Road tests 13.9.2017 09:30 am

ROAD TEST: Blood brothers – VW Golf GTD and R

The cars come with a full house of safety and assistance systems.

Okay, they are related, but at the same time they couldn’t be more different in how they go about their business or appeal to potential owners.

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I am talking about the recently launched Golf GTD and R.

And while on the subject of family, the Golf GTI has ruled the hot hatch roost for years in South Africa.

Yet despite the GTD outselling the GTI in the UK, VWSA has never been keen to bring the oil burner here because we just don’t seem to like high-performance diesel hatches.

This has changed, and with the VW Golf facelift, we now finally get the GTD, and while this was at the office, the top of the range R arrived, so we tested them together just for a bit of fun.

The GTD looks almost exactly like the GTI, and the R, so many of the uninformed would battle to tell the difference. The die-hard GTI fans will take pains to point out each and every difference.

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Both cars had the active info display system that is a must on any Golf you buy today and you also got the likes of the new 9.2- inch Discover Pro infotainment system with gesture control. The rest is the usual Golf quality and familiarity.

But our road tests are about the numbers and instead of a 2.0-litre turbo petrol as found in the GTI and R models, you get a 2.0-litre turbodiesel in the GTD.

Power for the GTD is rated at 130kW and the torque remains at a decent 350Nm. The R comes in at a proper 213kW and 380Nm. But make no mistake, do not try and treat the GTD like a GTI, it prefers to eat up the mileage on the open road with ease, whereasthe R wants to fight at every traffic light.

The VBOX numbers support this too, with the GTD getting to 1ookm/h in just under 8 seconds, and stopping at 220km/h, and the R blasting to 100km/h in under 5 seconds and being electronically stopped just short of 260km/h.

Of course, the GTD will make you smile at the fuel pumps though because it returned an impressive 6.5 litres per 100km average fuel consumption in the week we had it.

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The R was just as good, considering the performance on tap, and came in at 9.8 litres per 1ookm.

For what it is worth, they were claimed to use 5.3 litres and 6.9 litres per 100km respectively, but we all know that is some stupid machine and computer derived number that does not mean a lot in the real world.

The cars come with a full house of safety and assistance systems such as optional Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, plus Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking System.

You also get curtain airbag systems for front and rear passengers, driver and front passenger airbags with front passenger airbag deactivation, including knee airbag on the driver’s side.

The Golf R at R643 700 will always find a home with those that want the fastest Golf that VW has to offer.

The Golf GTD comes in at R506 700, which is only around R40 000 better priced than the GTI, so it remains to be seen if the GTD will find a place in our tough hot hatch market.

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The bottom line is, you have a very good extra choice now when it comes to buying a new Golf, and want something different to a GTI or an R.

The new Golf model range comes standard with a five-year /90 000km Service Plan, threeyear/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Intervals are 15 000km.

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