What is it?
This is the Volkswagen Golf for someone who looks at the regular hatchback and thinks “I could do with a bit more boot space”. The Golf Estate is, for all sakes and purposes, largely identical to its hatchback stablemate. It sits on the same MQB platform, is available with largely the same petrol and diesel engine line-up and features the same solid build quality the Wolfsburg manufacturer has become a byword for.
Where it starts to differ, though, is from the rear doors backwards. The conversion process from hatch to estate has seen the seventh-generation Golf grow from 4258mm to 4567mm in length, with the bulk of that extra metalwork extending out past the rear wheels.
In addition to lending the Golf Estate a boxier side profile, this also contributes to a significant increase in boot space, rising from 380 litres to 605 litres with the rear seats in place. Fold ’em down, and this increases to 1620 litres. Handy.
There’s plenty to choose from engine-wise, too. A 123bhp 1.4-litre petrol represents the base offering, while the 306bhp Golf R Estate sits pretty at the top of the range. There’s also a rugged Alltrack version available. Our test car, however, was fitted with Volkswagen’s new 1.5-litre EVO petrol engine, in 128bhp state of tune.
It’s a relatively new engine from the Volkswagen Group, and has already appeared in the Seat Ibiza and VW Polo superminis. This power plant’s key draw, says Volkswagen, is its blend of power and fuel economy - a claim that is aided by the inclusion of active cylinder management. This enables the turbocharged engine to shut off all four of its cylinders while coasting, contributing to a claimed combined economy figure of 57.6mpg.