The VW Golf GTD Estate is a spacious family car that’s great fun to drive, even if some alternatives are cheaper and have even more luggage space.
The Volkswagen Golf GTD Estate is a comfortable and quick diesel family car whose primary alternative is the Skoda Octavia vRS Estate. It has a big collection of standard kit and a homely interior, but its gearbox can feel sluggish at slower speeds.
The Golf GTD Estate is a more performance-based variant of the regular VW Golf Estate. Despite this, you’ll find adequate space for a mid-sized family as you first step inside. Adults will feel very comfortable in the large, supportive seats and overall spaciousness at the front of the cabin. All of the materials feel high-quality, as well. Meanwhile, you can easily fit two child seats in the rear – although, admittedly, getting a third in the middle would prove to be a squeeze.
The boot is similarly practical at 605 litres, giving you all the storage space you need for a family of four’s short trip away. With seats down, the Golf GTD can fit 1620 litres. Unfortunately, the 610-litre luggage space of the Octavia vRS is slightly more generous – even more so as the seats are folded down and it reaches 1740 litres.
The on-the-road price of the Golf GTD Estate is approximately £3,000 more than that of the Octavia vRS. However, as you become acquainted with the car’s generous amount of kit, you start to understand why. There is a multitude of driver assistance systems onboard, including both front- and rear-facing cameras, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assistance and economical start/stop functionality.
The Golf GTD Estate is ideal for families. It’s just as comfortable and adaptable as the regular Golf Estate, but has improved equipment to keep you and your youngsters happy.
There’s also an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is intuitive to use, but feels more distracting while driving than a BMW iDrive or Audi MMI system.
As the performance-orientated version of the Golf Estate, the GTD is considerably faster than the regular car – and loses little of its economy in the process. The fastest engines available on other Golf Estates take it from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds and are capable of 63mpg. Meanwhile, the GTD’s 2.0-litre, 184hp diesel can reach the same speed in just 7.9 seconds and can return 58mpg. Plus, the GTD’s suspension is smoother than other Golfs’, making the climb to motorway-level speeds more enjoyable.
There is no manual gearbox available for the Golf GTD Estate, with seven-speed automatic transmission standard instead. Unfortunately, while the six-speed manual option on other Golf Estates has been praised for its smoothness, the GTD can get slightly more jerky during parking and low-speed manoeuvres.
In all other settings – from urban commutes to motorway cruising – the GTD Estate is slick and comfortable, and great fun on the right kind of road. So, as you drive it more and more, you might just become convinced that the GTD is one of the best family estates on the market, outdoing the regular Golf Estate in both kit and performance. The Octavia vRS may be cheaper, faster and have a bigger boot, but the many features and quality of drive that you get here should negate those criticisms pretty quickly.