June 26, 2017

THE COMPLETE COMPACT FAMILY CAR PACKAGE

Some 20 years after the first Golf Estate made its debut; the all-new, sharper looking Golf Estate has now appeared on our roads. Just like the hatch, it’s based on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform, which is shared with all the latest and forthcoming cars under the Volkswagen Audi Group, including the new Skoda Octavia. Key benefits include a bigger, stronger and lighter body structure which can utilise universal technology and safety systems and thanks to better aerodynamics and new engines, there’s better fuel economy, too. VW_Golf_Estate_SE_1.6-litre_TDI_Review_writeonmotoring_002The Golf Estate comes in S, SE and GT trim, with 1.2 and 1.4-litre TSI petrol or 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines, plus either a manual or seven-speed DSG auto gearbox. All latest Mk VII Golfs feature BlueMotion Technology – a Stop/Start system and battery regeneration – and for the first time a full BlueMotion estate model will also be offered. VW_Golf_Estate_SE_1.6-litre_TDI_Review_writeonmotoring_003All models get seven airbags, ABS with ESP, climate control and 5.8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system incorporating Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. SE spec and above offers Driver Profile Selection, which gives different adjustment of throttle and steering response. Safety is high on the agenda, with the new Golf being awarded the full five-stars from Euro NCAP. SE cars and above get a plethora of electronic safety assistance systems, including Park Assist, automatic lights and wipers, PreCrash occupant protection and Lane-Keeping Assist. Tested here is the mid-range SE with a 105 PS 1.6 TDI and 5 speed manual gearbox – expected to account for the majority of sales. As with the latest VW Golf hatchback, the overall fit and finish and quality of interior materials are very high, and the dashboard boasts an attractive brushed-aluminum effect finish. The cabin also has a more spacious and airy feel than the hatchback. VW_Golf_Estate_SE_1.6-litre_TDI_Review_writeonmotoring_004Of course, it’s back aft where the real differences over the shorter hatchback make themselves apparent, with the Golf Estate boasting a 605 litre boot - considerably bigger than the 505 litre capacity of its predecessor - but still five litres shy of its closest competitor, the Skoda Octavia Estate. Loading items is made easier by a low-load lip and a wide flat multi-level floor, featuring useful under-floor cubbies, along with somewhere to stow the luggage cover when not in use. The split rear seats can also be dropped via remote switches, although the rear seats don’t fold completely flat. VW_Golf_Estate_SE_1.6-litre_TDI_Review_writeonmotoring_001The new Golf estate drives just as well as the current Golf hatch. On the road the improvement in driving dynamics over the previous estate model is apparent, with a 150 kg weight loss, new chassis and variable ratio steering all combining to give a drive that’s enjoyably engaging when you’re in the mood, yet relaxing and comfortable the rest of the time. Overall refinement impresses and the ride, with these smaller 16” wheels is especially comfortable and pliant. Verdict: Although like-for-like rivals manage to offer similar space and pace for less, they aren’t as complete a package as the Golf Estate and neither do they hold onto their value so well. Factor in top-notch comfort and refinement, low running costs, a wide selection of engine and transmission choices, along with class-leading build quality, and you have one of the most appealing compact estates on the market. Tech spec: VW Golf Estate SE 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS This car OTR Price: £21,475 Max Power: 105 PS @3,000-4,000 rpm Max Torque: 250Nm @ 1,500-2,750 rpm Max Speed: 120mph Acceleration: 0-62 in 11.2 seconds Claimed MPG (combined): 72.4 CO2 emissions: (g/km) 102 Insurance group: 11E VED: Band B      
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