Volkswagen Golf Estate 1.9 TDI SE

October 2007

picture of car from the front

Estate gains chromed grille from previous generation Jetta

Ratings

Overall Rating 8Overall rating

Value for money Rating 7Value for money

Space and Practicality Rating 7Costs

Space and Practicality Rating 8Space and practicality

Controls and display Rating 8Controls and display

Comfort Rating 8Comfort

Security Rating 7Car security

Safety Rating 7Car safety


Likes

  • Torquey diesel engine is also economical
  • Ride and handling are very impressive
  • Estate remains as stylish as other Golfs
  • Good build quality throughout

Gripes

  • Exterior may be too understated for some
  • More expensive than some rivals
  • A wider choice of engines would be of benefit
  • Parking sensors should be standard

The Golf is a cornerstone of the Volkswagen range, and offers a large number of variants to suit all buyers. The Estate version brings increased practicality to the range and puts the Golf in contention for a number of buyers who need the increased space.

Although the Golf is a best seller in hatchback form the estate body style is an important part of the range, bringing a wider range of buyers to the Volkswagen brand. With the majority of the design and mechanicals shared directly with its sibling, the Golf Estate aims to offer the same qualities that make the hatchback such as success.

The biggest changes affect the exterior. An increase in length of 352mm gives the room for the large boot area and near-vertical tailgate without harming interior space for passengers. The exterior changes are blended seamlessly into the existing Golf shape, and it remains a tidily-styled and attractive car. The SE version benefits from handsome alloy wheels and also the chromed grille used on higher specification models elsewhere in the Golf range.

Mechanically the Estate is broadly similar to the Golf hatchback, although with a slightly reduced model range. All models are front-wheel drive, with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, although it is likely that most buyers would only consider a diesel due to its superior torque output and economy.

Inside the Golf Estate is largely identical to the standard car, bar the increased space in the rear. The cabin layout is simple and attractive, with good quality materials throughout. Extra useful touches in the Estate include chromed lashing eyes on the boot floor to allow the securing of heavier or fragile items.

Our verdict on the Volkswagen Golf Estate 1.9 TDI SE

Anyone choosing the Golf Estate will be satisfied as it meets all the expectations anyone could reasonably have. Alongside the usual Golf qualities of sound design, high quality, refinement and driving enjoyment comes an extra and significant amount of space and practicality. With the right engine choice the Golf Estate makes for an excellent load carrier.

Costs
Costs rating 7

The initial purchase price of the Golf Estate is comparatively modest for a vehicle that is based on a family hatchback, but the amount of standard equipment and the high specification justifies the price. Running costs will be reasonable, with good fuel economy and reasonable insurance costs.

Space and practicality
Space and Practicality Rating 8

The Golf Estate has a useful extra dose of practicality over the regular Golf, with good levels of head, leg and elbowroom for front and rear passengers. There are also useful storage areas throughout the cabin, and thoughtful touches like a bottle opener and lined coin tray add to the convenience. The boot itself is large and well shaped, with lashing eyes to secure large loads.

picture of car from the rear

Load-carrying rear is neatly integrated into familiar shape

Controls and display
Controls and Display Rating 8

The layout of the Golf's cabin is clear and simple, with well-marked buttons and switches. It also uses the attractively illuminated dials seen elsewhere in the Golf range, giving it a classy feel as well as being easy to read. Where fitted, the sat-nav system is placed centrally on the dashboard, making it easy to see. Route instructions are also repeated in a dot matrix display between the main instruments, which is a very useful feature.

Comfort
Comfort Rating 8

Excellent seats give a high level of support and comfort, and although road noise is unlikely to disturb passengers, there is a little wind noise at higher speeds. The well damped suspension means that the ride quality on broken roads is impressive, and never becomes a major discomfort.

Car security
Security Rating 7

As the Golf Estate may attract the attention of thieves, it is fitted as standard with remote central locking and an alarm system, which should deter the most determined thieves.

Car safety
Safety Rating 7

A considerable safety equipment list including front, side and curtain airbags gives the Golf Estate a high level of passive safety, while the addition of ESP helps to control the substantial power output of the various engines.

Driver appeal
Driver Appeal Rating 7

In diesel form the Golf Estate offers impressive acceleration thanks to the high torque output, and it is very easy to make rapid progress. This also makes urban driving pleasurable, as very little effort is required to sail along on the engine torque. The well-tuned suspension benefits the handling and ride, with little body roll through the corners and few bumps entering the cabin.

picture of car interior

High quality interior is good to use

Family car appeal
Family Appeal Rating 8

A key strength of the Golf Estate is its ability to combine driving enjoyment and practicality, and it could easily provide excellent family transport. There is sufficient passenger and luggage room, and it has the ability to cover distances with ease and in comfort. Indeed, the Golf's strength is that it can perform the family role while still being an entertaining drive when the conditions are appropriate.

First car appeal
First car Rating 6

Although not a challenging or intimidating car to drive, the Golf Estate may be a little larger and more expensive that the ideal machine for most new drivers. The insurance group and running costs are unlikely to be prohibitive however.

Quality and image
Quality and Image Rating 6

VW's reputation for quality is maintained in the Golf Estate, with high standards of fit and finish throughout. A strong sense of good design is also evident, giving the Golf Estate an aura of high quality. The Golf's image benefits from that of the GTI version, and it is noted as a car that is enjoyable to drive.

Accessibility
Accessibility Rating

The Golf Estate is a simple vehicle to enter and exit from, for both front and rear passengers. Wide door openings and 'suitcase' door handles are a big help, as is the relatively high roofline.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

A standard radio/CD is fitted to the Golf Estate, which is simple to operate and provides clear reception and good CD playback, with strong bass and a powerful output. Higher specification models benefit from controls on the steering wheel and a display between the instruments to make the unit easy to operate on the move.

picture of car detail

Load area can be increased dramatically by folding rear seats

Colours and trim

Although much of the interior is identical to that of a regular Golf, it remains an excellent place to spend time. The fabrics and plastics used within are of a high quality and a robustly constructed.

Parking

The Golf Estate is no more difficult to park than a regular Golf, with thinner rear pillars than the hatchback. Rear parking sensors are also available as an option.

Spare wheel

Space saver fitted beneath the boot floor.

 

Range information

Engine options: Petrol: 1.4-litre (74bhp), 1.4-litre turbocharged and supercharged (168bhp), 1.6-litre (113bhp), 2.0-litre (145bhp) 2.0-litre turbocharged (197bhp) 3.2-litre (247bhp) Diesel: 1.9-litre (89bhp, 104bhp), 2.0-litre (138bhp and 168bhp). Five-speed manual transmission standard on 1.4-litre petrol and 1.9-litre diesel, six-speed manual standard on 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre, 2.0-litre turbocharged, 3.2-litre petrols and 2.0-litre diesel. Automatic available on 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrols, six-speed DSG available on 1.9-litre diesel, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and 3.2-litre petrol. Trim levels: S, SE, Sport, GT, GTI and R32. GTI has 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol as standard, R32 has 3.2-litre petrol as standard.

 

Alternative cars

Ford Focus Estate Even more enjoyable to drive, exterior lacks appeal

Vauxhall Astra Estate Family favourite less accommodating inside

Skoda Octavia Estate Even more space, excellent value

Volvo V50 Premium feel with high levels of practicality



Over 1,200 more car reviews online

All the reports since 1990 are available on this site, just search by make and model below.

Step 1 > Select make Alfa Romeo    Aston Martin    Audi    Austin    BMW    Bentley    Cadillac    Caterham    Chevrolet    Chrysler    Citroen    Daewoo    Daihatsu    Dodge    Ferrari    Fiat    Ford    Honda    Hyundai    Isuzu    Jaguar    Jeep    Kia    Lada    Lamborghini    Lancia    Land Rover    Lexus    Lotus    MG    MINI    Maserati    Mazda    Mercedes-Benz    Mitsubishi    Nissan    Perodua    Peugeot    Porsche    Proton    Renault    Rolls-Royce    Rover    SEAT    Saab    Skoda    Smart    Smart Car    Ssangyong    Subaru    Suzuki    Toyota    Vauxhall    Volkswagen    Volvo    Yugo   

 

October 2007