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Volkswagen Golf GTD review

The Volkswagen Golf GTD is the sporty hatch for those who actually place more importance on miles per gallon. It looks great and feels well built, but is it a thriller?

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Volkswagen Golf GTD: what would you like to read next?

Is the Volkswagen Golf GTD a good car?

This is the all-new Mk8 VW Golf GTD – the ideal version if you want your Golf to look sporty and be fun to drive, but who also do a whole load of motorway miles.

If you imagine that the new VW Golf GTI is the 400-metre runner in the range, well the Golf GTD is the 5000-metre runner, so it’s still quick, but it can also go a long way without effort. Indeed, it looks like a regular Golf that’s been given a pair of trainers and a couple of sweatbands.

It costs from around £33k and comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, 18-inch alloy wheels, Matrix LED headlights, keyless entry and three-zone climate control. And where the Golf GTI has red highlights, the GTD’s are silver.

The VW Golf GTD gets the same basic interior as the Mk8 Golf, which is a good thing. It’s all very minimalist and classy, with barely any buttons or fiddly details. You get a sportier steering wheel, plenty of sporty stitching, and sports seats with chequered trim. You also get mood lighting with 30 customisable colours. Oh, and there’s even a snazzy start button that pulses red before you start the engine.

As standard, there’s an 8-inch infotainment system and a 10-inch digital driver’s display but you can pay extra to get a pair of 10-inch screens instead. Both displays come with special GTD-specific graphics and you can customise the driver’s display using buttons on the steering wheel. There’s also the option to use voice commands to control lots of the car’s features – just like in the standard Golf.

The GTD is the Golf for the person who wants to look like they're in a GTI, but actually values economy above hooning pace.

Mat Watson
Mat Watson
carwow expert

The 2.0-litre diesel engine produces 200hp. Even though that’s 45hp less than the GTI, it still makes it the most powerful diesel Golf ever. It also pumps out 400Nm of torque, so it should feel pretty rapid. VW says its two catalytic converters and dual AdBlue injectors also make the GTD’s engine one of the ‘cleanest diesel engines in the world’.

The new Volkswagen Golf GTD gets independent suspension all-round, which should help it feel agile through the corners. You can also pay extra to have it fitted with adaptive dampers. These let you stiffen everything up for hooning down country roads and soften the ride for cruising home on the motorway.

You can personalise these settings through the infotainment system, too. So you can fine-tune your favourite setup and save it.

Come back soon for a full in-depth review of the VW Golf GTD, meantime check out the latest Golf GTD deals and have a look at its petrol equivalent, the VW Golf GTI.

How practical is it?

The interior is roomy for people and luggage, but the large front seats can make the back seat area feel a touch gloomy.

Boot (seats up)
374 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,270 litres

The VW Golf GTD has plenty of space for the driver and front-seat passenger, and the standard sports seats are both extremely supportive when you’re checking out how grippy the tyres are, and comfortable when you’re going from here to a long way over there.

There’s also lots of adjustment for both the front seat and steering wheel. For those in the back, the GTD feels just as roomy as the common-or-garden Golf, so there’s plenty of legroom and headroom for a couple of adults. However, just beware that the two large front seats can make the back feel a little gloomy.

There are loads of neat little cubbies dotted around the Golf GTD’s cabin, and as is usual on a VW, the front door bins are lined, which means stuff won’t slide around or rattle. They’re big enough for a decent-sized bottle, too. A fair-sized area resides beneath the centre armrest, and there’s a pair of adjustable cupholders on the centre console.

Talking of the centre console, there’s a long box beside the gear selector, and a dedicated area beneath the dashboard for storing your phone.

In the rear of the cabin, the door bins are pretty large, and each front seat comes with three seat-back pockets – one large enough to hold a map and two smaller ones that’ll accommodate phones.

The 381-litre boot is the same size as those in lesser Golfs, so you’ll be able to fit in five carry-on flight suitcases. It’s also easy enough to flip down the rear seats, which reveal a 1,237-litre load area that’s decent but not class-leading. If you need more carrying space, perhaps a Skoda Octavia vRS might make a decent second choice.

There’s also an adjustable boot floor that eliminates the step behind the folded rear seats, so you won’t have any trouble sliding in heavy items.

The boot is also a decent, regular shape, and features a range of bag hooks and lashing points so that you can ensure that anything you’ve bought remains in the same number of pieces when you get home as it was when you walked out of the shop.

What's it like to drive?

It’s the sporty-looking Golf for those who want to go a long way on a tank of fuel, but it’s perhaps not that exciting. 

Up front is what Volkswagen describes as one of the cleanest diesel engines in the world.

It’s a 2.0-litre turbodiesel that produces 200hp and 400Nm of torque, so the GTD is no sluggard. All this combustion-engined mumbo is put down to the tarmac through a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The upshot is that the Golf GTD can cover the 0-62mph sprint in just 7.1 seconds and carry on to a top speed on the eye-opening side of 150mph.

The Golf GTD can also manage an average of 54.3mpg, and emits 137g/km of CO2.

Indeed, Volkswagen refers to the GTD’s motor as one of the world’s cleanest diesels, thanks to what it refers to as ‘twin dosing’. In essence, this refers to the introduction of two SCR catalytic converters with dual AdBlue injection, which VW claims has significantly reduced the production of nitrogen oxide (NOx).

What's it like inside?

It’s all nicely built, and sporty touches such as the sports seats are present and correct, but does it feel special? Perhaps not.

Volkswagen Golf GTD colours

Special solid - Pure white
Free
Special solid - Moonstone grey
From £385
Metallic - Atlantic blue
From £645
Metallic - Deep black pearl
From £645
Metallic - Dolphin grey
From £645
Metallic - Reflex silver
From £645
Special metallic - Kings red
From £780
Pearl - Oryx white
From £1,075
Next Read full interior review
Buy a new or used Volkswagen Golf GTD at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £33,485 Avg. carwow saving £325 off RRP
  • Build your perfect car or choose from our recommendations based on your needs
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