2003 Volkswagen Golf GTI TDI 150 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland
A sporty diesel with attitude
Nothing has gone wrong.
First of all you notice the acceleration. This is mainly because it doesn't feel or sound like a diesel. It reminds me of a V6 engine! The only really problematical area is the massive surge that comes around 2000 revs when you are accelerating gently. If you are not careful, the car hurtles forward much faster than anticipated.
Handling is much better than the 110 or 130 models I have driven, as the suspension seems much firmer. That, combined with 16" wheels, has reduced the body roll, particularly the diving front end going into corners. It does feel hard on rougher surfaces and skittish at the rear when thrown round sharp corners.
The ride position is my first criticism. I find the sports seats hard - typical VW - and the steering wheel slightly offset to the left. This means a straight left arm when driving and and bent right one! Bizarre. Of course you then want to rest your left arm on the non-existent arm rest.
The 6 speed gearbox is very slick and easy, and produces fuel consumption of 50-55 MPG on a gentle run. Of course what you really want to do is overtake everything you come across, because the turbo boost is so good. If you do so, you will get around 45 MPG. Not bad for a real performance car.
The only other criticism I have is that it is badged as a GTI (with a red I). This can cause boy racers in baseball caps to try to race you...
Finally go to www.drivethedeal.com for your car. Mine was £15,700 - an absolute bargain. They arrange a local dealer, in this case Sidlow, who were great. The car was ready in 10 days.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th August, 2003
13th Aug 2003, 08:38
It was cheap because the mk 5 golf should be out next month.
7th Nov 2005, 02:28
While I agree it goes extraordinarily well, I can't understand how you can say it doesn't sound like a diesel, or sounds anything like a V6. The VW PD engines go well, but are far less refined than the latest generation common rail engines from Peugeot/Ford and BMW. There's always that rumble under the bonnet to remind you, and they clatter like a good'un at idle. The 150 is also considerably noisier than the 130 at idle, and under hard acceleration.
My view when test driving both the 130 and 150 versions of the Golf was that in comparison to the 130, the 150 felt like a typical "tuned" engine. Lots of power, but with very real compromises in driveability. Whereas the 130's turbo spools up almost instantaneously and delivers a seamless wave of torque pretty much from idle, the 150 has an irritating flat spot under 2k and then a big wallop, making a smooth driving style much harder. It felt crude in my opinion.
There is also a marked difference in noise levels and refinement between the two versions of the engine. The 130 is quieter, smoother and much less intrusive. I spoke to a friend who has been a VW dealer technician for 20 years, and he also tells me the 130 is a much more reliable unit. That sealed my decision.
23rd Jul 2006, 19:16
I have just purchased used GT TDI 150. It runs great, although sometimes when I turn the engine off, it makes a strange rumbling noise from under the bonnet area. Also, it is badged gTI, but all the letters are silver.