Road Test: Volkswagen Golf GTD
Sector: Lower-medium Price: £26,420 Fuel: 67.3mpg CO2: 109g/km
If you offer your drivers an open company car choice list, you can guarantee that a sporty Golf will be one of the favourites among user-chooser staff.
The brand appeal, build quality and performance offered by various sporty incarnations of the Golf ensure strong appeal from a variety of drivers, both male and female, young and old.
Today, the choice of sporty Golfs is wider than ever, and also a little more confusing for company car drivers. We’ll discount the high performance R version as being just too extreme on the performance front, so that leaves the petrol powered GTI and the diesel GTD.
So which of the GTsomethings make for the best user-chooser Golf? If company car tax is not a great concern, and mileage is limited, the GTI is still a viable choice – its 139g/km CO2 emissions put it in the 20% benefit-in-kind banding, leaving a monthly bill of £178 for a higher-rate tax-payer.
But for around £30 a month less in company car tax, the GTD Golf makes a compelling argument for itself. Not only does it look just like a GTI (subtle but effective styling additions inside and out distinguish the GTD from lesser Golfs) but it also performs nearly as well – the 2.0-litre diesel offers 181bhp and a considerable slug of torque for effortless overtaking from low revs.
But it is on paper where the GTD really scores – zero VED rated, 17% BIK banding, 109g/km of CO2… it really holds all the aces in this Golf card game. Or, rather, it did until the Golf GTE was announced. This Golf is the ‘third way’, combining petrol-electric plug-in hybrid technology to deliver a Golf that looks and goes like a GTI but which sips fuel like an Up! thanks to fuel economy of up to 188mpg and CO2 emissions of just 35g/km, making for a 5% BIK banding).
When the GTE order book opens in November (with prices from around £28,000), the GTD’s position as the user-chooser Golf of choice may be under threat. But regardless of this, the Golf GTD is still a great proposition and one which will continue to wins the hearts and minds of company car drivers for years to come.