After a brief resurgence a few years ago, station wagons are once again getting to be a rare sight here in the U.S., and the market for performance station wagons is even slimmer. Looking for a diesel performance wagon? Forget about it… or move to Europe. That’s where these diesel-burning, corner-carving, grocery-getting cars seemingly grow on trees, and the latest example of such is the all-new Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant, which makes its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show as the ultimate thumb to the nose of station-wagon lovers in America.

If you’re not familiar with this model, just imagine a Golf Sportwagen with equal parts TDI and GTI bringing all of the suspension and styling goodies of the beloved GTI along with the performance and fuel economy of TDI. It’s highly unlikely that VW has any plans of offering its new Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant here in the U.S., so scroll down to see what we’re missing.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant.

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant
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  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    € 31975
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As expected, the Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant has a sportier look that is easily distinguishable from the standard Golf thanks to its lowered stance (15 mm lower) and the more aggressive design of the front and rear fascias. Other changes include wider rocker-panel accents, black roof-rack rails, smoked taillights, chrome exhaust outlets and 17-inch wheels. An optional Sports and Design Package (€965/$1,094) adds a stylish set of 18-inch dual-spoke wheels that expose red-painted brake calipers. The sporty, GTI-shared styling will prevent the Golf GTD from being a true sleeper, but that won’t make this car any less of a unicorn here in the States.

Aside from these new GTD-specific changes, the U.S-spec Golf SportWagen isn’t all that different. The taller roofline and longer rear overhang give these models traditional station wagon proportions compared to the stubby hindquarters of the Golf hatchback models.


VW has not released any interior shots of the Variant, but it does promise unique cues such as the signature plaid sport seats and stainless pedals, illuminated door sills, aluminum cabin accent trim and a gear-shift knob shaped like a golf ball. Of course, buyers in the market for a station wagon are most likely looking for added cargo volume, and the new Golf/ SportWagen won’t disappoint, with copious amounts of cargo space that VW says will be 10 percent more than the current model’s 66.9 cubic feet.


Putting the “D” in GTD, the Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 181 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This power allows the sporty wagon to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds, and while that’s not exactly impressive in the grand scheme of the performance world, it’s also not bad for what is essentially an economy-minded family car. The true advantage of a diesel car is its impressive fuel economy, and VW says that the Golf GTD Variant will use 4.4 liter per 100 km – or about 53.5 mpg on the European cycle.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 2.0-liter TDI
Output 181 HP
Torque 280 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 7.9 seconds


Although the Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant doesn’t debut until Geneva, European customers can order it now with prices starting at €31,975 ($36,264 USD at current exchange rates).


Chevrolet Cruze Wagon

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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Even without the GTD performance and styling, there is currently nothing like the Golf SportWagen TDI here in the U.S. Europeans customers, on the other hand, have quite a few options when it comes to compact, diesel-powered station wagons, and the Chevrolet Cruze Wagon is one of them. The Cruze Wagon is offered with three diesel engine options (1.4L, 1.7L and 2.0L) to go along with two gasoline engines. For cargo capacity, the Cruze Wagon tops out at about 53 cubic feet.

Volvo V40

2013 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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When it comes to styling, the Volvo V40 might be one of the best-looking station wagons currently on the market… again, though, not intended for the U.S. market. Like the Cruze Wagon, the V40 is available with three diesel engines that top out with the all-new Drive-E turbodiesel that is rated at 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, Volvo says the V40 can hit 60 in 7.4 seconds, while still returning fuel consumption rates of 4.2 liter per 100 km or 56 mpg on the EU cycle.


The new Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant is a prime of example of why it’s so wrong that more station wagons aren’t offered in the U.S. Essentially a more practical and fuel-efficient version of Volkswagen’s venerable GTI hot-hatch, the GTD Variant should be a fun car to drive while returning better fuel economy than inefficient crossovers and SUVs here in the U.S. with similar interior space. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI will be an excellent alternative to the GTD when it goes on sale in the U.S. this April, but it’s hard not to get bummed about the fact that we won’t be seeing the sportier GTD version.

  • Leave it
    • Not coming to the U.S.
    • Slow-ish 0-60 time
Jeffrey N. Ross
About the author

Press Release

Since 1982 Volkswagen’s GTD logo has stood for Gran Turismo Diesel, with its promise of sporty yet economical motoring. Now for the first time, the GTD initials grace the Golf Variant, which like the Golf GTD, boasts the 184 PS (135 kW) TDI engine. The new Golf GTD Variant is set for its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, and is available to order as of now at a price of 31,975 euros.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTD Variant High Resolution Exterior
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The Golf GTD Variant* is excellently placed to establish itself as an iconic long-distance cruiser. The 184 PS TDI engine takes the Golf GTD Variant to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds with the 2-litre unit delivering a maximum torque of 380 Nm – and yet this sporty Variant car boasts impressive fuel consumption figures of only 4.4 litres per 100 km.

The car’s sporty character is reflected in its exterior design: along with special GTD bumpers and the honeycomb radiator grille, the Golf GTD Variant also features smoked rear lights and flared sills. The look is completed by 17-inch Curitiba alloys, black roof rails and dual chrome tailpipes. Also standard on-board the Golf GTD Variant are bi-xenon headlights, sports suspension with ride height lowered by 15 mm, and progressive steering, which gives a sharper response during high-performance driving as well as ensuring greater comfort in ordinary conditions.

Inside, the dynamic theme continues, with sports seats in Clark tartan, illuminated door sills, black headliner and black pillar trims. Added to this, there are numerous decorative inserts and panels in Checkered Black, plus stainless steel pedal caps. Further refinements include the multifunction steering wheel with aluminium trim and the gear knob styled as a golf ball.

The Golf GTD Variant is optionally available with 18-inch Nogaro alloy wheels and seat covers in a choice of Alcantara or Vienna leather. And for an extra 965 euros there is the Sports and Design package featuring driving mode selection, Nogaro 18-inch alloy wheels, red brake callipers and tinted windows.

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