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Volkswagen Golf Estate - Engines, drive & performance (2013-2020)

Better to drive than the old model, the Volkswagen Golf Estate comes with a good choice of engines

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

Recent Volkswagen Golf hatchbacks are enjoyable cars to drive and this is equally true of the Golf Estate. The steering is light enough in town for easy manoeuvring, but weighty enough so that the car doesn’t seem too sensitive at speed. The Golf has a very strong structure that helps it remain controlled on rough roads, while the suspension does a decent job of preventing poorly surfaced, bumpy roads from disturbing passengers.

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Excellent body control means the car feels planted over crests and there’s not much body lean to put you off having some fun in corners. Ultimately, the Golf Estate can’t quite match the spirited feel of the Ford Focus Estate or SEAT Leon ST, but it comes close and offers greater motorway comfort.

Selected Golf Estate models can be equipped with adaptive dampers for an extra cost, which allows three different driving modes. Comfort and Normal modes are the best for regular driving, while Sport will firm the suspension up for when you want to have fun on a twisty back road. The six-speed manual gearbox is superbly slick and the optional dual-clutch DSG automatic gearbox is extremely responsive – although it can suffer the occasional jerky change.

Volkswagen Golf Estate petrol engines

You’d be hard-pushed to notice the estate’s increased bulk (an extra 80kg) compared to the hatchback. The least powerful model is the 113bhp version of this engine manages 0-62mph in a respectable 10.4 seconds, along with impressive economy.

The most modern petrol engine in the range is the 1.5-litre TFSI EVO petrol – which we’ve already been impressed by in the Golf hatchback – and it is certainly the petrol engine to pick in the estate too. The lesser-powered model manages 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 131mph, while the 148bhp version with a DSG automatic gearbox will get to 62mph from rest in 8.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 135mph.

Diesel engines

Diesel engines have always been the most popular choice for the Golf Estate – and not only because of their excellent fuel economy. The relaxed way that diesels deliver their power means they’re well suited to a high-mileage life on the motorway, or for effortlessly pulling away with a heavy load on board.

The 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel feels quicker than its 10.7-second 0-62mph figure would suggest and this performance shouldn’t be dented too much when the car is fully loaded with your family and kit, either. The 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI is quicker but more expensive, with an 8.9-second 0-62mph acceleration time.

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Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 TSI Life 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £27,240

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 TSI Life 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £27,240

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI R 4Motion 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £45,030

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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