicely understated & is all the better for it. The interior unsurprisingly strikes this balance too, with the GTI inspired tartan Jacara Grey sports seats, black roof lining, sports steering wheel, a golf ball shaped gear stick & stainless steel pedals. The dashboard I experienced in the Golf BlueMotion earlier in the year is also a highlight as it’s build quality is second to none & right up there with both Audis A3 & BMW’s 1 Series.
With the same engine that I experienced in Skodas vRS, I knew I was in for some fun particularly in the mid range where the GTD really excels in overtaking. I was lucky enough to get stuck behind someone doing 40 mph on the A19 which in some stretches has a 70 mph speed limit so had great fun changing down into fourth & whizzing past when the coast was clear. The GTD is also fun to drive around corners & is aided in this department by XDS+ a system which improves the vehicles agility, reducing the need for steering angle inputs through targeted braking of the inside wheels on both axles through corners. I tackled a number of winding B roads around Wetherby & found the grip of the GTD to be exceptional, although happily it doesn’t feels like the fun factor has been taken away despite the influence of XDS+.
Despite the obvious power on show, the GTD is also happy at speeds under 30 mph & in traffic is a good place to be with no noticeable outside engine noise intruding into my backed up NFL podcasts. As on all Golfs, the GTD features VW’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the vehicle brakes after an accident, with the pre-crash system, which tensions seat belts & closes windows & sunroof if an accident is likely, to improve the effectiveness of the seven on board air bags. The GTD also has Front Assist & Automatic Distance Control, which I had a play around with enabling the driver to adjust the distance that you want it to kick in at, longer for high speed motorway driving, shorter for slower city driving. How lucky Golf customers with an SE model or above are to have such a fantastic safety feature !
Equipment levels are lavish & include Stop/Start,front centre armrest, LED front & rear reading lights, battery energy regeneration when braking, Bi-Xenon headlights with static cornering function, auto range adjustment, LED daytime running lights, Composition Media system, with 5.8 ” colour touchscreen, DAB radio, CD player, SD card reader, MP3, Bluetooth, aux in socket, MDI & an ipod cable. There are further comforts in the form of 2Zone electronic air con, front & rear electric windows, electrically adjustable folding wing mirrors & front seats which feature height & lumbar adjustment.
A Mesut Ozil 4/5