Faster than the latest Civic Type R, I can believe that it's almost just as fast, but not faster (though the latest version of the Civic carries way too much weight and is a bit of a mistake by Honda, like a spacecar in an eighties science fiction B movie).
Faster than the GTI mark V or VI? NO WAY. It can be faster than a GTI III 8 valves and GTI IV (that was a mistake by VW). My sister's husband happens to have one. A Golf V 2.0 TDI 170 metric hp. We were curious if he could make it against my Corolla TS. The Golf failed big time. We arranged it that I drove first and he should follow. On a Sunday, on a German highway.
He flashed his lights to hit the gas. We were in 2nd gear, mine at about 3,000 rpm. 20 metres he seemed able to follow. Even before my 'lift' at 5000 rpm, he already had it. When I went into 5th gear at 180 kph on the counter, more than 300 metres behind. We went till the next gas station. He said : 'I expected to be able to at least follow you, but this is just brutally quick'. A diesel just does not have this 'electrical' response a petrol version has.
I'm sure the TDI Golf isn't as quick in absolute 'sprint' terms as the cars mentioned in the comment above, but in real-world driving it murders almost anything with a similar engine size (petrol or diesel). For the people who like a car with the quickest 0-60mph time, go buy a Civic Type R and watch the Vee Dub leave it for dead on the motorway whilst you change down two or three gears in search of some torque!!
Not to mention that even when driven like it's on fire, it never returns less than 40mpg... my Civic struggled to do much more than 25-28mpg.
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