Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3
  • Classy cabin is typically Volkswagen
  • Everything feels like it’s built to last
  • Switchgear is deliciously tactile

As with the hatchback, the whole Volkswagen Golf Estate dashboard is angled towards the driver more than any previous generation, much in the same way many BMW interiors do.

Quality of materials used is very high, with squidgy, soft-touch plastics across the upper surfaces and resilient, firmer components lower down. It appears to be impeccably constructed too, with no squeaks or rattles appearing regardless of how poor the road surface.

Interior revisions introduced at the 2017 facelift include an improved multimedia system ranging from an 8.0-inch touchscreen to a 9.2-inch option for higher-spec models. The Active Info Display instrumentation – VW’s version of Virtual Cockpit as found in Audis - with customisable graphics is also available, replacing the traditional analogue dials with a 12.3-inch screen.

If any minor criticism could be laid at Volkswagen’s door it would be that the interior is a little unimaginative, looking similar in style to virtually every other VW’s dashboard.

Various cubbies and stowage areas are provided, all of which are sensibly-sized for real-life belongings and detritus we’re inclined to transport around with us, keeping everything tidily hidden away. Three are located in the centre console, the one immediately behind the gearlever concealing a pair of cupholders, while the door pockets and glovebox are spacious enough for drinks bottles.

Switchgear feels great to use and is well-damped, the large touchscreen with menu buttons at its sides being particularly effective. That said the rotary volume control for the stereo is replaced by a small set of touch buttons when the largest 9.2-inch screen is fitted. It makes a simple process frustratingly fiddly meaning it’s best to use those fitted on the steering wheel instead.

The multi-function display between the two main instruments takes a little bit of learning when using the steering wheel buttons, but it soon becomes intuitive.

  • Supportive seats even on non-sporty models
  • Adaptive damping a worthwhile feature
  • Impressive levels of quietness in the cabin

It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that several supposed luxury cars cannot rival the suppleness and refinement demonstrated by this car: with the Volkswagen Golf Estate comfort is a priority, most noticeably in the way in which it absorbs bumps in the road more effectively than its key rivals.

Seats on the non-performance models are supportive, with modest levels of side bolstering; they keep you firmly in place without feeling like you’re being squeezed. Even the thicker side cushions on the GTD and R don’t feel as though they’re pinching your hips.

The optional Vienna leather seating on certain models are firm enough to be supportive for longer journeys but are an expensive option – equating to 10% of the list price for some versions – despite coming with heated functionality and lumbar adjustment.

Whether occupying the front or rear seats, adults over six feet tall will find plenty of space for their limbs while headroom is generous too. The optional glass roof also makes the cabin feel airier, but makes for a slightly noisier cabin.

Outer rear-seat passengers additionally benefit from sculpted sections in the bench, although the flatter centre-section doesn’t feel particularly compromised.

Opt for the Adaptive Chassis Control package which allows different drive modes to be chosen, varying the ride quality between Normal, Comfort and Sport. Comfort makes for a more relaxed driving experience, cosseting the passengers with a very smooth ride quality that doesn’t affect handling negatively.

Switch to Sport and the handling’s responses are sharpened, consequently firming the ride quality too. It doesn’t become uncomfortable and on the majority of road surfaces, Sport feels no harsher than the standard set-up on some rivals.

Unsurprisingly, Normal is mid-way between the two and acts as the default setting.