Last year, the Volkswagen Golf was one of our favourite small hatchbacks. This year, the VW Golf Estate delivers more of the same, only with an enormous boot.
With 605 litres to fill, it’s just a fraction smaller than the Skoda Octavia Estate’s luggage area. Unsurprisingly, there’s more than enough room for the typical load of holiday luggage we use to test every car. The fitment of a reversing camera, Trailer Stability Programme and comprehensive data on towing in the handbook also contribute to a strong score from our practicality judges.
That wouldn’t count for much if the Golf didn’t tow well, which it does. There’s no arguing with the performance from the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which pulled car and caravan from 30-60mph in 13 seconds. In the emergency lane-change test the car’s stability systems were hard at work on faster runs, but the vehicle always stayed under control. At motorway speeds some steering corrections were needed in crosswinds, but nothing out of the ordinary.
In everyday driving, the Golf is does a great job of being fun for the driver but comfortable for passengers. The cabin is very well finished, and GT spec means there’s a long list of standard equipment. The Golf’s five-star rating from the safety experts at Euro NCAP is also reassuring.