www.volkswagendrivermag.co.uk , posted by tdipower and http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/grouptests/238870/vw_golf_gtd_tdi.html#ixzz0bk85O6oa Think of a hot Volkswagen Golf and youâ€™re likely to have a picture of the legendary GTI in your head. But now, you can have your VW thrills with a diesel flavour, as the firm has launched the new Golf GTD. By mixing the best bits of the turbocharged petrol flagship with an economical oil-burner, bosses claim drivers can have their cake and eat it. Similarities between the hottest petrol and diesel models can be seen in the styling â€“ if it wasnâ€™t for the subtle GTD badging, only the most dedicated Golf fans could tell them apart. The newcomer features many of the neat details that identify the range-topper, including the GTIâ€™s bumpers and rear diffuser. Even in our test carâ€™s plain silver paintwork, the Golf makes the A3 appear bland. Inside, those familiar with the GTI will also be at home in the GTD. The supportive seats feel good and look superb, although we think the optional Â£1,675 leather trim is too expensive. Hide has been used to good effect on the flat-bottomed steering wheel and gearlever, though, and both are great to hold as a result. As with other models in the MkVI Golf range, fit and finish are superb, with everything laid out clearly and sensibly. Yet the mix of a GTI-style steering wheel, metal pedals and supportive seats means the newcomer still feels special, and every time you climb aboard is an occasion. While our test cars share the same engine, they deliver their power in different ways. In the Audi, there is noticeable lag before a rush of turbocharged torque arrives; the Golf is much more linear. And even though the VW feels slower, a quick look at the performance figures tells a different story. Longer top-end gearing and better sound insulation mean the GTD is quieter at speed as well, with refinement on the whole better than in the Audi. However, if you like a sporty soundtrack, the Golf delivers with a roar from its exhausts that is rare in a diesel â€“ and absent from the A3. You might expect the heavy oil-burning powerplant to blunt the handling of the new VW, but the GTD acquits itself very well, and feels every bit as capable as the GTI. It could prove frustrating for owners who like to take their vehicles on track days â€“ the stability control canâ€™t be fully switched off and the firmâ€™s clever XDS electronic limited-slip differential isnâ€™t even on the options list. But as a road car, the GTD is wonderfully set up. The tightly controlled ride is comfortable and the Golf excels on almost any surface, displaying incredible composure at high speed. Put simply, the GTD is a superb all-rounder, with its great engine, fantastic detailing and impressively comfortable driving environment. It also provides a beautifully judged balance between ride and handling for a road car. So does this performance diesel have what it takes to see off the competition from its premium stablemate?