Volkswagen Golf GTI and GTD on sale
What's the news?
The new Mark 7 Volkswagen Golf GTI has gone on sale in Ireland. The 220hp flagship is available from €33,820 and is joined by its GTD diesel counterpart. Prices for the 184hp diesel start at €35,740.
The GTI's styling has always been about subtle changes over the standard car and the seventh generation is no different. The hallmark red stripe that distinguishes the GTI from the rest of the range now runs through the headlights rather than just around the grille and sits over a modified front bumper with larger intakes to feed air to the engine. GTI badging features throughout while the signature exhaust layout - with one pipe on either side of the car - sits below a beefier rear bumper. Seventeen-inch 'Brooklyn' alloy wheels are fitted as standard.
The GTD shares much of its more famous sibling's looks with the exception of the red stripe, which is silver for the high-powered diesel model, and the exhaust pipe layout in the GTD is a twin pipe layout.
Both cars are available in either three- or five-door body styles.
The Mark 7 Golf's already classy interior receives a dose of sportiness with signature tartan trimmed sports seats and 'golf ball' gear knob present and correct. These are joined by a flat-bottomed multi-function leather steering wheel that bears either a GTI or GTD badge at the lower extremity.
Standard equipment includes Bluetooth/USB/aux-in connectivity, cruise control, an electronic hand brake, air conditioning, aluminium pedals and a touchscreen infotainment system.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI petrol engine under the bonnet produces 220hp and 350Nm of torque. This allows the hot hatch to hit 100km/h in 6.5 seconds from standstill before sailing along to a 246km/h top speed. Yet thanks to changes made to the engine and the standard stop-start system the GTI is capable of returning 6.0 litres/100km (47.1mpg) with emissions of 139g/km making for an annual tax bill of €280. Opting for a DSG automatic transmission adds another €110 to the tax rate.
Unsurprisingly the GTD is even cleaner, with tax costing just €190 per year while sipping fuel at a rate of 4.2 litres/100km. This is despite the GTD possessing an 184hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine. With a 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds the diesel is a second slower than its petrol powered brother but with peak torque of 380Nm it should have the mid-range oomph to catch up.
Like the rest of the Golf range, both cars feature an XDS electronic differential that can cut power to the inside wheel while cornering, designed to reduce understeer.
It is yet to be 100 per cent confirmed, but it looks as if the GTI's Performance Pack will be available in Ireland later this year. Likely to cost circa €1,500 the Performance Pack adds an extra 10hp to the engine output, comes with bigger brakes and, most importantly, an electronically controlled limited slip differential with which to harness all the power. We recommend it.