We'd argue that it isn't, which is not to say that it's a bad car, just that your expectations should be brought down a bit. Today we're going to look at a race between the GTD facelift, not that it comes with extra power, and the updated Volkswagen Amarok.
When the Amarok was originally introduced, they gave it a van-like version of the 2-liter TDI. But the customers who paid top euro for this posh German pickup wanted more power, and they finally got the V6 of their desires. It's good for 224 HP and 550 Nm of torque.
That might not sound like a lot, considering there's all kind of crazy horsepower pickups in the world, but it's certainly enough to give the Golf GTD a headache. The Amarok V6 weighs about 2.2 tons, but its hatchback rival isn't a featherweight either.
Off the line, the all-wheel drive of the Amarok positively monsters the GTD, which struggles to find its footing. Eventually, the "hot hatch" starts to catch up and it has a higher trap speed: 144 vs. 142 km/h by the end of the quarter mile. But it still loses by 0.7 seconds.
I think the problem comes from the era when hot hatchbacks became popular. There were no trucks and SUVs in Europe, so big engine+family car=cool. But under the right conditions, the VW Touareg can give even the Golf R a bit of trouble. No wonder everybody wants to sit comfortably in high-risers and dominate the road. Hatchbacks are for dorks who take themselves too seriously.