New 316bhp Volkswagen Golf R Estate arrives with drift mode

All-new VW Golf R Estate gets the same engine and tech as the hatch but with a larger, 611-litre boot

  • Powered by the same 316bhp petrol engine as the Golf R hatchback
  • 611-litre boot
  • On sale in August with an estimated price of around £40,000

This is the new Volkswagen Golf R Estate. It’s the latest of the brand’s performance-focused ‘R’ models, and uses the same 316bhp engine and four-wheel-drive setup as the current Golf R hatchback.

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The new Golf R Estate goes on sale in August, with prices expected to start around £40,000. When it arrives, it will be a direct rival to the Cupra Leon Estate and the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC Shooting Brake.

2021 Volkswagen Golf R Estate: styling and design

There are very few styling changes from the hatchback. A sporty front bumper featuring a full-width grille takes up most of the nose and the back end has a rear diffuser that sits between four large exhaust pipes. Other ‘R’ specific touches include a bigger rear spoiler, silver mirror caps and large alloy wheels.

According to VW, the longer roofline of the Golf R estate makes it more streamlined than the hatchback, with a 4% lower drag coefficient.

Engine, performance and chassis

Power comes from the ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 316bhp. It’s the same engine as the one in the Golf R hatchback, as well as the Tiguan R and Arteon R. A seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox is fitted, along with VW’s 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system, which can split power between the front and rear wheels, and between each rear wheel.

Despite weighing 79kg more than the hatchback, the R Estate’s grippy four-wheel drive system helps it sprint from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds - only two tenths slower than the hatch. To help it cope with the extra weight and larger body, VW engineers have fitted a revised suspension setup with stiffer springs and dampers.

The top speed of the Golf R Estate is electronically limited to 155mph but speccing the optional R Performance package raises the limiter to 168mph. A total of six driving modes are available, with each adjusting the car’s throttle response, steering and suspension.

Opting for the R Performance pack adds a unique ‘Special’ mode specifically designed for use at the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany. It optimises the car’s suspension and chassis for the fastest possible lap times at the track. The pack also adds a ‘Drift’ mode, allowing the driver to perform powerslides by sending the majority of the engine’s power to the rear wheels.

Interior and practicality

Inside, the Golf R Estate is the same as the hatchback already on sale, with twin 10-inch infotainment touchscreen and digital dial cluster - albeit with an R-specific blue colour scheme and graphics. A pair of sports seats are also fitted with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, with both featuring ‘R’ logos. Larger gearshift paddles, aluminium pedals and blue interior trim also feature.

While it may not be a necessity for many Golf R owners, the Estate is capable of towing up to a maximum of 1,900kg. It also has a much bigger boot than the hatchback, with a total load space of 611 litres that increases to 1,642 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

What does it mean for car buyers?

Buyers looking for practical, powerful Volkswagen models are spoilt for choice, with the new Golf R estate and hatchback, as well as the Tiguan R and Arteon R. We expect the Golf R estate will be a bit less expensive than the near-£46,000 Tiguan, and it should be a bit more agile too.

Read our guide to the fastest hot hatchbacks you can buy now.

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