Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

Should you buy a Volkswagen Golf Estate?

There is absolutely no denying that the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf is the most technically advanced Golf ever. However, the same engineering is available with different badges for less money, in the form of the Skoda Octavia Estate – which also has some physical controls instead being completely dependent on touch controls for many features, too.

If practicality is foremost in your buying decisions, that alone will rule the Golf out. However, the Golf does present a more pragmatic image and balance than, say, an Audi.

Should performance be on your mind, the R is well worth considering for its blend of rapid acceleration, entertaining handling and everyday usability. It’s not cheap, but it is an exceptionally well-rounded performance car.

So ultimately, it’s down to whether you’re the sort of person who likes to pay for high quality, without necessarily shouting to the world that you bought the fanciest thing. If you are, the fit and finish will impress, the details reassure, and the relatively classless badge will appeal.

What we like

The wide range of engines and transmissions, the classless image and the sheer practicality of the Golf Estate make it a very easy car to like.

What we don’t like

It’s more expensive than a Skoda Octavia Estate and when you start optioning it up, it gets even more costly. The touch controls on the fascia are also unresponsive and are not as satisfying to use as traditional knobs and switches.

Which model is best for you?

There’s a diverse range, from the bare-bones 1.0 TSI Life to the 200hp all-wheel drive Alltrack, but we think the Golf Estate works best as a subtle, premium model – either of the 150hp diesel or petrol versions, in Style trim, will deliver an efficient, refined experience that justifies the expense.

The Golf Alltrack offers a different dilemma – when compared with premium rivals it represents good value for a capable car, ideally suited for rural areas prone to bad weather and patchy road clearance. It may struggle to look appealing next to a traditional 4×4 or SUV.

Overall though, the Skoda Octavia Estate offers better value than the Golf, particularly at the more affordable end of the range, and it would be our starting point here.

Further reading