The Mk7 Volkswagen Golf Estate combines the excellent driving manners and impressive build quality of the hatchback with an extra helping of interior space.
For many, Volkswagen’s Golf does just about everything they need from a car. Maybe it’s going to be a bit short of luggage space every now and then, but if that’s a problem you’re likely to be having on a regular basis, the Golf Estate should solve it.
Offering 35 per cent more boot space than its hatchback brother, the estate still isn’t quite as big in the back as the freakishly large Skoda Octavia, but its boot has a conveniently low loading lip, an adjustable floor, and rear seat backs that fold flat to create a family-sized and easy to use area.
The Golf Estate’s trump card is its high-quality trim and general finish, which gives it the edge over the estate versions of cars like the Ford Focus Estate or Vauxhall Astra. The only trouble is that you do have to pay for that premium feel.
Going for a second-hand Golf Estate gives you the kudos without so much of a financial penalty. The Mk 7 Golf Estate has been around since 2013, and early diesel specimens can be had for about £6,500. Unusually, petrol versions are more expensive: about £1,000 more, like for like. That makes them slightly rarer and harder to find, but we’d still recommend spending some time on the search for a 1.4 TSI 125. That gives the bext mix of performance and economy.
If you want a fast diesel though, there’s a nice option in the GTD, but you’ll be lucky to find one of them for less than £17,000. For even more sportiness Volkswagen introduced the high-performance R, but you’re looking at over £25,000 for one of them.
In terms of trim levels, you’ll see plenty of ex-company S models around, but they’re pretty basic. We’d hold out for an SE (or Match Edition if you’re looking at later models) because that spec includes 16-inch alloys, all-round electric windows, and automatic emergency braking, a worthy system that can help to avoid slow-speed collisions.
The nature of the beast means that Golf Estates take a bit of hammer in the boot, so make sure everything’s OK there and that the rear suspension isn’t making any peculiar noises. Juddering when turning a corner or changing gear could be a problem with the seven-speed DSG dual clutch gearbox that many Golfs of this era had. It’s an expensive thing to fix, so leave cars like that well alone.