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Aaron Gold

Test drive: Volkswagen Golf GTD

By February 14, 2013

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Volkswagen Golf GTD

Like most automotive journalists, I'm a big fan of diesel cars -- so I was chuffed when I found out that Volkswagen had imported a diesel-powered Golf GTD to the US for us journos to try out. The GTD is a diesel-powered hot hatch, essentially a GTI with a turbodiesel engine, and Volkswagen is apparently considering selling it in the US. Now, I know there are a lot of Americans who don't think "diesel" and "performance" belong in the same sentence -- so what happens when a GTI goes diesel? Find out in my Volkswagen Golf GTD review. -- Aaron Gold

Related: Volkswagen Golf GTD photo gallery

Photo © Aaron Gold

February 14, 2013 at 8:55 am
(1) Brian says:

I wish we could get this car in North America. Until then, the next best substitute is a chip tune that make you TDI as mild or as bonkers as you like. Throw in some aftermarket suspension and you are pretty close.

I really would suggest that anyone who hasn’t driven a TDI go and try one. You’d be surprised.

February 14, 2013 at 9:02 am
(2) HarryB says:

So Aaron the reason for only four stars was the ride, sounded like you pretty much loved it? On the diesel front Chevy finally came out with the diesel Cruze, I’ve been waiting to see what it would be, for me very disappointed on what I’ve read. No manual, only a 2LT (too many options) and the same mileage as a Cruze Eco for $5K more, to me Chevy has blown it but I’ll have to wait for your evaluation. I owned a diesel New Beetle and loved it.

February 14, 2013 at 9:11 am
(3) Steve in GA says:

Please don’t apologize for the French body odor comment. One of the things that makes an auto review interesting is the writer’s use of unique, funny or even outrageous metaphors and similes.

If you had grown up in the 1950’s as I did, you would probably have waited impatiently each month for the mail carrier (actually, in those days the term was, “postman”) to bring you your new issue of Mechanix Illustrated magazine. And, the high point of each issue was Tom McCahill’s auto review and his column, “Mail for McCahill”.

Tom didn’t mind insulting any or all ethnic groups, but he did it so often and in such good humor that I doubt that many people actually felt offended. Your comment about the odor of the French would not have even been noticed in a McCahill piece.

February 14, 2013 at 5:08 pm
(4) Mark in Montreal says:

I’ve been waiting for VW America to send this car over here for years. Diesels have the capability to make great performance cars that are fun to drive. Lots of low-end torque = lots of fun with great mileage. Don’t forget that the gasoline powered GTI requires premium fuel as well. Let’s hope they offer us a manual along with the DSG transmission. I just hope it is available before I am too old to enjoy it.

February 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm
(5) Hawaiian Don says:

I sold Golfs and I own two right now, but the GTD is the bomb for me. If they bring this baby to Canada, you can bet your house I’ll be driving one, if they keep it under $30k.
Mark, I drove the stick and dual clutch diesel. While the latter performed better, it also gave substantially better MPG’s. Because of the narrow rev band in diesels you shift a lot more. In Vancouver traffic, well that isn’t much fun and I’m a pretty hard core stick guy.

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