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Essai volkswagen golf gtd
Back in January, we waxed lyrically about a newly unveiled car that fulfilled every cliché of an auto journalist's dream car—the Volkswagen Golf GTD SportWagen, a diesel station wagon fitted with a standard manual transmission. And GTD, of course, means a fast diesel, the oil-burner equivalent of a GTI. Now that we’ve spent some time behind the wheel, did this ostensible dream car live up to our expectations?
The GTD SportWagen (Europe calls it the GTD Variant) is powered by the VW Group's familiar 2.0-liter TDI, a turbo-diesel engine that produces 184 horsepower between 3500 and 4000 rpm, as well as a very robust 280 lb-ft of torque from just 1750 rpm. In the GTD, it sounds downright sporty, and we estimate it propels the wagon to 60 mph in just 7.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at 144 mph, and judging from the way this car pulls to 100 mph and beyond, that’s not just a hypothetical figure—at least in places where it can be exercised, like in Europe.
The GTD wagon easily returns an indicated 40 mpg or so—and it’s so much more fun than any hybrid we’ve recently driven that it should make the proponents of electrified mobility weep.
Sure, a diesel engine is slightly heavier than a gasoline engine, and despite using the relatively lightweight MQB architecture. the GTD wagon tips the scales at something like 3300 pounds. But VW’s chassis modifications help mitigate those facts. For example, the GTD sits lower than a regular Golf; it’s fitted with 225/45 tires on 17-inch wheels (upgradable to 40-series rubber and 18-inch wheels); it features a stability control system with a Sport mode that allows more wheelspin; and it comes with a brake-based function that simulates a limited-slip differential for greater agility. Add to that a nicely weighted power-steering system, and you have an innocuous diesel station wagon that likes to charge up mountain roads and hunt down sports coupes.
The standard six-speed manual is so slick that we wouldn't even think of opting for the six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic—especially since the throttle-blipping that’s so much fun on DSG-equipped gasoline-powered cars doesn't create much of an effect with the lazier diesel.
Rewarding to drive fast, yet comfortable enough to conceal its dark side from those who might disapprove of a harder-core conveyance, the GTD comes with many subtle design cues that nod to the past. When VW launched the first GTD in 1982, based on the first-generation Golf (a.k.a. the Rabbit ), it mimicked the look of the GTI. but the red accents on the grille were replaced with silver. Same thing on today's GTD. Otherwise, GTDs visually mimic GTIs, with their subtly aggressive front and rear fascias. The twist is that the Golf SportWagen doesn't even come as a GTI.
In the U.S. market, the closest thing to the GTD SportWagen (besides the Golf TDI SportWagen ) would be a BMW 328d station wagon. and the VW would give the Bavarian a run for its money. If only U.S. diesel-fuel prices were lower, VW would be well advised to launch this fun and sensible wagon in the States. As for us, you can consider our expectations met.