All Cats Are Grey.
Volkswagen updated their Golf Estate Mk7 in November 2016, which means that there’s now a much more practical version of VW’s most popular family car on the market. It retains most of the new Golf hatchbacks sleek dimensions & lovely interior, although physically it’s starting to look suspiciously like the Skoda Octavia estate. You can get the Golf estate in three main specifications – entry-level S, mid-range SE & SE Nav, GT & top-of-the-range R-Line, which all come with decent equipment levels as standard. If that’s not enough Golf Estates for you, there’s also an Alltrack version & GTD & GTD Blueline models as well. You really are spoilt for choice !
The standard hatchback Golf is already a very practical car, but the larger estate body shape gives it just a bit more practicality. The range states at a useful £19,7470 OTR for the 1.0 litre TSI 85 PS model, with al models on average £650 less than their predecessors.
With the rear seats in place, the Golf estate offers 605 litres of boot space The boot opening is wide, making it a sinch to load up large or bulky items. The loading lip is low too, which means getting things in an out is fairly easy. The boot is 1005mm long, but fold the back seats down & that extends to 1831mm. The boot floor also folds to change the depth of the load area. The only niggle is that the rear seats don’t fold completely flat, so sliding objects into the rear, isn’t as easy it could be. The front seats are comfortable & there’s good head & legroom in the rear beating the Octavia estate in this respect. In addition, it feels more roomy in the cabin especially in the rear than at the hatchback Golf.
Equipment fitted as standard across all Golfs is pretty impressive & includes a 6.5″ touchscreen display, DAB radio, roof rails, Bluetooth connectivity, a trip computer & an electronic parking brake. The more expensive SE, that I was testing adds halogen clear headlights, with LED daytime running lights, rear lights wit LED technology, black roofed rails, leather trimmed 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, variable boot floor, & 16” ally wheels. 16-inch alloy wheels.
There’s extra safety technology, including a driver alert system, an automatic post braking collision system & ADC, automatic distance control, a system that automatically brakes the Golf if it senses that a collision is imminent, which is most useful on the motorway when you are using cruise control..
Like the Golf hatch, the Golf Mark 7 estate interior is splendid to look at, simple to use & very well made, putting it within touching distance of Audi & BMW interiors & in some ways bettering those inside for example, the Mercedes A Class.
Out & about the 1.6 engine does what it says on the tin & isn’t particularly remarkable in any way. The estate even in Sport mode- you can select from Eco , Normal Sport or set up your own driving preferences- feels a little lethargic, especially with floppier adults on board. It still hoes on to reach 124 mph & will get you from 0-62 mph in 10.7 seconds. Is this really relevant though, because the small estate driver wants practicality & good fuel economy. I was testing the SE 1.6 TDI 115 5 speed manual model, which returns a claimed 68.9 mpg with emissions of just 106g/km. However, in my real world driving & in Sport Mode, I averaged bang on 52mpg, which I thought was pretty good & was around 5mpg better than the economy I managed in the 1.0 litre petrol Golf Hatch the previous week.
After a week in there Golf Estate, it struck me that it doesn’t do anything particularly exciting, nor does it do anything particularly badly & a vision of ex PM John Major sprang to mind, at least when he was in power. If you have 3 children, enjoy an active lifestyle or need to travel with a coupe of dogs then the Golf estate would make an excellent company car as it comes with all of the good things that all Golfs offer with just a little bit more usability. It may well remind me of John Major, a cricket loving Chelsea fan, but don’t forget that Edwina Currie saw a different side to him & perhaps he wasn’t as ‘grey’ as we all thought at the time.
A grey day 3.5/5.
SE 1.6 TDI 115 PS 5SPD manual. £23,115 OTR.