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Volkswagen Golf Estate review 2014

The Volkswagen Golf estate is a solid choice for families needing a little extra space

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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The Volkswagen Golf Estate is a talented all-rounder and isn’t far off matching its hatch counterpart for driving ability, despite offering masses more luggage space. It’s only £765 more than the hatch, which isn’t bad, but if you’re after maximum practicality for your pound, there are cheaper and more spacious rivals – such as the Skoda Octavia Estate.

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If you’re tempted by the qualities of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, but require a little more breathing space for you and your family, then the estate is here to help. This is the first time we’ve driven it in the UK.

• Full Volkswagen Golf Estate review 

Boot space is up by 100 litres over its predecessor, taking overall capacity to 605 litres, just shy of the Skoda Octavia Estate. There’s also a handy underfloor storage compartment, while the rear seats fold down at the flick of a switch, increasing capacity to 1,620 litres. It also weighs 105kg less than the car it replaces.

As a result, the handling is much more responsive than the previous model’s. Yet the added weight and increased proportions (307mm longer than the hatch) mean it rolls around a fraction more than the hatchback.

• Volkswagen news and reviews

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Its size is well disguised by sculpted flanks and a more balanced rear end. The new look immediately gives the estate a more stylish appearance – the previous model looked awkward and bulky from certain angles.

The 104bhp 1.6-litre TDI engine is incredibly refined – it’s hushed at motorway speeds, yet provides enough punch for overtaking, returning a claimed 72.4mpg in the process. It’s a shame that it doesn’t sneak under the 100g/km CO2 barrier, though – you’ll have to wait for the Bluemotion model for that.

Despite the added 82kg over the Golf hatch, the ride is supple and soaks up the worst a British B-road can hurl at it, yet it’s made better if you select the optional Adaptive Chassis Control system.

On the inside, our SE model carries over all the traits and functionality of the hatchback, with a brushed aluminium dash swooping down to form the centre console. The leather and gloss black steering wheel has plenty of reach and rake adjustment, with the only criticism being the cloth seats fitted as standard in SE spec models – which lack support. A leather upgrade will cost £2,065.

As you’d expect, the Golf estate is a great car in many ways, but the biggest challenge facing it is a similar-spec Skoda Octavia Estate, which is bigger, more efficient and £1,455 cheaper.

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