Volkswagen Golf estate
Price £18,945 - £30,465
- Very practical
- Comfortable ride
- Economical engines
- Not as big as Skoda Octavia
- Quite expensive
- Rivals are still better to drive
At a glance
“Practical, comfortable and economical, the Volkswagen Golf estate is an impressive all-round package.”
The new Volkswagen Golf Estate is based on the seventh generation of the standard hatchback version. It looks almost exactly the same as the hatch until you get to the rear wheels, but it's 307mm longer to give it a much bigger boot. This is handy if you’re a dog owner, need more space for the family's kit, or have a job that requires lugging around lots of equipment.
You don’t have to look too hard to find rivals for the Golf Estate – and some of them are closer than you might think. The enemy within comes in the form of the Skoda Octavia Estate (winner of the 2014 Carbuyer Best Estate Car award) and the SEAT Leon ST estate – both of which are built by companies owned by the Volkswagen Group and are based on the same parts as the Golf.
The tougher Alltrack model also has its own family disputes to deal with, as the Skoda Octavia Scout and Seat Leon X-Perience are direct competitors. It gets a little uncomfortable round the dinner table too, as the Octavia Scout is around £2,500 cheaper to buy than the Golf Alltrack.
The Golf Estate is more than capable of taking on the best the competition can throw at it. Counting in its favour is a classless image and longstanding reputation for rock-solid build quality.
That quality is obvious from the outside, but it really makes its presence felt on the inside. Here, you’ll find one of the nicest interiors in the class – one that's a match for those in more expensive models thanks to high-quality plastics, a logical layout and plenty of well thought-out design touches.
Something that hasn’t always been a strong point for the Golf is handling. VW used to favour building cars that were safe and secure rather than smile-inducing in corners, but that changed with the launch of this latest Golf. It comes close to matching the fun handling of the Ford Focus, which has traditionally been the class leader in this respect.
Volkswagen has kitted the Golf Estate out with a superb range of petrol and diesel engines, but our pick of the range is the 1.6-litre diesel, which offers superb fuel economy and reasonable performance. There are plenty of faster models to choose from, but more on those later...
The range of available trim options has been expanded in spring of 2015. You can now get the Golf Estate in seven specifications including entry-level S, super-efficient BlueMotion, rugged Alltrack and a performance-focused GTD. All trim versions come with a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, air-conditioning, cruise control, DAB digital radio and a multitude of safety features
No model in the Volkswagen Golf Estate range costs the world to run and VW offers an affordable maintenance package
Better to drive than the old model, the Volkswagen Golf Estate comes with a good choice of engines
Optional Dynamic Chassis Control system boosts comfort on all road surfaces, but even basic Volkswagen Golf Estate models are comfortable
The Volkswagen Golf Estate has a bigger and better shaped boot than the hatchback, but some rivals offer even more space
A strong showing in our Driver Power survey shows most owners are happy they chose a Volkswagen Golf Estate