Volkswagen Golf Estate

Is revamp of MkV enough to keep carrier in contention?

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

It’s a shame VW didn’t decide to offer a completely new Golf Estate. This facelifted model is still a good car, but the firm could have made it even more versatile and better-looking.  With a wide range of engines, decent driving dynamics and impressive practicality, it still makes sense. Yet unlike the hatchback models, it’s not much of a leap forward.

Here's the new VW that aims to add ‘loads’ to the Golf line-up! With a big boot, this Estate model is certainly practical – even if it is not the most modern of offerings.

That’s right, if you’re looking at these pictures thinking there is something familiar about this model, you’d be right. The ‘newcomer’ is actually based on the previous MkV Golf Estate but with a fresh front end, topped off by an upgraded cabin and fresh range of turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.

While the latest MkVI Golf hatchback looks sharp and sophisticated thanks to a neat front end, this estate – with an ungainly rear which is almost completely carried over from the last car – is bulbous and dowdy.

It’s still practical, though. There’s a reasonable amount of space in the back for three adults, and the boot provides a generous 505-litre capacity. This can be increased to a cavernous 1,495 litres by folding the rear seats flat. However, unlike some class competitors, there’s no sliding adjustment of the bench.

Neat Up front, the cabin gets the MkVI’s soft-touch dash, deep-set dials and neat three-spoke steering wheel. Everything is solidly built and very well laid out, and brushed aluminium highlights add a touch of style.

The driving position is also comfortable and manoeuvrable, while the optional leather seats on our car, which come with adjustable lumbar support, are soft and supportive.

Petrol options in the new engine line-up include a 105bhp 1.2-litre turbo and a 122bhp 1.4-litre FSI, while buyers can also specify the twin-clutch DSG gearbox.

Our model was powered by the 138bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel, though. This is punchy, with a 0-60mph time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 130mph, as well as economical. VW claims it returns 56.5mpg and emits 132g/km – improvements of 6.5mpg and 22g/km on the previous 2.0 TDI Estate.

The handling is safe and competent, with light yet accurate steering, decent grip and impressive body control. There’s no trade-off on comfort, either – the ride is soft enough to soak up even the harshest surfaces. As ever, the Golf Estate is solid and dependable, with strong practicality and reassuring quality. It’s not the best-looking load carrier, but it still convinces as a spacious and versatile family car.

Rival: Mégane Sp. Tourer Renault has stuck to the tried-and-tested formula of offering a large boot and ample passenger space – so the handsome Mégane estate is an impressive family holdall.

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