2017 Volkswagen Golf GTD review – is it still a proper hot hatch even though it's a diesel? - Performance and 0-60 time
Frugal and refined but at the cost of excitement
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.
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.