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Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 170 GT Car Review | May 9, 2006

Driven May 2006

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Everything's meant to get bigger and better when it's replaced, right? So when VW launched the new MkV Golf GT TDI back in 2004, it confused us all by slotting a less powerful diesel engine under the bonnet.

You see, the MkIV had the 148bhp, 1.9-litre TDI, but the new car could only muster 138bhp. Thankfully, the current German obsession with horsepower means that Volkswagen was unlikely to leave things like that so now, the Golf has been given 168bhp to play with. Much better.

It's the same two-litre unit that serves just about every other Volkswagen Group product, but the turbo boost and injectors have been altered to give it the extra oomph.

It's certainly got plenty of that, as this Golf is seriously rapid. Plant your foot and you can feel the in-gear punch easily, even if you should find yourself sailing along quite happily at 100mph on some de-restricted German autobahn.

In fact, the only trouble is that Volkswagen hasn't quite managed to iron out that last bit of diesel rattle that afflicts this engine. It's much better than it was with the old 1.9-litre unit, but still can't match the best that some car makers have to offer. As such, the most powerful production diesel Golf to date (some disclaimer) is good, but not great.

Piers Ward

  • Model: Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 170 GT
  • Rating: 12 out of 20
  • We say: Powerful and rapid diesel, but not quite the refined super-sipper that we were hoping for.
  • Price: £19,095
  • On your drive for: £471pcm
  • Performance: 0-62mph in 8.2secs, 137mph max speed, 46.3mpg
  • Tech: 1968cc 4cyl, FWD, 168bhp, 258lb ft, 1328kg, 165g/km CO2
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