Compact BMW, Opel, Seat and VW in the test: From because diesel is unsportsmanlike

After furious GTI debut now so the diesel variant: The VW Golf GTD steps into the ring of 180 hp plus stretching. However, BMW 120d know 2.0 TDI to fight Opel Astra GTC Biturbo CDTI and Seat Leon FR quite - and know how to fascinate.

07/12/2013 Jens Dralle Powered by

Whether Audi, BMW or anyone else - so victorious they may also have been a diesel racers in motorsport, the image breakdown of the compression-ignition engine as a sport can be further delayed. But out there is anyway more than 8 A Le Mans, more B27 than Spa Francorchamps, more than 1,212 L Nordschleife.

Opel Astra GTC Biturbo CDTI scratch the 200 hp mark

Exactly the curtain for compact diesel blast including the just shifted from the development department in the spotlight VW Golf GTD, the blood brother Seat León FR TDI, the freshly motorized Opel Astra GTC Biturbo CDTI and the established BMW 120d opens.

Under 184 hp and a maximum torque of 380 Newton meters, none of the four candidates trust in the ring, the Opel presses thanks to two turbochargers even 195 hp and 400 Nm from the combustion chambers. Again a reminder: These power plants stuck in commercially available compact car.

In the case of the Gulf of two-liter engine has wuppen 1,421 kilograms, the test car eventually swell plenty of extras out of control. As standard, however, are the sports seats with the characteristic checkered cloth cap. As in the gasoline-fired GTI well they provide each rider back the best possible support, be it through the firm padding or the powerful flanks.

Well then, let's go: Depress the clutch - no DSG! - press the start button, silence. Almost at least, because of the common rail engine works extremely cautious, rises only in sport mode his deep growling voice, however einspielt him a sound generator through the windshield.

VW engine is more sophisticated than the BMW diesel

All lies and deception, then? No, because the driving experience itself is really - really good. Low 1,500 / min, the four-cylinder grabs, reached at 1750 / min its torque peak, remains there until about 3000 / min and then rotates like to keep. From 4,000 rpm it gets a little tough then, the TDI as preaching to the classic low-speed diesel driving style. Yes and? In just 7.4 seconds - a tenth faster than the factory specification - sprints VW from zero to 100 km / h. Okay, slow speeds actually only the Opel, and indeed significantly (8.6 s).

BMW 120d, front view
BMW 120d in Hockenheim 1:39 min.

And when the engine power is distributed, the Golf has probably also a little dawdled, because here he also has the Seat and infuse the BMW. Why? Because the Spaniards weighs at least 49 kilos less and the BMW thanks to the eight-speed automatic transmission has the skillful translation. The Astra GTC uses the full force anything because he weighs a 1,574 kg - a whopping 202 kg more than the slight Leon.

It was only during the morning outing on the small track of Hockenheim, the Golf takes the morning exercise seriously. He directs agile, which progressively working steering with a more direct ratio than the standard Golf (2.1 instead of 2.75 turns lock to lock) gives a good feedback for everyday use holding forces. His slight understeer can be laminated with the mild load change reaction that is not completely deactivatable ESP maintains a large extent, a clean line out.

VW Golf GTD would need a differential lock

Only when accelerating out of tight corners, the traction is a whistling end - who would need the mechanical lock of the GTI, if not the bearish GTD? Nevertheless, he milled in brisk 1.21,1 minutes on the race track.

As I said, that is still far, however, everything points to the joy offered by the Golf in everyday life. Because in addition to the dynamic handling, it can be mastered easily at any time, giving the driver not only about the steering, but also by means of easily switchable and fit-ratio six-speed transmission at any time feel the boss to be in the ring. And if time is not the boss, but the gentleman is required, the Volkswagen springs still pretty good, but without denying its taut basic tuning ever - thanks to the 1,000 euro expensive option chassis.

The considerably more favorable consolidated brother Seat León FR also affords when processing any slips, looks very stiff and solid, but not quite so noble. In addition, its sports seats pack to not so intimate. But the ergonomics right, the instruments can be read properly.

Seat Leon FR and VW Golf GTD with identical engine

When driving the two differ in turn about as much as the contents of a pack eggs. Although the strongest representatives of the EA288 TDI generation rather than 1800 works with an injection pressure of 2,000 bar, he runs very cultivated. Only he did not invent the revving, yet gives the Leon a level of performance at which most of 1212, the head gasket hard nut between A 8, B 27 and L - especially at the intermediate sprints.

There should also be less worthy to be that of 17-inch frosted Seat (Golf: 18 inches) felt strongly pushes over the front wheels and can patronize much earlier by the ESP. The overall lowest level of grip also opens into the slowest speed in the slalom, what although direct, but also synthetic steering is attributed at least partly to blame.

All this is of course not without consequences on the excursion to the race track, where the León can not take advantage of his weight advantage. Too pronounced understeer, too tired responses to load changes, too soon taking place control interventions - a somewhat überlegterer grip in the shoe cabinet could bring about a different result. For this, the seat cushions mannerly, even without expensive adaptive dampers. Too bad that it just is no points for it. Nevertheless, the lively and light-footed appearance of the Spaniard stoking the anticipation of a somewhat skillful configured test car.

Astra case seems milled from a solid block of steel

Opel any case sends a reason the two-door GTC version of the Astra, because in contrast to the four-door stuck under its front end a so-called HiPerStrut suspension. Their greater castor angle and the reduced spreading allow to tilt while turning up further inward the wheels. In addition, the drive influences are to be minimized.

And indeed, there were up to the Astra, would be immediately removed all straight from the road construction plans in the world. He directs glorious a precise, remains long neutral before he takes refuge in safe understeer. Then a lob on gas helps the GTC, however, back on track, which in turn can be kept clean by means of linear and direct steering.

In this world, which consists only of curves Opel should like to ask the excellent seats in the parlor, which stuck for example in the OPC variants of the Astra. The mounted in the test car furniture lacked any case of lateral support and thigh support - and the engine to bite and emotions. The extremely responsive four-cylinder with turbocharging (from 3000 / min, the larger loaders working alone) sounds at least as sparkling as a lukewarm Binding tastes. And he strives honestly, but in vain with the apparently milled from a solid block of steel Astra sleeve.

BMW 120d celebrating Sex Pistols concert under the long hood

even the BMW two-liter (1,800 bar injection pressure) for the sound conferred no Emmy, and certainly not for the cold start nailing, but the 184-hp engine refuted the prejudice from the rotating lazy diesel. Okay, even if it falls from 5.000 / min the curtain. But at least until then, it goes to the long bonnet as once in a Sex Pistols concert - best acceleration and elasticity values ​​in the comparison test.

Which also includes the eight-speed automatic transmission is out of the way, quite the contrary: The close spread and fingers flicking like gear changes in the S mode it carries even a decisive contribution. Even on the racetrack, the translation proves to be accurate and additionally there is the remarkably agile tuned suspension of estorilblauen test car. Almost intuitive give in, no input understeer, but under load and under braking even slight tail pans - which had been on it, no ones the F20 generation.

And because, moreover, the driver nearly perfect working conditions - may be that the sports seats for one or the other a little cut too narrow - finds really surprised the fastest times on the small track and slalom now anyone. The most consistent braking performance makes the victory perfect.

Seat is king consumption at 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers in section

Oh, then there's the consumption, which even provided can also contribute to driving pleasure. Opel: 10.7 L / 100 km, Seat: 7.9, VW: 8.6. And the BMW? 8.3 L / 100 km. At least now the shell-diesel Image plays no more role.