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New Volkswagen Golf Estate facelift 2017 review

The Volkswagen Golf Estate has received a facelift for 2017 with styling and tech tweaks, but has the load-lugger been improved?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Golf Estate remains a logical choice for those seeking extra space. The £1,000 premium it commands over the equivalent hatch isn’t too steep, but a Skoda Octavia Estate still offers better value and more room. Our four-wheel-drive test car isn’t available in the UK, although the rugged Alltrack remains.

One thing you’re not short on with the updated Volkswagen Golf is variety. The range on sale in the UK is made up of 113 variants, so it’s rather unlucky that this particular version driven here – a four-wheel-drive Estate – isn’t on that list.

You can have a Golf Estate with 4WD, of course, both as a rugged Alltrack or 306bhp range-topping R, but on a standard 2.0-litre diesel, it isn’t offered to UK buyers.  

The Estate has been subject to the same round of exterior and interior tweaks as every other Golf, while more on-board tech and safety features have also been added.

New Volkswagen Golf facelift review

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In any estate, though, practicality is the focal point. Little has changed from the pre-facelift model, but the Golf still scores well. The 605-litre boot puts it ahead of a SEAT Leon ST and just behind the Skoda Octavia Estate. Dropping the rear bench increases space to 1,620 litres, although it won’t fold completely flat.

Diesel versions will continue to take up the lion’s share of sales (despite Dieselgate events), but to avoid any other headlines VW has made virtually no changes to the 2.0-litre diesel offered across the range. The four-wheel-drive system fitted to our test car makes it less efficient, but slightly faster off the line than the front-wheel-drive equivalent you can buy in the UK.

New Volkswagen Golf GTI facelift review

During everyday conditions, the 4MOTION model acts like a front-wheel-drive Estate, giving us a good idea of how British-registered cars will handle. Like the hatch, the Estate excels in delivering a refined, comfortable and polished driving experience, while the £830 optional adaptive dampers offer Sport, Comfort and Normal driving modes – but in any of the three settings, the ride is cushioned and smooth. It makes for a very comfortable cruiser both in town or on the motorway.  

At speed, the diesel drone dies away, and while there’s some wind noise from the wing mirrors, it’s not that noticeable.

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