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Torque Spinner

The Golf GTD mates diesel power to GTI chassis and suspension. Raymond Lai finds out if an oil burning hot hatch is such a good idea after all.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
05 Mar 2011
What we like:
GTI-like handling
strong low end and very usable pulling power
purposeful looks
low CO2 emissions and impressive fuel consumption
sporty sounding motor
refined for a four-pot diesel
What we dislike:
The dreaded high diesel passenger car tax
narrow power band


Go-faster bits over a bog standard Golf inside the GTI and hence the GTD, include superbly supportive sports seats, carbon fibre inserts on the dash and doors, alloy foot pedals, a brilliant flat-bottomed steering wheel with contrasting silver stitching (red on the GTI's) and the GTD logo on it among others.

Bar the different rev counter and a speedo that reads up to a more realistic 280km/h instead of 300km/h in the GTI's, the GTD's interior is otherwise similar to the petrol model. All in all, everything inside feels and looks the part.

Now comes the biggest doubt about the GTD. Thanks to the Singapore's senseless diesel passenger car tax, the GTD will cost an unreasonable $3636 to tax annually while a GTI's annual road tax only costs $1194. This even though the GTD emits far less harmful CO2 into the atmosphere than petrol models with similarly sized engines.

Volkswagen Singapore will offer the GTD with the exact same standard kit as the GTI it currently offers which means standard bi-Xenon headlamps, sat nav, cruise control, factory leather, electric sunroof and so on. To encourage Singaporeans to convert to diesel power, the GTD will be priced the same as the GTI even though the diesel model costs a tad more than its petrol equivalent in Europe.

I'd have to admit that the idea of a diesel powered hot hatch doesn't sound like an enticing one before driving the GTD but I'd have to say right now that I would buy one if I can afford one and if the diesel passenger car tax finally gets abolished and I'm sure many hot hatch freaks will agree with me as well.

Credits: Story and Photos by Raymond Lai

Cars in this article
Volkswagen Golf GTD 2.0 TDI (A) 2011
UNAVAILABLE

Volkswagen Golf GTD 2.0 TDI (A) 2011

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Sedan
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Diesel
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