Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt VW Golf GTD: Test Drive Review
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VW Golf GTD: Test Drive Review

Date: 02 September 2009   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £22,770
Key rival: BMW 1-series

It's a funny car, the Volkswagen Golf GTD. Effectively pitched as the business car version of a Golf GTI, three quarters of sales will go into the fleet sector, and it's not difficult to see why it would appeal.

The Golf GTD is powered by a 170PS 2.0-litre diesel engine already used by various Audi, Skoda and Seat models. Given the pretensions to sit alongside the fabled Golf GTI, it's a little disappointing that VW couldn't find any more power out of it compared with the Golf's Seat Leon FR and Skoda Octavia vRS siblings, but it's still a cracking engine that is quick enough and yet provides a claimed 53.3 average. Emissions are also competitive at 139g/km, putting the car in the same 18% BIK bracket as BMW's 1-series.

On the outside, it's around two-thirds of the way to a Golf GTI to look at, but misses out on the final design touches that mark out the current performance king of the Golf range. But the GTD does get a styling pack that marks it out as more than a bog-standard VW hatchback, including unique bumpers, a honeycomb lower air intake, roof spoiler and leather-trimmed flat-bottom steering wheel. But it's a lot more subtle than its GTI brother.

To drive, the GTD is reasonably fun, but struggles to convince that it's a diesel-engined hot hatch. The gearchange is brilliantly slick and the engine is a peach, but it's missing that final punch that makes it a genuine hot hatch. But that same lack of edge makes it a much easier car to live with on a daily basis.

A Golf GTI is difficult for a company to justify, with emissions of 170g/km and a fuel economy figure of 38.7mpg, but a GTD makes perfect sense in isolation.

Then you start looking at the other alternatives at this performance level. Though there aren't too many performance diesels on the market, the GTD faces two problems in particular.

The first comes from within the family. Seat's Leon FR TDI uses the same engine as the Golf GTD so has the same performance and economy figures, yet is more than £4500 cheaper. Yes it's not quite as polished and it certainly hasn't got VW Golf badge kudos, but it works out at 4.8p per mile cheaper.

The second major rival is BMW's 120d. The lure of the BMW badge may be enough to persuade some, and it's also got an 11g/km and 5.6mpg advantage over the Golf. But the cost per mile is 0.8p adrift, due to it starting out at more than £1000 more expensive.

Whether you'll want a Golf GTD depends on what you're after. It's not the ultimate mix of diesel and hot hatchback, but as a desirable package that's efficient to run, it's a compelling offering. If not cheap.

VW Golf GTD 2.0 TDI 5dr manual
P11D price£22,770
Model price range£13,585-£24,305
Fuel consumption53.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 139g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£68/£137
Service intervalvariable mls
Insurancegroup 15
Boot space (min/max)350/1305 litres
Engine size/power1984cc/170PS
Top speed/0-62mph138mph/8.1secs
On sale June 2009
VerdictDesirable and refined package
that isn’t really a diesel GTi


Desirable and refined package that isn’t really a diesel GTi