VW Golf GTI vs GTD - Mk7 Comparison

UPDATE - Newer Golf GTI vs GTD article here. Comparing price, spec list etc...

While the new Golf GTI has been hogging the Geneva headlines, its more frugal, diesel brother was also announced for a Swiss launch last week.

Before you go lining up that order form for the petrol car, we're looking at how the two models compare to one another.

Golf GTI

VW Golf GTD front
Golf GTD

Both cars use a 2.0 engine - a commonrail turbodiesel for the GTDand a direct injection turbo for the GTI. The GTI is the more powerful, with 220PS (217hp) to the GTD's 184PS (181hp), but the GTD is marginally more torquey with 380Nm (280lbft) to 350Nm (258lbft).

The power deficit means the GTI is clearly the quicker car to 62mph, knocking it off a full second faster (6.5s to 7.5s), running on to a 10mph better top speed at 152mph.

The GTI has seen significant fuel economy improvements over the previous generation, with the 6 speed manual car running 47.0mpg combined and 44.1mpg from the optional DSG. The GTD blows these numbers out of the water, as even the DSG equipped model returns 60.1mpg - the six speed manual showing 67.0mpg.

VW Golf GTI rear
Golf GTI

VW Golf GTD rear
Golf GTD

This means that while the manual GTI is liable for 115 VED every year, the manual GTD is free for the first year and only 20 VED thereafter.

On the outside the cars are barely distinguishable. Both come with smoked LED rear lights with LED licence plate illumination, chrome dual tailpipes, side skirts, a rear diffuser and a large roof spoiler, though the GTD substitutes smaller, 17 alloys for the 18 set on the GTI. The GTI will also come with bi-xenon headlights and daytime running LED lights.

Moving inside there's little difference either, as both have tartan sports seats, a black rooflining, sports steering wheel and stainless steel pedals, though each has its own distinctive gear lever, trim strips and instrument cluster. The ambient lighting differs too, from red in the GTI to white in the GTD.

VW Golf GTI interior
Golf GTI

VW Golf GTD interior
Golf GTD

UK prices have yet to be announced, though European models will be available to order on March 5th starting at 28,350 for the GTI and 29,350 for the GTD.

Priced from: Not yet announced
Available from: 26th March (GTI), April (GTD) - deliveries in summer 2013


With the GTD offering most of the performance of the GTI with significant fuel savings, it sits in a commanding position as the frugal man's hot hatch. But one day you'll be at the traffic lights next to a GTI and you'll know the long-term wallet joy means little...

UPDATE - NewerGolf GTI vs GTD article here. Comparing price, spec list etc...

For more information check out our full summary of the Volkswagen Golf alongside reviews, stats, photos and videos!

Weve negotiated savings of 10% off the RRP on every Mk7 Golf. Orders are placed directly with official VW dealers and include free delivery within England and Wales.

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