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Quick but efficient estates seem to be popular at the moment, with the new Volkswagen Golf GTD Estate joining the Ford Focus ST TDCi Estate and Peugeot 308 SW GT, both launched last year, and the Seat Leon ST FR, launched in 2014.
In addition, there's the Skoda Octavia vRS, which has been around for a while.
The Golf is powered by the same 184hp 2.0-litre diesel as its Seat and Skoda stablemates but is a touch more efficient at 115g/km in manual form, rising by 10g/km with the addition of £1415-worth of DSG automatic gearbox. The emissions figure is 5g/km behind the Focus and 8g/km behind Peugeot's automatic-only 308 GT.
The GTD struggles a little to put its power through the front wheels on slippier surfaces, and the driving experience is more like a quick version of a regular car, rather than a diesel performance car.
That's good for comfort but less so for handling. It reflects on the interior, too. Despite some sporting touches, it looks like the cabin of an upgraded standard model whereas the Focus ST TDCi's, in particular, looks more special than the interior of a regular Focus.
That said, the Golf's interior is classy, comfortable and well laid out. Meanwhile, the 184hp diesel packs plenty of punch and the exterior upgrades for the GTD, including more imposing bumpers, flared sills, smoked rear lights and a honeycomb radiator grille, work well.
Despite having a better RV than any of its key rivals - the Golf's is 38.0% while its nearest challenger is the Focus ST TDCi at 34.8% - the GTD's higher P11D price puts it at a cost-per-mile disadvantage. The Focus, Octavia and Leon come out 2.6p, 1.9p and 1.6p per mile cheaper respectively.
The Golf Estate offers a decent 605 litres of boot space, just less than the Octavia and 55 litres behind the Peugeot, but substantially larger than Ford's Focus Estate.
VW Golf GTD Estate
Model price range £17,540-£35,465
Residual value 38.0%
Service, maintenance and repair £2890
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £2688
Cost per mile 58.8p
Fuel consumption 64.2mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 115g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month £99/£198
Boot space (min/max) 605/1620 litres
Engine size/power 1968cc/184hp
Very enticing for head and heart, but cheaper rivals do it just as well
Looks good, practical, decent emissions
Great residual value
Very competent Seat, Skoda and Ford rivals can do it cheaper