Volkswagen's Golf estate is loads better and boasts space and style

The Volkswagen Golf Estate has made a welcome return to Ireland
The Volkswagen Golf Estate has made a welcome return to Ireland

Volkswagen Golf Estate Highline 1.6TDi

THE Volkswagen Golf is Ireland’s best-selling car — fact!

The seventh-generation model is one of Motormouth’s favourites and each variant, whether it’s the volume-selling 1.6 diesel Trendline, or the sublime GTi, delivers best-in-class motoring on all fronts.

Similar to David Beckham who, like the Golf, recently turned 40, both are masters of their craft and worldwide superstars.

But does that make their offspring equally as successful? Probably not.

Cars like the Golf SV and estate have a lot to live up to, but come from real pedigree so by association have a better chance than most.

But the most important thing to say is that the Golf estate just isn’t the same animals as its parent.

The Golf estate serves a different market to that of the hatch, but you get all the quality and refinement of the award-winning Golf, along with the practicality and space needed for larger families.

Volkswagen took a hiatus with the estate in Ireland for a few years as the demand for compact estates plummeted in favour of the new crossover phenomena.

Slowly the demand for the compact estate has returned, and Volkswagen has decided that Ireland now needs the Golf estate.

Volkswagen has plenty of options for families, and cars like the Golf SV, Touran, Tiguan and Sharan offer the best choice for larger families.

But don’t look past the estate, it gives you the space needed as well as delivering a driving master class. 

The latest Golf estate is 307mm longer than the hatch but it doesn’t look ungainly.

Volkswagen has kept the design unfussy and concentrated on making an all-round good package.

It has 100 litres more boot space than the previous generation Golf estate at 605 litres, but when the rear seats are folded, you get a cavernous 1,620 litres of space. 

The interior is sublime and the engine choice will have something to suit your driving needs. My test car was fitted with the popular 1.6 diesel with 110bhp.

It has plenty of performance and the economy is excellent. A 200km journey returned 4.7 litres per 100km, so not that far off the claimed 3.9 litres/100km.

The test car came with only a five-speed box, and even though the 2.0 diesel with six-speed manual is the better choice, the five-speed managed very well. 

If you do want a bit more get up and go, then the bigger diesel is a great choice.

That being said, don’t write off the petrols just yet, Volkswagen offers a 1.4TSi unit that is absolutely brilliant.

I can see one or two problems for the new Golf estate, the biggest coming from within the VW stable. The SEAT Leon ST is close to €2,000 cheaper than the Golf and looks better.

Even rivals like the Peugeot 308 SW make a good case for owning a good-looking compact estate.

The one thing the Golf estate has over rivals is the pedigree.

The Golf is the best hatch on the market so adding a bit of room out back makes the estate one of the best on the market.

If you don’t mind paying a premium for the German badge, then you’ll be getting plenty of bang for your buck.