► The Golf hatchback’s practical sibling
► 611-litre boot plus extra rear legroom
► Alltrack model adds four-wheel drive
The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf hatchback has been available to buy for a few months now, so the natural next step has arrived – the version for people who want a little added practicality. The new Golf Estate is unlikely to inspire the flames of desire within many, but it’s set to be the most pragmatic option within the Golf range – offering the same high-tech dash and solid driving experience as its hatchback sibling, but with a vast and practical load area.
The Golf Estate will be available with the same engines and tech as the hatchback, and though VW hasn’t confirmed the presence of any performance models yet, it has revealed the Alltrack – a jacked-up model with some extra plastic cladding and 4Motion four-wheel drive.
VW Golf Hatch review
Looks a lot like a Golf...
The front half of the estate is, as you might expect, nearly identical to the Golf hatchback. From the B-pillars back, though, there’s a higher roofline that slopes down to a less steeply-raked rear window than its rather boxy predecessor (Volkswagen calls it ‘coupe-like’).
A pronounced shoulder line runs right the way back to the tailgate, with the rear being fairly similar to the hatch – though the number plate has moved up to the tailgate rather than the rear bumper.
The Estate is longer than the Golf Hatch, with a longer wheelbase, but height and width are identical. It measures 4,633mm long with a 2,686mm wheelbase – 349mm and 67mm longer than the hatchback.
Should be more room inside, right?
Absolutely – the new Golf claims 611 litres of boot space with all five seats in place, which is more than the 575 litres a Ford Focus Estate can offer, though it’s still not quite up to the Skoda Octavia’s cavernous 640-litre space.
Fold the rear seats and there’s a maximum 1,642 litres on offer, with plenty of lighting, bag hooks and tie-down rings to keep loads well secured. The boot can also be specified with a 12V socket or even a three-pin 230V socket for keeping a cool box or other appliance going while you drive.
Rear passengers benefit, too – the longer wheelbase means an additional 38mm of rear legroom.
Does it have the same engines and tech as the hatch?
It does – so there’s a range of petrol engines with mild-hybrid 48V tech to save fuel, a range of diesels with two stages of exhaust-reducing AdBlue injections, with the option of six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG ‘boxes.
Trim levels will run Life, Style, R-Line and Alltrack, with all models including a digital dashboard, 8.25-inch infotainment display, climate control, keyless start, LED lights all round and a variety of safety kit.
What does the Alltrack come with?
Alltrack models gain 4Motion all-wheel drive, increased ground clearance and a specific off-road look. There’s the typical black plastic cladding along the bottom of the car and around the wheelarches, plus a chrome bar in the front bumper surrounding the chequered-flag daytime running lights.
VW claims it’s the perfect towing vehicle with a limit of 2,000kg on an up to 12 per cent gradient. Expect a modicum of off-road ability to add to the rest of the Golf’s skills.
The Golf Estate launches in Europe towards the end of the year. We’ll have pricing and full specifications as soon as they’re available.