Volkswagen Golf Estate Review

The Golf Estate is back

Volkswagen Golf Estate
The Volkswagen Golf Mk 7 Estate

The Volkswagen Golf Estate hasn’t been sold in Ireland since 2004 but now it’s back in the current Golf Mk 7 range.

So what happens when you add a big boot to one of Ireland’s favourite hatchbacks?

Scroll down to read the review or watch my video review of the new Golf Estate:

Design

The Golf Estate has the look of a ‘sensible’ car. Like the Golf hatchback it’s based on, it doesn’t do too much to draw attention to itself and is one of the plainer looking estate cars among its rivals. Highline models look the best with 17” inch alloys and silver roof rails as standard.

Sit inside and you will be hard-pressed to find an interior in this segment as brilliantly crafted as the one in the Golf Estate. The cockpit and controls are all intuitive to use, the quality is really good, and the brushed silver effect on the dash inserts and around the doors on my mid-range Comfortline test car add an element of style.

Aesthetics aside, the USP for the Golf Estate is its big, square boot. With the rear seats in place, there is 605 litres of cargo space compared to 380 litres in the Golf hatch. It’s very cargo friendly with a wide opening and low loading sill, and you can let the rear seats down with a simple pull of a lever in the boot.

Volkswagen Golf Estate
Plain to look at compared to some of its rivals, but the Golf Estate’s styling will age well

Driving

If you need more versatility from your car, the great thing about going for an estate over an MPV or SUV is that the estate is so car-like on the road.

The Golf Estate is no different. It’s a satisfying car to drive and feels agile and dynamic despite that bit of extra bulk on the back. There are reassuring amounts of grip so you get that sensation going around corners that it’s hunkering down on the road for you, and the steering responds quickly and accurately to your inputs.

The engine line-up is very straight forward for the Golf Estate. The backbone of the range is the 1.2 TSI petrol engine and 1.6 TDI diesel, both producing a respectable 110bhp. Lower powered versions of both engines are available on the entry level Trendline model and a 2.0 litre TDI diesel with 150bhp is available on Highline, the very top level trim. Volkswagen’s DSG 7-speed automatic gearbox is available on select engines too.

My test car had the 1.6 diesel with 110bhp and the DSG automatic gearbox, which turned out to be a lovely combination. The DSG gearbox made progress smooth and effortless, while the 1.6 TDI provided enough power and torque to feel swift, with much of the noise suppressed thanks to a well-insulated cabin.

Volkswagen Golf Estate
Volkswagen Golf Estate: Brilliantly-crafted cabin

Economy

The 1.6TDI DSG automatic returns up to 70mpg with an annual motor tax bill of €190.

Equipment

There are four trim levels for the Golf Estate: Trendline, Comfortline, Lounge and Highline. Entry level models have four electric windows and mirrors, aircon, Bluetooth and a 5” touchscreen infotainment system with CD player, though you need to step up to Comfortline for 16” alloy wheels. Additional equipment on Comfortline includes fog lights, cruise control and a larger touchscreen for  infotainment. Lounge has its own unique 16” alloy wheels and ‘Lounge’ interior including a panoramic sunroof. Highline gets a visual upgrade with silver finish on the roof rails and 17” alloy wheels, parking sensors and dual zone climate control. Volkswagen Ireland currently has a number of offers where you can spec up your car for less money.

Volkswagen Golf Estate Review
Volkswagen Golf Estate: Boot is 605 litres compared to 380 litres in the Golf hatch

Verdict

So we’ve established that the Volkswagen Golf Estate has a really big, practical boot that makes it more user-friendly than the Golf hatchback.

But in terms of compact estate cars, they all have that, and if you want to crunch the numbers you’ll find that the Golf Estate doesn’t even have the biggest boot in the class.

It’s also one of the plainer looking cars among its rivals, and it won’t be the cheapest to buy either.

But what makes the Golf Estate stand out from the crowd is that touch of class and air of refinement. For a start, there’s the classy, well-finished cabin that won’t irritate you.

Then on the road, the Golf Estate never puts a foot wrong. Precision and driver engagement don’t need to be sacrificed now that you need a ‘sensible’ car.

But if driving dynamics don’t impress you much, the level of comfort and refinement will; the Golf Estate simply feels like a bigger and more expensive car than what it actually is. It’s just a lovely car to drive and spend time in.

Volkswagen Golf Estate Review
Volkswagen Golf Estate: A refined load-lugger that’s also good to drive

Model Tested: Volkswagen Golf Estate Comfortline
Price: 
€28,825 (Range starts €22,575)
Engine: 
1.6-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
110bhp
0-100km/h:
11 seconds
Economy:
70.6mpg
CO2 Emissions: 
102g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year

Caroline Kidd

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