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CARmag.co.za recently broke the news Volkswagen South Africa had discontinued the Golf GTD. And now we’ve received information from the local arm of the German brand on the reasons behind the decision.

“Customer uptake of the GTD has been slow. The model has been phased out in order to rationalise the Golf range and focus on our best sellers, GTI and R,” VW SA told us.

Interestingly, although we know the German brand is gearing up to start building the upcoming Golf 8, VW SA added the “end of the production of the current Golf is in 2020”.

As we pointed out in our original story, the Golf GTD was recently removed from the Wolfsburg-based firm’s local website.

It had slotted into VW SA’s range below the Golf GTI, with its 2,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine offering 130 kW and 350 N.m to the front axle via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The automaker claimed a combined fuel economy of 5,9 L/100 km, a 0-100 km/h time of 7,4 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h.

The GTD-badged Golf launched in South Africa in July 2017 at the price of R506 700, fitted as standard with 18-inch "Sevilla" alloys, sports suspension, dark red LED tail-lamps (with dynamic turn signals), LED headlamps, leather sports seats (with a heating function up front) and an eight-inch touchscreen system.

It scored 84/100 in our subsequent road test (a single point behind the GTI), became the target of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and even took on its V6-powered Amarok sibling on the drag strip. Before its recent removal from VW SA’s website, it was listed at R529 200.

The local Golf 7 range thus now comprises only petrol models, in the form of two 1,0 TSI variants, a single 1,4 TSI derivative, the aforementioned GTI and the flagship Golf R (the latter now boasting the full-fat 228 kW output).

The Volkswagen Golf GTD has been quietly removed from the Wolfsburg-based firm’s local website, suggesting it has been officially discontinued in South Africa.

The Golf GTD slotted into VW SA’s range below the Golf GTI, with its 2,0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine offering 130 kW and 350 N.m to the front axle via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The automaker claimed a combined fuel economy of 5,9 L/100 km, a 0-100 km/h time of 7,4 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h.

The GTD-badged Golf launched in South Africa in July 2017 at the price of R506 700, fitted as standard with 18-inch "Sevilla" alloys, sports suspension, dark red LED tail-lamps (with dynamic turn signals), LED headlamps, leather sports seats (with a heating function up front) and an eight-inch touchscreen system.

It scored 84/100 in our subsequent road test (a single point behind the GTI), became the target of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority and even took on its V6-powered Amarok sibling on the drag strip. Before its recent removal from VW SA’s website, it was listed at R529 200.

The local Golf range thus now comprises only petrol models, in the form of two 1,0 TSI variants, a single 1,4 TSI derivative, the aforementioned GTI and the flagship Golf R (the latter now boasting the full-fat 228 kW output).

Of course, it’s likely Volkswagen has already ceased production of the Golf GTD in Europe, where it has seemingly become a victim of the more stringent WLTP standards. In addition, the German brand is gearing up to start building the upcoming Golf 8


CAR magazine’s distinguished annual Top 12 Best Buys were presented at a gala dinner in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening. Look out for our upcoming April 2019 issue for the full article and rationale behind each decision.

Top 12 Best Buys is our definitive guide to the very best cars in South Africa. As a reminder, here is our judging criteria:

Only vehicles that the majority of the eight-member CAR editorial team has driven: We factor in the findings of road tests and driving impressions we’ve published up until this March issue. Don’t see your favourite in the running? The CAR team might not have driven it yet, with a number of important vehicles (such as the new BMW 3 Series and the fresh Mercedes-Benz GLE) launching locally just too late to meet the deadline.

Ranges, not individual models: Except in the Budget and Performance Car segments, we consider an entire range, not merely one outstanding example. Also, remember that we measure cars against their direct rivals in their classes and then rule on their relative levels of excellence.

We consider all the facets: We look at package, personality, performance and, most importantly in the more value-led categories, price.

The bun fight … and then the vote: We set aside a day for the team to debate, argue and arm wrestle over the contestants. Then we draw up a list of six finalists per award and vote.

So, here are all the winners…

Budget car (under R170 000): Suzuki Swift 1,2 GA
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2nd: Kia Picanto 1,0 Street
3rd: Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GA

Small car: Volkswagen Polo Vivo/
2nd: Ford Fiesta
3rd: Volkswagen Polo

Midsize car: Volkswagen Golf


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2nd: Audi A3
3rd: Toyota Corolla Quest

Premium midsize car: Audi A4
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2nd: Mercedes-Benz C-Class
3rd: Volkswagen Arteon


Luxury car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class
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2nd: BMW 5 Series
3rd: Porsche Panamera

Performance car: McLaren 720S

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2nd: Ferrari 488 Spider
3rd: Porsche 718 Cayman GTS PDK

Small SUV/crossover: Renault Duster

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2nd: Ford EcoSport
3rd: Honda BR-V

Midsize SUV/crossover: Volkswagen Tiguan

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2nd: Kia Sportage
3rd: Mazda CX-5

Premium midsize SUV/crossover: Volvo XC60

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2nd: BMW X3
3rd: Audi Q5

Large SUV/crossover: Kia Sorento

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2nd: Ford Everest
3rd: Toyota Fortuner

Luxury SUV/crossover: Range Rover Sport

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2nd: Volkswagen Touareg
3rd: BMW X5

Double-cab bakkie: Ford Ranger

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2nd: Toyota Hilux
3rd: Volkswagen Amarok

Company of the year: BMW Group South Africa

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