10 Jun 2013

Spotted - 2001 Golf GT TDI 150

With the new Golf GTD hitting Volkswagen showrooms I thought I'd highlight a twelve year old example that can be had for £1500 and that brought together all the ingredients to make a fantastic machine that, at the time, was unrivalled for fun, economy, practicality and price.

The Mk 4 Golf GTi in 2 litre petrol form was an underpowered snail.  The only decent engine was the later 1.8 turbo (see here for a 'Living with').  But look to the diesels and you got enormous torque and, if you chose wisely, great power.  That it returned 52mpg on the combined cycle made it the early 2000s company car of choice for thousands of shiny suited young bucks.

The GT TDI used Volkswagen's venerable 1.9 litre diesel unit and added a turbo (the non-turbocharged SDi was dismally slow).  In certain versions the engine was tuned to 150bhp, yet it was still massively economical (the 1.8 turbo petrol version returned about 30mpg).

The diesel was a GTi in all but name.  Visually the GTi and GT TDI were identical.  Same fantastic Recaro seats, same wheels, same trim, same six speed manual gearbox but with better performance and 50-odd mpg.

Today the Mk 4 Golf is a bargain and the GT TDI is the one to have if you do lots of miles and only want to spend £1000-2000.  It returns 52mpg, does 0-60mph in 8.6 seconds, has 150bhp and 236lb ft of torque.

This one represents the best balance of price, condition and mileage I could find.  Nearly all GT TDIs on the market have done more than 100,000 miles which is fine if they have a full service history.

Other versions available are the 110bhp, 115bhp and 130bhp.  The 110bhp and 115bhp are dead slow and should be avoided.  The 130bhp is still a pretty good car.

Here's the link to the advert.