Bags of performance
offered by the new
Volkswagen Golf TDI

Road Tested By Hugh Maguire

Road Tested By Hugh Maguire

With diesel powered cars becoming more popular due to our emission based road tax regime manufacturers have tried to find ways to offer more than just economical cars but sporty versions of their diesel line-up and so it is with VW and the new Golf 2.0 TDI.

This new Golf has so many variants that I cannot detail them all here.

Suffice to say the range kicks off at €19,995 and as always with the Golf though new, its an evolution rather than a revolution.

My test car is the highly specified Highline model, with auto DSG gearbox and also with no less than €7,600 euro worth of options, more of which later.

First Impressions

You will not mistake this car for anything but a VW Golf.

The styling has evolved rather than radically changed and I suppose that is a good thing after all if it ain’t broken why fix it!

The styling is fresh and contemporary without risking alienating the loyal following of Golf buyers.

Behind The Wheel

The interior gets a touch of the sporty treatment too with chrome detailing around the dials, the leather trimmed multifunction sports steering wheel which by the way is not completely round but has a flat base like a racing car and aluminium look pedals. It all looks great.

Everything is where you would expect it, with the usual high standard of ergonomics and unsurpassed build quality.

The dashboard is a model of clarity with easy to read instruments and switches that move with a well- engineered precision.

Standard equipment includes Climatic climate control, cruise control, an on board computer, high quality stereo with MP3 compatibility and an AUX port, a six-speed DSG auto gearbox front fog lights, Fatigue detection, Bluetooth, a super centrally mounted touchscreen, Sports Seats, and the usual electrics we have come to expect.

On the safety front it is also well kitted out with, ABS, HBA ( Hydraulic Brake assist), CBA (Cornering Brake Assist) Front, side and curtain airbags, a drivers knee airbag, ESP, ISOFIX, and full three point rear belts.

The cabin is very well laid out and of course has bags of leg and headroom both front and rear.

My test car was the version with the DSG Direct Shift Gearbox as standard which allows the driver to change gear via the handy paddles on the steering wheel or via the shift lever, without a clutch of course.

I found this box worked very well indeed and added to the enjoyment of driving this sporty diesel.

Put it in “Sport” mode and it will shift rapidly up through the six gears automatically but holding onto the redline if necessary.

Using the paddles just adds more driver involvement, equally you can just drive it in Normal and treat it like a standard auto gearbox.


The 2.0 TDI engine mated to the DSG gearbox in this case is a very nice combination producing a healthy 150 bhp performance is very good indeed.

On the fuel economy side it scores very well burning just 6.5 litres per 100km over my weeks test.

Road tax is €200.00 per year.

Road Behaviour

The new VW Golf rides and handles very nicely.

That suspension does a rather good job of insulating the passengers from road imperfections, yet endows the TDI with pretty dynamic handling with little body roll in corners and limpet like grip.

This new Golf proves surefooted whether on wet or dry roads and the brakes provide powerful stopping power.

Its fast, surefooted, sporty and refined, yet eminently practical as you would expect of a Golf.

My test car had over €7,600 of extras, including a Sport Pack, Winter Pack, sat Nav, Park assist, Adaptive Cruise control, Lane assist, Xenon lights and the multi function steering wheel.

A hefty extras bill but one which made this car feel very special.


The new Golf TDI really does everything well and nothing badly.

It is roomy, well equipped, versatile and economical yet performs very well and has a classically Golf clean crisp style.

The 2.0 TDI with the DSG auto box really is the GTI for the buyer who wants a fun diesel car. It manages to mix all the benefits of a diesel with the style and punchy performance you might expect from a petrol hot hatch.

I really enjoyed every kilometre behind the wheel, it is a superbly rewarding car to drive.

The 2.0 TDI Highline model with DSG costs, €31,645, throw in those extras and it becomes a rather pricey Golf at €39,256.

That said I loved it. Drive it and you will too!