- We like...Low emissions, 61.4mpg
- We don't...Jolts over bumps
VW's newest baggage handler is understated, classy, and very spacious. What's not to like?We really like this Golf. It’s super-comfy, economical, will carry loads and asks so little in return. We could stop right there, but there’s more to tell. Like the current Golf hatchback, the estate’s a cinch to drive, smooth to ride in and above all, just so darned classy.
It’s hard to pinpoint one quality that picks the VW Golf apart from rivals like the Focus, Astra or Megane. The Golf’s certainly not showy. But the touch of expensively moulded plastic here, the reassuring ‘thunk’ of a well crafted switch there, adds up to something which is just that little bit special. Or perhaps it’s those expensive-looking dials that glow a soothing blue by night.
And where the previous Golf estate was tight on luggage and passenger space compared to competitors, the new VW mixes it with the best. It beats the Focus and matches the Astra, and only the Megane’s massive load bay shades it.
Such impressive space and class doesn’t even cost extra. Its list price is no dearer than the rest and, although the percentage discount granted may be smaller, you’ll recoup the difference several years down the line, when it will be worth more.
It’ll not sell in huge numbers when a Touran costs similar money and seats up to seven, so there are just three engines to pick between – a 1.6 petrol, or 1.9 and 2.0 diesels. The 1.9 makes the best compromise between cost, power, emissions and economy, though it’s an old design and noisy with it. If you’ve the money, though, the 2.0 diesel is a fine second choice.
All are well equipped for the money, offering semi-auto air conditioning and airbags aplenty as standard but you’ll need to step up from the S to the SE if you wish for alloy wheels and fancier seat trim as standard. We wouldn’t bother with the top-spec 2.0 TDI Sportline – at over £18,000, it’s too expensive.
With small MPVs and off-roaders in the spotlight, you might think estate cars old-hat. But when you see how sweetly the Golf estate drives, and how much stuff, it’ll swallow, you’d be daft not to think twice.
- Engines1.6, 1.9 TDI, 2.0 TDI
- 0-60 mph
- Insurance groupsgroups 6-13
Motors.co.uk value verdict: