The underdog is here: VW Golf 8 GTD

GTI performance with diesel mileage

I've always maintained that high-performance diesel cars can be more enjoyable in the real world than the equivalent petrol version. I once used a Mini Cooper SD as a daily driver for a while and I was flabbergasted. It was mega-fast while also being cheap to run because of the range I managed to get out of it. It's the same story with the Golf GTD.

Diesel is cheaper than petrol in several European countries (that's gonna change in the next few years, I'm afraid), which means that if you buy a GTD now, depending on where you live, you're going to get the same level of performance you'd get from the GTI or the GTE for less money. The main problem is this only applies in certain countries depending on fuel taxes and the current charging infrastructure. If you live in Italy or Spain, for example, a GTD probably makes more sense than a GTI. If you live in Switzerland or Germany, maybe it doesn't. But I digress.

Anyway, the GTD packs 200 hp and 295 torques, which means you get a top speed of 245 kph (152 mph) and a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds. RRP is around €40k. Some people are going to say diesel cars sound bad, and that's true, but then again at least there's sound to speak of, as opposed to electric cars' silent hiss, and manufacturers have generally done a great job in that sense because a modern diesel sounds a million times better than a diesel car from 10-15 years ago.

What say you, does the GTD make more sense than the GTI in your country or is it the other way around? Feel free to share in the comments.

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Comments (12)

  • Do you think that 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds is manufactured? Mercedes’ c220d and e220d are marginally less powerful but the c is faster, and the e is marginally slower but both are quite a bit heavier.

    I think VW are underplaying the 0-60 time as not to tread on the toes of the GTi and GTE or the VW’s gearbox is just not as good as Mercedes’ 9-speeder!

    Really like the car though and if your a long distance driver, the GTD does make more sense.

      5 days ago
    • 7.1?! Is this 1990? Let's stampede turtles uphill through peanut butter and race. I give the turtles 2:1.

        5 days ago
  • I drive a BMW 125d with 270hp(not standard), performance diesels make absolute sense to me as I do circa 30k a year. The torque coupled with the ZF8 gearbox make it fun to drive and it's quick enough for A and B roads. It's only let down by the standard rear suspension.

      4 days ago
    • exactly, there you go. Bet you get amazing MPG even when you drive like your hair's on fire

        4 days ago
    • Average over the last year is almost 45mpg and I use sport mode a lot, and might accelerate quite aggressively. I'm lucky to live in a part of Wales blessed with some fine roads.

      Previously had a Saab 95 Aero Estate, quick(but not quite as...

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        3 days ago
  • Golf GTD is probably the only the Diesel car I'd want to own (come close a few times) but given the rising prices of diesel and the running costs of my lesser powered VW Caddy TDi only going up. I'd more likely go with a Golf GTI Clubsport (if the Lottery Gods rained upon me at least).

    That being said, MK7.5 GTDs are incredibly cheap right now compared to GTIs and GTEs.

      4 days ago
    • The Golf might be the only diesel you would want, but there are a lot more that I would only want as a diesel

        3 days ago
  • I’ve become a fan of diesel since I bought one. I have a 2.1 Merc. 180hp, but a massive (in my mind) 430 Nm of torque. It really pulls. Plus I actually quite like the growl when it’s pushed hard. So it’s a yes from me.

      4 days ago
  • Probably the last hurrah of a dying breed. Back in the mid 90s I had one of the first, Citroen Volcane TD. It was a beast and easily outdrove the golf gti of the day that had become a flabby dobber.

      4 days ago

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