We reluctantly said goodbye to our Golf GTD long-termer after a year on our fleet during which we travelled just over 16,000 miles.
I was the tester for the majority of that time, with features editor Andrew Ryan spending three to four months in it. We both agree that it is easy to see why the Golf is such a popular fleet model: it has the looks, performance and practicality to appeal to most company car drivers. And in GTD guise, it suits user-choosers that want a hot-hatch without paying a hefty price in company car tax.
The CO2 emissions on the manual we tested are 109g/km – 25g/km lower than the previous GTD’s best – while fuel economy is 67.3mpg on the official combined cycle. Neither figures are affected by the current NOx emissions issue.
On long motorway journeys the Golf GTD achieves 60-plus mpg and, even in the ‘sport’ driving mode, it was possible to average 52mpg commuting. That’s impressive considering the 2.0-litre engine produces 184hp and can reach 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.
The Golf GTD has the prerequisite hot-hatch features – lowered sports suspension, red brake calipers and twin exhaust pipes, plus a ‘sport and sound pack’ (an optional extra for £255). The cabin harks back to the original Golf, with a golf ball gearstick and tartan seats.
It proved practical too, with a standard boot capacity of 380 litres (up from 350 litres in the previous model) and a 60/40 split folding rear seat, which extends the boot capacity to a generous 1,270 litres.
I found the bag hooks in the boot, the compartment for storing your phone and the generous, flock-lined door pockets particularly handy.
What really impressed though was the level of standard safety technology (including front assist city emergency braking and radar- operated cruise control) and the optional self-parking function park assist (for £150).