Written by: Adil Arif
Photography by: Adil Arif
Last week I was in the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and this week I’m spending time with its more fuel-efficient twin, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI. TDI is Volkswagen's trim for their Turbocharged Direct Injection diesel-powered vehicles, which has always been the go to option if you were looking to save some money at the pump. Continuing that trend you’ll be happy to know that the Golf TDI will easily do 800 km to the tank. In fact, after a week’s worth of spirited driving I’ve still got half a tank left. For fuel consumption I averaged single digit numbers, 6.7 L/100km to be exact, pretty impressive. You would have to get into a much smaller gasoline car or a pricier hybrid to match those numbers.
Inside the cabin you’ll continue to smile. As we’ve mentioned previously in our GTI and TSI reviews, the new Golf has a spectacular interior. All high-end materials with metal trims stretch across the gauges and center console. The cockpit is also oriented towards the driver and you can easily reach the controls while keeping your eyes on the road. The seats are supportive and comfortable, there’s ample cargo room in the boot and enough seating capacity for three full-size adults in the rear. It’s spacious, roomy and comes with the beautiful Fender Sound System we loved from the other trims.
But we’ve covered the TSI and GTI versions of the Golf in depth already, so what’s so different about the Golf TDI? Besides the noisy sputter from the diesel engine not a whole lot, and that’s a good thing. You still get the great fuel economy and comfort you would look for in the 1.8L TSI, but benefit tremendously in the performance department with the added torque and DSG transmission. Rated at 150 horsepower and 236 lb-ft together with the new lightweight chassis, it’s just as fun to drive as the GTI. Mind you paddle shifters aren’t even an option, the shifts aren’t as quick and the suspension is obviously geared more towards comfort so there is slight body roll, but I’m still smiling every time I get behind the wheel. There’s also some turbo lag but once it spools up and the power comes on at about 2500 rpm, everything is just peachy. Highway speeds keep the power in the sweet spot and passing is effortless. I would say it’s the perfect compromise between the entry level TSI and the all-out bonkers GTI. I find it near impossible to find another fun car like this in this $20-30k price range and still manage to get 800 km worth of fuel into the tank. “I love taking my Toyota Prius out on weekends on the back roads” – said no one ever. Not to knock the Prius by any means but let’s face it, you either have the choice between performance and fun with zero fuel economy in mind, or you have amazing fuel economy and sub par performance. It’s always a struggle to find a happy medium between the two, but the Golf TDI seems to bridge that gap quite nicely.
So then, having been in the TSI, the GTI and now the TDI it’s safe to say that there’s a Golf for everyone. But let’s compare the TSI and TDI. Consumers have the option of three trims, Trendline, Comfortline and Highline along with the ability to mix and match between a 1.8L Turbo and a 2.0L turbo clean diesel engine. Both engine options are available in a 5-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic, and our favourite the Dual Clutch DSG automatic reserved for the TDI. In base trim the Trendline starts at just $19,995 and comes exceptionally equipped with Bluetooth, 5.8-inch touch screen display, 8 speaker stereo with IPod connectivity, heated seats and mirrors, and even traction control. You’ll have to upgrade to the Comfortline in order to get access to the optional equipment packages. Our tester however was the fully loaded Highline with the 2.0L inline turbo-four diesel mated to the DSG automatic, with every bell and whistle the Golf can offer. Starting at $30,995 for a 6-speed and ringing out to $34,590 for our tester (adaptive bi-xenon headlamps and DSG automatic transmission are $2,195 and $1400 extra) this is definitely the Golf of choice if you can’t get into the GTI, or don’t necessarily want to be pulled over for speeding regularly.
Ultimately, with Volkswagen’s diesel engine surcharge and Canadian diesel fuel prices being generally the same or higher than gasoline, you may want to view the 800 km cruising range of the TDI as you would a convenience option, such as a sunroof, sport package, or fancy stereo. Unless you routinely drive long distances, though, it’s going to take quite a while for the TDI to earn back its premium, so don’t buy one thinking you’ll necessarily save money. And whatever you do save may be forgotten every time you—running on fumes—pull into a station only to discover that it doesn’t serve diesel.
The new Golf is a force to be reckoned with, and spending a week each in all trim levels it’s a no brainer why this car is AJAC's 2015 Best Small Car of the Year (over $21,000). It comes in every flavour, from plain old vanilla to spicy hot pepper. Frankly, we love them all.
型号 Model: 2015 Volkswagen Golf Highline TDI 5-Door
顏色 Paint Type: Tornado Red
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $30,995
試車售價 Price as Tested: $34,590
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,637
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,268 / 1,799 / 1,443
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,393
引擎 Engine: 2.0L inline four-cylinder TDI Diesel
最大馬力 Horsepower: 150 hp @ 3,500 - 4,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 236 lb-ft @ 1,750 - 3,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed DSG automatic with Tiptronic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
前後懸 Suspension: Rear fully independent four-link suspension with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Solid disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway)- L/100 km: 7.5 / 5.5