Volkswagen Golf Estate (2010- ) car review
- We like...Space, classy cabin
- We don't...Not an all-new design
If you buy a new Volkswagen Golf hatchback, you get the good-looking, classy and very capable Mk 6 version. But if you plump for the latest Golf estate what you’ll get is, in effect a Mk 5.5. What we mean is this: the front end, wings and dash are just as in the latest Golf. But pretty much everything back from the front screen pillars is lifted straight from the previous model, the Mk 5.
So it’s taller and narrower than the current hatch. It’s also noisier inside as you drive than a hatchback Golf because it misses the latest car’s double-sealed doors, which help keep sound out.
The engines are as you’d find in other new Golfs but the car’s ‘platform’ and running gear are, again, from the Mk 5
So if you’re drawn to the car and expect the full current-model Golf experience, it’s hard not to feel short-changed. But is it enough to put you off buying one?
Having lived with one for a week, we’d happily buy one. Let’s explain why. First, it’s darned useful. While it’s not the biggest in its size class (a Skoda Octavia estate is roomier, and cheaper) it does pretty well. That tailgate is big and swings well out of the way. If you need maximum space, the rear seats drop to give a flat floor. You can anything up to 1.7m long in there and there’s 505cu litres of space available when the rear seats are in use and three times as much when they’re dropped. There’s also a handy-sized under-floor tray that has a hinged lid.
Volkswagen says four of five Golf estates sold are diesel-powered and the mid-trim SE model is the one that most buyers want. So our 138bhp, 2.0 TDi SE is a bang-on favourite.
And while this diesel motor isn’t as quiet and sweet as some, it revs easily, pushing the Golf along strongly even when there’s a load aboard. And, while this Golf isn’t one you’d ever expect to heel across bends like you would a hot hatch, it moves sweetly and easily. The Mk5 Golf was always good to drive and this is no different.
Inside it packs the usual, much-appreciated comfy and classy cabin, giving a sense of calm and well being you’ll not find in other cars of its type. Just as in other Golfs it’s dark inside but there’s enough chrome highlights to offset the blackness of the dash and seats. It’s also spacious for five passengers – leg and shouloder room in the rear is as in the Mk 5 hatchback but headroom is better.
Should you buy one? Remember that similar money buys any one of the new breed of compact MPVs – including VW’s own Touran. These offer load space to match the Golf, plus a high-set driving position. So only go for an estate if you actively prefer a more car-like drive. If you do, this Golf’s hard to beat.
- Engines2.0 diesel
- 0-60 mph9.7secs
- Insurance groups24E
Motors.co.uk value verdict: