This year, Volkswagen has sold just 809 old-shape Golf estates from the seven-model range until stocks ran out in August, comparing with total Golf volume of 45,377. The new estate makes a much more concerted attack on the lower medium estate market, with prices starting at ú13,380 on the road for the entry-level 1.4E, rising to ú20,365 for the top-of-the-range V5 automatic. The sales prognosis for the new car is much stronger: 5,000 are expected to find homes in its first full year on sale - 2000.
In between, there are S and SE trim levels with a choice of 1.6 100bhp or 2-litre 115bhp petrol engines, and the acclaimed 1.9-litre direct injection turbodiesels in 90bhp and new 115bhp forms. There is also a naturally aspirated 68bhp version of the 1.9-litre engine available in base E trim only. The old 110bhp TDI has been dropped in favour of the remarkable 115bhp 'pumpe dnse' engine, which comes complete with a six-speed manual gearbox and no price increase for the useful extra power and torque it provides. Tested here is the 1.9 TDI 115 S estate, costing ú16,510 on the road.