The VW Golf GTD diesel express is still alive


Sporting with diesel used to be a hit. If you wanted to drive fast and for little, you already had a large choice among compact hatchbacks. Peugeot offered a 308 GT diesel, a Megane GT diesel at Renault, Opel sold an Astra with a two-liter biturbo. But where are last year's snows? Do you want a powerful diesel hatchback and do not want to spend on BMW or Audi? Only two remained on offer: the Ford Focus ST and the tested VW Golf GTD.

It may sound surprising that the latest fast diesel hatchback on the market bears the VW logo, as it is a company with the Dieselgate affair and an electric offensive to deal with Tesla. On the other hand, the Wolfsburg version was offered by the Wolfsburgs as early as 1982 in the number one Golf, and after 39 years, they obviously don't want to say goodbye to it yet.

However, the new GTD also got not only the strongest but also the cleanest diesel in its history. The supercharged two-liter has 147 kilowatts, 400-newton meters, and, in addition to the necessary particulate filter, double urea injection, which effectively cleans exhaust gases from nitrogen oxides.

But let's put numbers and issues aside. The main question is whether the powerful two-liter, which is also used by the Octavia RS, will make the GTD a worthy brother of the eighth generation of the iconic petrol sports Golf GTI, which is reminiscent of a minimally visually sharp diesel engine.

And the good news is that this is true. The strong two-liter diesel is such a tuned universal, you will hardly find a speed where it would not work. It convincingly and emphatically stretches from some fifteen hundred, the highest pull comes at three and a half thousand revolutions. But then, like most diesel, it doesn't matter, and during a sporty ride you can treat it in exactly the same way as petrol. At the same time, you will be perfectly complemented by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (the GTD manual does not offer it), it does not hesitate and shifts without jerks.

Even with sharp handling, however, you will not be rewarded with petrol consumption, because even in this case, the two-liter TDI runs for eight liters. A calmer and more balanced, albeit relentless pace means 5.7 liters. The engine may lack the immediacy and appetite for gasoline speed, but it can make up for it by consumption.

The GTI does not even have the major advantage of lower weight, with the machine the diesel weighs only four kilograms more. That's why the GTD sports chassis can handle a fast ride. The car is safe, agile, slightly oversteering, and has super-fast steering with the variable transmission, where there are not even two turns between the extreme positions. With GTD on the steering wheel, you won't really feel it.

We didn't feel too limited either, because the GTD lacks the clever self-locking differential that the GTI has as standard, and in corners, it distributes power between the front wheels only by means of brake interventions. Traction at the exit of the corner is convincing and with its 400-newton meters, the diesel is not significantly behind the wheel.

The problem is not even with the comfort of the suspension. Golf has come to the test on a huge 19 rounds, but its premium adaptive shock absorbers can also match them very well. You won't get blunt threshing or bouncing of big rounds. on longer waves, but it won't shake the soul out of you. This setting is ideal not only for the Czech district.

If the GTD is against the comfort of long journeys, it's the annoying artificial sound of the engine. Fortunately, it goes off through individual settings.

In the form of the Golf GTD, a very attractive package was created, a sporty and fast car with an economical engine, a spacious interior, and a sufficiently large trunk. We can only criticize the traditional pains of the eighth generation of the European bestseller: the transition to touch control requires habit and the onboard system is still not one of the fastest, although it is improving.

And then there's the price problem. The previous generation of GTD entered the market in 2013 at a price of 613,900 crowns, some 60,000 paid extra for a slot machine, without which the current version is not possible. But the novelty starts at 939,900 crowns, and that is still enough attractive surcharges in reserve for the tested piece to come out at 1,134,800.

GTD, as a specimen from the automobile red book, is alive, but it paid for its existence by raising its price by almost fifty percent in seven years. At the time, the GTI and GTD were the same, the customer could choose: whether he wanted more fuel savings or fun behind the wheel for the same money.

This is not the case today, the GTI with the manual is a hundred thousand cheaper and that is despite all the qualities of the new GTD just too much. The powerful Diesel Golf is set to become a rarity and a chapter in a book as red as the calipers of its brakes.

Volkswagen Golf GTD

  • Engine: diesel 4-cylinder, 1968 cm3, turbo

  • Power: 147 kW at 3500 rpm.

  • Torque: 400 Nm at 1750 rpm.

  • Top speed: 245 km / h

  • Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 7.1 s

  • Combined consumption: 4.4 l / 100 km

  • Trunk volume: 380 l

  • Price: from CZK 939,900 (test car CZK 1,134,800)

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