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Ladies Choice - Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI GTD Review

Volkswagen Golf

What's good?
Gorgeous to look at. Quality cabin. Very fast!

Review

The Volkswagen Golf is now in to its 7th generation. Key to its success has been its ability to be a fantastic all round performer, proving to be fun on twisty roads, refined on the motorway and big enough for the weekly shop. The latest generation aims to be the best ever, but kicking the usual base spec VW Golf to the side unveils a machine far better than you could ever imagine. A girl might look out of place in a diesel hot hatch, but my god will you have the men looking at you in envy.

Style

The new Volkswagen Golf is quite unassuming to look at. It could even be considered boring. Not so with the GTD model however, which gets as standard tasty 17-inch alloy wheels, a beefier body kit than GT models, a honeycomb front grill and all of the GTD badges you can shake a stick at. To those not in the know, the GTD is just any other Golf, but for those who know their cars from their, erm, cars, the GTD will stick out. It's available in a range of colours; women who want to go unnoticed can buy one in grey or black, whilst more eccentric women (strippers, for example) can buy the white or red one. My favourite thing about the GTD's style is its stance; it simply looks like it wants to be driven hard. That's something that can't be said about non-hot MK7 Golf's.

Driving

0 - 60 in 7.4 seconds might not sound all that blistering, but mated to the optional 7 speed DSG gearbox you'll be pleasantly surprised at the GTD's spirit off the line. Of course, it's when rolling at 20 - 30 mph that a diesel engine shows its true colours, and I'm pleased to report that you'll be able to 'smoke' your husband in his puny 1.8-litre petrol hatch all day long. The 2.0-litre TDI engine is an all new unit on the previous GTD, and it offers more power; 184 bhp and 280 lb /ft of torque to be exact, which is enough to pin you back in to your seat should you want to floor the throttle. When you've stopped wasting fuel, the Golf GTD is extremely comfortable, and inside the quality is high. On the motorway the GTD will return over 45 mpg. Not bad for a car that is faster than a lot of things on the road. Is the GTD better to drive than the GTI? Well, it's certainly more economical, and it has more torque. I'd say that in one more generation the GTD will be as much a driver's car as the GTI.

Inside

Every time a new VW Golf is released the biggest change comes in interior quality. The MK6 Golf was and still is a lovely place to be, but the MK7 Golf takes this to a whole new level. In GT spec and above, soft touch rubbers and leathers are everywhere, but for real class, the GTD is a step above even that. Grey tartan seats, a chunky flat bottomed steering wheel, GTD badges and a lot of brushed aluminium make for an incredibly comfortable and sporty place to be. The seats need a special mention, too, not only for their tartan design, but their comfort and support; they are firm and supportive of your weight, but have terrific cushioning for long trips. In the back of the 3-door car leg room if good but it's even better in the 5 door version. Younger drivers should opt for the three door car, as the 5-door version feels taller and less sporty overall. If you have a couple of kids, though, the 5-door GTD is where it's at.

Running costs

The MK7 GTD has an all new engine and Volkswagen have worked hard to keep emissions as low as possible from the 2.0 TDI. As a result, the new GTD is claimed to be able to hit 67.3 mpg on the motorway and stay within the mid-40's around town. However you drive though the truth is you'll return better fuel economy than any 2.0 TSI engine, such as the one found in the GTI. That's good news for mums who buy a GTD, because it's not a cheap car to buy from a dealer.

Trim and equipment

The Volkswagen Golf GTD is the top Golf you can buy alongside the Volkswagen Golf GTI. As standard, the Golf GTD has a 6-speed manual gearbox however the 7-speed DSG can be ticked as an option. I recommend the DSG gearbox as it really is very good, and relaxing in traffic. As standard the GTD is fitted with an XDS+ vehicle dynamics function, progressive steering, sport suspension (15 mm lower than standard cars) and 17-inch “Curitiba” wheels with size 225 tyres. Other standard features include bi-xenon headlights with cornering function, LED taillights, automatic climate control system (Climatronic), Driver Alert System, Composition Touch radio system (including SD cart slot and AUX-IN interface) and ambience lighting. Optional equipment includes a sound actuator, navigation system with Google Earth, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist and the clever Dynamic Chassis Control. A number of packs are also available which include heated seats.

Overall

The Volkswagen Golf GTD is the car that every man wants. That's precisely why, as a woman, you should buy one. The regular Golf is for mummies who get let out of the house twice a week for groceries. The GTD is for mummies who seek adventure, thrills and leaving little boy racers in a cloud of diesel smoke. In all seriousness, the GTD is as good a car as the Golf GTI. By buying the GTD over its petrol brother you will lose around 10% of the thrills but gain more than 10% of that back in economy. A Seat Leon FR 2.0 TDI may have the same engine as this and come in cheaper, but the Golf is a nicer place to be and has better badge appeal.

 

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