The Golf‘s ride quality is excellent, and the suspension soaks up bumps in the road with ease.
There’s a huge choice of engines and, to be honest, all of them are great at what they do. New for the 2017 model is a 1.5-litre petrol that takes the place of the outgoing 1.4-litre.
These advanced new EVO engines benefit not only from cylinder-on-demand technology but automatic models also have an advanced coasting function, which decouples the engine from the gearbox where possible to save fuel. VW claims it can improve fuel economy by up to 8mpg bringing the quoted average for the 148hp model to 58mpg and 61mpg for the 128hp version.
However, if you’re looking for impressive fuel consumption, the two diesels are the ones to go for. The cheaper of the pair is a 1.6-litre that should have no problems moving the Golf Estate around, though it won’t feel spritely when the car’s fully loaded. If you believe VW’s figures it can return fuel economy of 74mpg.
The other diesel in the range is arguably all you’ll ever need in a Golf Estate. It produces 148hp, but the meaty torque available from very low in the rev range is what wins you over. It isn’t fast but it’s not slow either, cracking 0-62mph in a smidge under nine seconds. Quoted fuel economy sits at 67mpg and it’s easy to average around 55mpg in the real world.
All engines are smooth but the 1.6-litre diesel is quite vocal
There’s another, more powerful, version of that 2.0-litre that packs 184hp. It is only available in the hot GTD Estate model which also benefits from more aggressive styling, stronger brakes and bigger wheels. It’s a step below the full-blown 305hp Golf R Estate and provides most of the visual updates over a standard Golf that the R gets while the quoted fuel economy figure of 61mpg is decent enough for the performance on offer.
Models with 125hp and upwards get a sophisticated rear suspension system that deals with the UK’s bumpy roads more successfully than the basic setup and also makes the Golf feel more surefooted in corners.
Despite some added weight, the Golf Estate is identical to drive to the hatchback. You can opt for ACC (Adaptive Chassis Control), which lets you set the firmness of the suspension settings – our advice, unless you’re going to drive flat-out everywhere, is not to bother, especially because it’s an £800 option.
It’s definitely not the most fun to drive among its rivals, however the Golf Estate does a really good job at everything else. Out on the motorway, it’s hushed and only if you turn off the radio you can hear a faint wind whistle coming from the side mirrors. Whereas in town, the light steering makes short work of low-speed manoeuvres.