Estate version of the best hatch isn’t the roomiest but it’s highly desirable
- Commodious luggage space
- Generous equipment levels
- Golf R performance
- Economical engines
- More expensive than rivals
- Options on the dear side
- Still no GTI Estate
There are no great surprises with the Volkswagen Golf Estate, which is partly why it’s one of our favourite load-luggers in the lower-medium family car segment.
Essentially, it’s a seventh-generation VW Golf with a bigger boot, so it’s a better bet for families who require more carrying capacity and practicality than the regular medium-sized family hatchback can offer them.
The finished result is one which shares a close family resemblance to the hatch, enjoying its high-quality, premium feel but with a less awkward rear end design than its predecessors.
It’s a market segment with many players, so the Golf Estate finds itself up against mainstream alternatives such as the Ford Focus Estate, Renault Megane Sport Tourer, Peugeot 308 SW and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, as well as in-house rivals in the shapes of the SEAT Leon ST and Skoda Octavia Estate.
Increased carrying capacity
At 4,562mm, the Volkswagen Golf Estate is 307mm longer than its hatchback sibling, which is the primary reason that its boot space increases by 100 litres with the rear seats up.
With a wide tailgate opening, an uncluttered loadbay and a forward-folding front passenger seat to accommodate long loads, the Golf Estate is an easy and practical car to live with, but it’s not the most spacious in the segment.
Instead you’re paying extra for the appointments rather than the accommodation, with the Golf Estate being generously equipped in SE and GT guises, although buyers who opt for the cheaper S grade will forego many of the niceties and active safety features.
Cost-effective to run
Under the new Volkswagen Golf Estate’s bonnet resides a wide range turbocharged engines in both TSI petrol and TDI diesel forms.
Bookending the line-up are the 1.6-litre TDI with CO2 emissions as low as 103g/km for impressive degrees of fuel miserliness, and the high-performance Golf Estate R, capable of reaching 155mph and dashing from 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Unlike its hatchback equivalent, there are no GTE plug-in hybrid or all-electric e-Golf Estate versions available for even more environmentally friendly motoring.
High levels of equipment
Whichever variant of the Golf Estate you opt for, you will find an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen in the centre console, with incorporated sat-nav on higher-specification models.
Unsurprisingly, the latest Volkswagen Golf Estate is fitted with the same active safety equipment that the hatchback range enjoys. This means whichever trim level you choose it will be fitted with an automatic post-crash braking system which ensures the car is brought to a halt if it didn’t stop after the initial incident.
Spend extra on a SE or GT grade Golf Estate and additional features Volkswagen calls Front Assist and City Emergency Braking are also included in the package, both of which will automatically slow the car if it detects something in its path. These versions also benefit from adaptive cruise control.
Facelift for 2017
Available from spring 2017, the Golf Estate received a mild visual facelift, restricted to new lights – with more LEDs – and bumpers.
More important were the under-the skin modifications, including a revised engine line-up, including new 1.5-litre TSI Evo engines in 130hp and 150hp outputs, available later in the year.
Volkswagen Golf Estate model history
- July 2013 – Estate version of the seventh-generation Golf goes on sale in S, SE and GT specifications. Petrol engines comprise of the 1.2-litre TSI in 85hp and 105hp forms, with the 1.4-litre TSI offered in 122hp and 140hp guises. The TDI diesel range is almost as large with 90hp and 105hp versions of the 1.6-litre unit, supplemented by the 150hp 2.0-litre. Manual and DSG automatic gearboxes are available across the range.
- April 2015 – Sportier GTD and R models available to order with engine ranges to match their hatchback counterparts. Power increases for 1.4 TSI petrol (was 122hp, now 125hp) and 1.6 TDI diesel (105hp version replaced by a 110hp unit).
- June 2015 – Fuel-sipping 1.0-litre TSI BlueMotion petrol engine available in conjunction with the SE trim level; a six-speed manual transmission is standard with a seven-speed DSG automatic available at extra cost.
- June 2016 – Match Edition replaces the previously available SE trim level, featuring 16-inch Dover alloy wheels, front fog lights and electrically folding door mirrors. Additional improvements across the range include an allergy filter for the climate control, while the Golf R Estate’s kit list now includes Discover Navigation, heated front seats and headlight washers.
- February 2017 – Revised range available to order, hallmarked by different bumpers, lights and a revised interior with an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen on all models. Tweaks to the engine range saw the previous 1.2-litre TSIs as well as the 1.0-litre TSI BlueMotion and the more powerful 1.4-litre TSI ACT engines dropped. Filling the void, initially, are 1.0-litre TSIs in 85hp and 110hp guises. A revised trim hierarchy starts at S and progresses through SE, SE Navigation, GT, GTD, GTD BlueLine and R, which benefits from a power hike to 310hp.
Read the full Volkswagen Golf Estate review to see why we rate this premium-feeling wagon so highly.
What owners say about this car
This is my first standard road car for 10 years so I can't compare to other current models, but I'd... Read owner review
Comfortable car on long journeys. Sat Nav isn't very good. It can find the first three characters, but not the... Read owner review
Just like the hatchback it's well equipped . From the driver seat there is no difference . Additional luggage space... Read owner review