VW Golf R Estate (2015): a new Q car champion?

Published: 18 November 2014

After spy pictures of a wagon variant of the VW Golf R first surfaced in April, Volkswagen has confirmed that there will indeed be a big-booted version of its brilliant superhatch.

The VW Golf R Estate will make its debut at the Los Angeles motor show in November 2014.

What’s powering the VW Golf R Estate?

Under the bonnet is the same superb 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the Golf R hatchback, with a meaty 296bhp on tap. There’s also a maximum 280lb ft of torque spread between 1800 and 5500rpm.

Unlike the hatch, which gets the choice of a manual gearbox or DSG dual-clutch auto, the wagon is DSG only.

How fast is it?

Volkswagen quotes a 0-62mph of 5.1 seconds, the same as the hatchback, with the electronic limiters ultimately calling time at 155mph. It retains the same four-wheel drive system, so you’ll be able to transport flatpack furniture at unabated speed when the weather turns sour.

It sits 20mm lower than the regular Golf estate on adaptive dampers and there’s the same suite of driving settings as the hatchback, including part-off or fully disabled modes for the stability control.

This isn’t the first performance estate to be spun from the MQB platform – there’s also the excellent Skoda Octavia vRS estate, although with front-wheel drive and far less power on tap, it’s not quite in the same performance ballpark as the Golf R. We also expect a quick Cupra version of Seat’s Leon ST estate, although that would almost certainly retain the base car's front-wheel drive layout.

It doesn’t shout much about the performance. Were it not for the quartet of exhaust tips and big, shiny wheels, there’d be little to tell it apart from a regular Golf wagon.

And how practical?

For what’s one of the smaller estates on the market, very. You’ll cram 605 litres of luggage into the boot with the rear seats up (100 litres more than the hatch), or 1620 litres worth of stuff with them flattened. For comparison, that’s a fair bit more than a Ford Focus estate (476/1495) and a bit less than a Skoda Octavia estate (610/1740).

Expect the same wide and low tailgate opening as the regular Golf estate, along with a retractable luggage cover that can be stowed under the boot floor. Judging by the official pictures, roof rails are standard too.

It’s certainly a much more practical (and to some, palatable) proposition than high-performance crossovers like the Audi RS Q3 and Mercedes GLA 45 AMG.

And according to European testing formulae, VW forecasts a 40.4mpg average and CO2 emissions of 163g/km.

When does the Golf R Estate go on sale?

It’s set to launch in Europe in spring 2015. The regular Golf estate costs around £1300 over the three-door hatch, and we expect the Golf R Estate to start north of £32,000.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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