We all know that the Volkswagen Golf is all things to all men — apart, of course from that ridiculous electric version we panned in these columns recently — and now, thanks to a revived version of the car which we have not seen for some time, it will potentially be seen in many more driveways.
The Golf Estate is not a car which has been sold here for some time but the boffins at VW Ireland have decided the time is right for it to be reintroduced.
I’m not sure this move is heralding the demise of the crossover or anything, but it suggests the recent dominance of that segment may be getting watered down a little on the back of ever-shifting consumer tastes.
Volkswagen certainly seem to think so and that is why the Estate is now back with us. The last version sold here was the fourth-generation Golf — we are now on the seventh — so it was quite a while ago. The thinking seems to be that the family buyer is now more in the market for different car ideas and the estate is becoming fashionable again.
The Golf is not the cheap- est of the estate options in the small family car market, but it is demonstrably at the top of its game. This new machine aims to consolidate the model’s position as Ireland’s bestselling car.
We tested the Golf Estate in ‘Highline’ trim and with a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine. Certainly the specification level adds greatly to the overall cost of this beastie, but it has to be said that it also adds desirability, what with stuff on it such as adaptive cruise control, which is the sort of thing that, until recently, was only available at the executive luxobarge end of the market.
On the engine front the 1.6-litre turbodiesel has some 110 bhp on tap between 3,200 and 4,000 rpm and a decent amount of torque with 230 Nm available between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm.
It has a top speed of 196km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 11 seconds, neither of which make it a pull-your-socks-off type of car, but the real upside is the 102 g/km emission level (for an annual tax bill of €190) and a consumption rate over the combined cycle of 3.9 l/100 km (72.4 mpg).
This is a workmanlike engine and one which will suit an awful lot of people just fine, thank you. The thing is that it is not just a family car, as it can double up as a business proposition.
What will also suit just fine is the amount of space available. Throw the rear seats down and your cargo area almost triples in size, from 605 litres to 1,620 litres.
Elsewhere, everything is very Golf and the level of quality in the interior décor is top drawer for the class and one of the reasons people like this car so much.
However, a baseline price of around €22,000 makes the Highline specification version seem a touch expensive, coming in as it does at over €30,000. That said, you do get stuff like the aforementioned adaptive cruise control, 18” alloys, a navigation system, automatic lights and wipers, parking sensors, and a whole lot more.
All very well, you might say. However, people who look closely at these things will know that lesser VW brands sell competing models at much lesser prices and they may like to turn their attention in that direction if they are not completely sold on the Golf phenomenon.
Even so, this illustrates once more why the Golf is what it is and why it remains a favourite for so many people.
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