First Drive: VW Golf Estate in it for the long haul

HAVING owned and cherished a bright red Mk2 Golf GTI for several years, and as a grown-up boy racer, I’m the perfect person at Scotsman Motoring to review the gorgeous Mk7 Golf GTI you can read about elsewhere on this site.

The VW Golf Estate 1.6 TDI  is big on space but with a small thirst
The VW Golf Estate 1.6 TDI is big on space but with a small thirst

But no. Somehow I ended up with the family-friendly, IKEA-amenable, motorway-chugging Mk7 Golf Estate. With less than half the horsepower of the GTI, our 1.6-litre TDI isn’t going to leave anyone for dust, while the mid-range SE trim isn’t going to get heads turning either. What it will do, though, is lug large items and family members from point A to point B without the need for bungee cords and too many petrol station stops.

The estate is 21cm longer than the regular hatchback, with 605 litres of space in the boot. The ride isn’t a great deal different from modest-engined hatchback versions, with a nice balance between comfort and the ability to feel the road as you charge into corners.

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But practicality and economy are the main selling points here, and with a reported average fuel consumption of 72.4mpg (I managed 55 in the real world), the 1.6-litre TDI appeals to the pocket in terms of running costs.

You also get a lot of kit for your money. Our test car came in the not-too-pricey, not-too-basic SE trim, with an on-the-road price of £21,735. It was bristling with the features you might expect on the options list, my favourite of which was the Automatic Distance Control which regulates the cruise speed depending on what’s in front. I managed to get from the Forth Road Bridge to the Tay Bridge without touching a pedal once. My boy-racing days are over.


Car Volkswagen Golf Estate 1.6 TDI SE

Price £21,735

Engine 1.6l turbo-diesel, 4 cyl, 104bhp, 184 lb ft

Performance Max speed 120mph; 0-62mph 11.2s

Economy 72.4mpg

CO2 emissions 102g/km