Skip advert
Advertisement

Volkswagen Golf GTD hatchback (2013-2019)

“The Volkswagen Golf GTD has proved more popular than the GTI thanks to its pace, practicality and low running costs”

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Impressively quick
  • Low running costs
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • Pricey to buy
  • Conservative styling
  • Rivals are more exciting to drive

The Volkswagen Golf GTD is a family hatchback that aims to blend the economy of a diesel engine with the sporting appeal of the petrol-powered GTI model. It’s a recipe that seems to work; despite not being as fast or as fun to drive as its iconic sibling, the GTD sells in much higher numbers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The GTD has similar exterior styling to the GTI and so looks purposeful yet grown-up; there are three and five-door hatchback models to choose from, along with an estate, which we've reviewed separately. The GTD is certainly a looker, and it gets just as much kit inside as the GTI, too.

The medium-sized, higher-performance diesel hatchback market is pretty saturated, so the Golf GTD faces up to some stiff competition. Worthy contenders include the Ford Focus ST, Peugeot 308 GT, SEAT Leon FR, MINI Clubman Cooper SD and even the BMW 1 Series.

Much of the GTD’s popularity can be attributed to its decent fuel-economy figures; in BlueLine specification, it returns 64.2mpg on average, with CO2 emissions of 116g/km in three-door manual form. Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rates start from 25%, which is good news for company-car drivers.The GTD BlueLine version was introduced in the car’s most recent facelift and has smaller 17-inch wheels to help it achieve these figures.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Meanwhile, the standard GTD returns from 57.6 to 61.4mpg depending on bodystyle and wheel size. Yet even with the BlueLine treatment, the GTD isn’t quite class-leading: the Peugeot 308 GT is even more efficient, managing 70.6mpg with emissions of 105g/km.

The GTD offers fantastic performance that should be enough for most drivers in most real-world situations. There’s 182bhp on tap and it’s available low down in the car’s rev range, which means acceleration is punchy through the gears. Officially, 0-62mph takes 7.4 seconds with a DSG gearbox or 7.5 seconds with a manual, but the GTD feels faster. A top speed of 143mph is impressive, even if it’s not terribly relevant in the UK.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Coupled with composed handling, it’s possible to get from one place to another plenty fast enough, with the stiffer suspension, lowered ride height and powerful brakes of the GTD inspiring lots of confidence.

Interior space is exactly the same as any regular Golf, so you get a generous 380-litre boot and plenty of room to carry adults in the back. If you need it, there’s also an estate version, increasing boot space to 605 litres, or 1,620 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

The GTD is positioned towards the top of the Golf range and has lots of standard equipment. As well as unique styling touches – similar to the GTI but with a black honeycomb front air intake – LED headlamps are fitted, plus 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, the GTD boasts a configurable 12.3-inch Active Info Display in place of traditional instruments – you can set it to display various combinations of information, including a full-colour 3D navigation map.

Keyless entry, sat nav, and parking sensors are also standard equipment. In fact, you shouldn’t have to add much from the options list, but we recommend the adaptive dampers (called Dynamic Chassis Control), which have three settings to stiffen or soften the suspension and make the car handle even better.

With sophisticated safety equipment that includes autonomous emergency braking, the the Golf boasts a five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. The Volkswagen Golf finished 18th out of the 75 cars ranked in our 2017 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK. Whether you’re a private owner or a company-car user, the Golf GTD is a pleasure to drive and painless to own.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Audi S3 Sportback review – now it’s fun as well as fast
Audi S3 Sportback front dynamic
In-depth reviews
23 Apr 2024

Audi S3 Sportback review – now it’s fun as well as fast

Ford Focus ST review – a great handling hatch, made hotter
Ford Focus ST Track Pack front 3/4
In-depth reviews
11 Apr 2024

Ford Focus ST review – a great handling hatch, made hotter

Most Popular

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
12 Jun 2024

Engine management light: what to do if it comes on

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
14 Jun 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Dacia Duster crowned UK’s best car to own in Driver Power survey
Dacia Duster front quarter
News
12 Jun 2024

Dacia Duster crowned UK’s best car to own in Driver Power survey

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024