Whenever YouTubers get their hands on a Volkswagen Golf to drive it flat out on the Autobahn, it's usually either a GTI or an R. However, this eighth iteration of the hugely successful compact model is not a hot hatch, but rather a mundane configuration equipped with an oil-burner. Once the quintessential Golf engine choice in Europe, the 2.0 TDI was put to the test on an unrestricted section of Germany's glorious highway.
The oil-banger used to be accompanied by a 1.6-liter diesel in previous iterations, but that changed with the Mk8 as the peeps from Wolfsburg decided to offer the four-pot engine in the regular Golf in two 2.0 TDI flavors: 113 horsepower (85 kilowatts) and 300 Newton-meters (221 pound-feet) of torque or 148 hp (110 kW) and 360 Nm (265 lb-ft). There's also GTD performance version with 197 hp (147 kW) and a generous 400 Nm (295 lb-ft).
This type of engine is perfect for the Autobahn thanks to its low fuel consumption during highway driving, but it's also quite poky due to its solid low-end torque. As is the case with diesel engines, it loses its breath closer to top speed. Give it enough empty road ahead and it will eventually reach nearly 150 mph.
While that's certainly not something to write home about, it goes to show you don't necessarily need a GTI or an R to go fast in terms of top speed on a straight road. Even though the Dieselgate ordeal has prompted VW to accelerate its EV agenda, the good ol' TDI is not going anywhere. It's cleaner than ever and can run on paraffinic fuels created from biological residuals and waste materials to slash carbon emissions by as much as 95 percent.