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Overall verdict

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

Overall verdict
A fantastic looking car with a myriad of drivetrain options. Shame the Skoda Octavia exists


Practical, good-looking and decent to drive


Interior remains infuriating, outshone by its Skoda sibling


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