VOLKSWAGEN GOLF ESTATE
The Volkswagen Golf Estate is great as a family car. The new Golf Estate is a vast improvement on its predecessor. With a more nimble steering a marginally larger size and new trims, the drive is more engaging than before. It’s also more practical and technology inside the vehicle has also improved a lot from the earlier versions. The vehicle comes in both diesel and petrol engines that are all quite economical. In addition there’s the extremely fuel efficient Bluemotion model and a daring new all-terrain 4×4 Alltrack model for those who are so adventurous off the road.
Volkswagen have tried to make their ride as fuel efficient as possible with all models receiving a stop start feature as standard plus an electronic handbrake with auto hold function. The entire range can return an upwards of 21 kmpl in fuel economy.
The 84bhp 1.2 liter petrol engine achieves 23.5 kmpl but is slow compared to the more powerful 104 bhp version of the engine that also matches these numbers. The fuel-sipping 1.0-liter TSI petrol BlueMotion offers an economy of up to 28kmpl mpg and emissions of 99g/km. the 2.0-liter manual diesel engine offers even better performance but is still quite chap to run with 27.8 kmpl economy. However, it is only found in higher trim levels making it a bit of an expensive buy. The DSG is more expensive to run with an economy of 25.04 kmpl.
ENGINES, DRIVE AND PERFORMANCE
The new Volkswagen golf estate is so much engaging to drive, a welcome change for the car owners who complained about its predecessors distant driving experience. It comes with the usual electric handbrake which helps in those cumbersome hill starts. There’s the option of a seven speed DSG twin clutch gearbox which offers superb transmission either on the shift lever or the electronic control. The electronic control selects the highest driving ratio although it still kicks down to give the driver extra power for overtaking.
All trims including and above the SE model come with Driver Profile Selection which adjusts the car performance according to the setting you choose. Although the driver can turn off traction control at his/her convenience, there’ll still be some electronic intervention in case of any stability. The Bluemotion offers a smooth six speed transmission but is still quite comfortable to drive thanks to its low-rolling resistance tires. The punchy Alltrack is extremely capable off road with its powerful engine and a four wheel drive and enough ground clearance to handle the uneven off road surface.
The GTD estate also has some useful options such as adaptive bumpers’ which allow for three different driving modes; Comfort Normal and Sport, the latter which firms up suspension for a fun ride on a back road.
The diesel engines offer excellent fuel economy making them a clear favorite among most buyers. In addition they are more powerful in medium range making the 104 bhp 1.6 liter diesel feel quicker than its 10.7-second 0-100km/h figure suggests. The GTD diesel engine is capable to make the sprint in 7.9 seconds regardless of the gearbox, as the DSG automatic gearbox doesn’t affect performance. Top speed is either 143 mph for the six-speed manual or 142 mph for the DSG.
INTERIOR DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
The Estate offers the same simple looks that are now signature to it. The SE models get 16-inch alloy wheels and the new estate also has roof rails—offered in silver for the GT version. Looking at the rear you’ll notice it’s almost the same as the hatchback save for the number plate that has been moved from the bumper to the tailgate. The Alltrack looks quite rugged and is most dramatic in the range with it raised looks, chunky bumpers and alloy wheels.
The interior is quite like the hatchbacks really. The 5.8’’ touchscreen which controls secondary systems and makes the dashboard look less congested. It also has air-con, cruise control, and DAB digital radio. Standard equipment are the 16’’ alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic windscreen wipers and automatic emergency braking with active control. It could be argued that these make the SE models to have the best value in the range. The top of the range GT and GTD models add 18-inch alloys, tinted windows, sat-nav, parking sensors and sportier suspension in addition to the classy tartan cloth upholstery and signature golf ball gear knob. The general quality of the cabin is better than any of its mainstream competitors.
The estate is some 21 cm longer than the hatchback accounting for a 225 liters bigger boot space. The car comfortably seats five, offering all ample leg and headroom, although the large transmission tunnel may encroach the middle passenger’s legroom. There’s also plenty of storage spaces from cup holders, drawers under the front seats, to felt-lined pockets in all the doors.
The estate offers 605-liters boot space which expands to a very impressive 1,620 liters with seats down. This is only 5 liters smaller than the Octavia’s and 77 liters bigger than the Kia’s, however it is bigger that the Nissan Wingroad and Toyota Fielder. The Golf’s boot opening is very wide so loading bulky items is quite easy. The false floor is also in level with the boot lip and the recess underneath can store extra luggage or even a spare wheel.
RELIABILITY AND SAFETY
Current owners have mostly good things to say about the car, although it’s still a bit early to judge the new Estate’s reliability. It’s pretty solid though, being designed off VW’s new MQB platform.
The new Golf estate achieved 5 stars in its Euro NCAP crash test. It is well in line with its competitors such as the Skoda Octavia Estate.
It is clearly better that what most of use consider while thinking about buying an estate car/station wagon. It is better that the Toyota Fielder or the Nissan Wingroad however key to consider is that the price can be a bit prohibitive and this car is quite rare to find even on the Japanese market hence you may have to consider getting it from the UK.
Key to check when you get it here is the gearbox oil, engine oil and spark plugs since these cars usually have very particular specifications for these items.