Performance and 0-60 time
The Golf GTD feels slightly quicker than its 7.5sec 0-62mph time suggests, or 7.4sec for a seven-speed DSG-equipped car. That’s thanks to its healthy torque figure of 280lb ft, the exact same amount that the Golf R’s 2-litre petrol engine produces.
However, despite the GTD’s motor reaching peak torque at just 1750rpm, it has only a very small operating window where the Golf diesel feels properly quick. Stand on the throttle when the revs are between 2000 to 3000rpm and there’s a significant, and surprisingly instant, lurch of acceleration. In contrast, at the lower end of the rev range the engine feels laggy and turgid, while being breathless and feeble at higher revs.
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With only a chunk of its mid-range being worth using, the engine doesn’t feel very special. The sound symposer that pumps an engine-like noise into the cabin via the speakers masks the rattley diesel tones the motor is predisposed to make, and does a fine job of giving the engine a more pleasing note. It’s especially effective when the Sport driving mode is selected, but although the noise is better than the usual uncultured knocking of a four-cylinder diesel it’s still not the most evocative sound.
Use everything that the GTD’s engine has got and the manual version will reach a top speed of 144mph. Despite the DSG version being slightly quicker to 62mph it has a slightly slower top speed than the manual, topping out at 143mph.