Volkswagen Golf Estate: Test Drive Review
15 January 2014
Author: Jack Carfrae
It's never been the largest of wagons, but the Volkswagen Golf Estate has grown compared with its predecessor.
There's an additional 100 litres of boot space - 605 litres in total with the rear seats in place and 1620 litres when they're folded flat.
Estates from larger sectors do come bigger, but as more compact and affordable lower medium wagons go, that's enough space to trounce rivals such as the Ford Focus Estate at 476/1502 litres and the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (500/1550 litres). The huge Honda Civic Tourer shows it a clean pair of heels in the space race with 624/1668 litres.
Boot benefits aside, the estate is just as polished as the Golf hatchback. The cabin is as well put together and it's a lot smarter than the previous model. Weight-saving measures mean the latest car is a little lighter on its feet and better to drive, although it isn't thrilling and a Ford Focus will always be more entertaining.
Where this particular Golf excels is with its overall running costs against its key competitors. The hatchback version has long since been recognised as one of the best all-rounders for businesses because rock-solid residual values give it the edge, even though it often has a higher P11D than the competition.
The same applies to the estate: official figures of 102g/km and 72.4mpg are seriously impressive and the 41.3% RV is even better. Collectively, they're enough to give the Golf a lower whole-life cost figure than its immediate and cheaper rivals. Equivalent versions of the Toyota Auris Touring Sports (44.3ppm), Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer (45.1ppm) and Ford Focus Estate (46.4ppm) trail the VW's 43.1ppm lead.
If the Golf does have a failing, it's the fact that it's a little on the bland side, and the 105hp 1.6-litre engine is no ball of fire, although it does pull well enough mid-range.
But when all's said and done, it's about as well-rounded an estate as you'll find for the fleet community.
|Volkswagen Golf Estate
|Model price range
|Service, Maintenance and Repair
|Vehicle Excise Duty
|Cost per mile
|BIK 20/40% per month
|Boot space min/max