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7/10
Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Volkswagen Golf Estate (Mk8)

£22,100£29,565
7/10
Overall verdict
A fantastic looking car with a myriad of drivetrain options. Shame the Skoda Octavia exists
 

For: 

Practical, good-looking and decent to drive

Against: 

Interior remains infuriating, outshone by its Skoda sibling

Overview

What is it?

Anyone else agree that the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf looks better in this estate form than it does as a hatchback? That certainly hasn’t been the case for previous generations – when VW extended the boot on both the Mk6 and Mk7 the results were frumpy, boxy and all kinds of wrong (with the Mk7 Golf R Estate being the exception), but this time around there’s a sloping roofline, a ‘shooting brake inspired’ rear window and LED lights as standard to sharpen things up. It’s a very handsome thing, the Mk8 Estate.

It looks even smarter in top-spec R-Line trim, whilst the jacked-up, all-wheel-drive Alltrack will win you the most cool points from the TG team at least (although that should come with a disclaimer – we’re really not very cool). Anyway, we’ll get behind the wheel of an Alltrack soon, here we’ll focus on the standard, everyday Estate.

Volkswagen reckons that most long-roofed Mk8s will be sold in base-spec Life or mid-range Style trim. Petrol engines include a teeny 999cc three-cylinder turbocharged unit and a 1.5-litre four-pot that can be had with either 128bhp or 148bhp. A 6spd manual gearbox is standard fitment, but all petrol engines can be optioned with a seven-speed DSG that also adds 48V mild-hybrid tech. You’ll see those badged as eTSI models, although the claimed mpg and CO2 figures are remarkably similar even with the electric assist.

There is still a diesel option – a 2.0-litre TDI that comes with either 113bhp or 148bhp. Both of those can also be combined with a 6spd manual or 7spd auto ‘box, but neither is available with additional electricity.

There should be a full-fat Mk8 Golf R Estate along soon. How very exciting.

Prices start at £24,575 for a bog-standard Life with the 1.0-litre TSI engine, and climb to £31,135 for the most powerful diesel with an auto ‘box. Both ends of that spectrum make the Golf around £2,000 more expensive than the equivalent Octavia Estate.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.0 TDI GTD 5dr
7.9s 115g/km 64.2 181 £28,285
The cheapest
1.0 TSI 115 S 5dr
10.2s 113g/km 115 £22,100
The greenest
1.6 TDI Match Edition 5dr
10.8s 108g/km 115 £25,100

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