Volkswagen Golf GT

There’s a diesel version – and very good it is, too

VW Golf GTI
Price
from £19,095
  • VW's sportiest diesel Golf yet
  • The GTI costs just £1300 more

A little confusingly, the Golf GT doesn’t just come with the intriguing turbo- and super-charged ‘TSI’ 1.4-litre petrol engine (evo 092). It’s also available with a remarkable 2-litre diesel which boasts the same 168bhp as the TSI, giving what is believed to be the highest specific output of any production diesel engine. More than that, it generates spectacular torque – no less than 258lb ft, 80lb ft more than the TSI.

Visually, both GTs are identical but there’s no confusing them when you fire up, with plenty of clatter at idle and appreciable thrum as the unit spins up. The output gains over previous TDIs are largely down to new ‘piezo’ injector technology, which employs very high fuel pressure – up to 2200bar.

Out of tighter corners the surge of torque, which peaks at 1750rpm, is enough to trigger the traction control. Previous potent Golf TDIs are similar, the difference with this version is at the top end. Like most diesels it’s red-lined before 5000rpm but the engine doesn’t wind down, like it’s being choked, at 4000rpm, urge remaining strong up to and beyond 4500rpm.

This makes it feel that bit more sporting, though economy is still the best reason for opting for the TDI: the combined average is 46.3mpg compared with 38.2 for the TSI. Thing is, though, the GTI costs only £1300 more, so you’ve really got to value economy to go for the softer, more ordinary handling and visually tamer GT, be it petrol or diesel.

Specifications

Engine4-cyl, 1968cc, turbodiesel
Max power168bhp @ 4200rpm
Max torque285 Ib ft @ 1750rpm
0-608.2sec (claimed)
On saleNow

Most Popular

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed
MY22 Nissan GT-R T-spec – front quarter
Nissan GT-R

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed

Two new special editions and the return of some iconic colours are the highlights of the Nissan GT-R’s MY22 update
14 Sep 2021
A dead Ferrari F40 in Switzerland – evo Archive
Ferrari F40
Ferrari F40

A dead Ferrari F40 in Switzerland – evo Archive

The story of a Ferrari F40, a flat battery, Swiss chocolate and sex toys…
7 Sep 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo

Tesla has now recorded a Nürburgring lap time with its Model S Plaid, if that matters
10 Sep 2021