Road Test: Volkswagen Golf Estate 1.4 TSI 122 SE
Sector: Lower-medium Price: £21,030 Fuel: 53.3 CO2: 124g/km
The Golf estate is one of those cars that easily slips under the radar – sandwiched between the desirability of the Golf hatchback and the space and solidity of the larger Passat.
It’s something of a compromise car, sandwiched between two purpose-built models. This is a shame because although it lacks the styling cohesion of the chic Golf hatch and the sleek Passat it does have some prosaic charm.
Obviously, being based on the Golf means it shares everything from the B-pillars forward with the hatchback, which means the all-singing new chassis set-up, sharp new front end styling treatment and understated and solid cabin.
But where the Golf estate really comes into its own is with the huge amount of space it offers in the back. Being 30cm longer the hatchback, the estate offers a cavernous (for the car’s class) 605 litres of luggage space with the rear seats in place, rising to 1,620 litres when the seats are folder down. By comparison, the Golf hatchback can only muster 380/1,270 litres. And this extra space is not far short of that on offer in the current Passat estate.
On the road, the driving experience is exactly as you would find in the hatchback, which means a planted feel on the road and solid controls. The steering and gearbox action are all nice and light, if lacking much in the way of feel, but this is a car designed to do a job and not reward keen drivers. And in SE trim on 16-inch alloy wheels is does without the crashy ride which afflicts some cars on bigger wheels.
Price-wise, the Golf estate costs around £700 more than the hatchback, which seems excellent value for money when you consider the space on offer.
The estate will have a niche appeal – buyers will generally gravitate to either Golf or Passat, but for those who want a Golf with some serious load-lugging potential, this is a credible, if not exactly exciting, fleet choice.