Fleet News

Volkswagen Golf estate 1.9 TDI 130 SE – 4,887 miles



BEING the erstwhile owner of two Volkswagens (Jetta and Transporter camper van), it goes without saying that I hold the German marque in the highest regard. Therefore when the keys to our long-term Golf estate were dangled before my eyes, I had no qualms about snapping them up.

I knew exactly what to expect even before climbing aboard – a solid, no-nonsense, functional interior, acres of space for my leggy 6ft 3in frame and a general build quality that some other manufacturers would die for. And I wasn't wrong.

But this Golf has something extra – a blistering 1.9-litre 130bhp pumpe duse diesel engine under its bonnet that makes it behave in a most undiesel like manner. If ever I met a died-in-the-wool 'petrol head' who refused to be convinced by the diesel argument, this is the car I would take him or her out in to prove how wrong they were.

Even at start-up time in the morning you wouldn't guess there was a heavy oil engine lurking under the bonnet and the immense torque on offer allows this car to pull like a steam train in virtually any gear (there are six to choose from).

Out on the road, the Golf's diesel engine endows its with effortless cruising ability. In fact, at 70mph the engine is barely above tickover, recording a fraction over 2,000rpm.

Last month, with my colleague Julian Kirk at the wheel, the car was returning more than 46mpg and there is no reason to suppose that a careful driver can't push this figure in an upward direction.

Unfortunately, I have been exploiting the Golf's sporting nature a little in the past two weeks and the figure has dropped to 44.7mpg.

I know I shouldn't but I can't help it, such is the perky nature of the engine and the eminent chuckability of the body.

In estate format, the 130bhp engine is top performer with a 0-60mph time of 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 127mph. The other diesel on offer pumps out 100bhp. But for serious speed merchants, the three-door has a 150bhp GT version with a 0-60mph time of 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 131mph. Can we really be talking about diesel cars here? It hardly seems possible.

The estate car has not only proved a star on the road but a little gem at the local tip too.

Following my house move last month, I have been making numerous trips to our householders' waste site with all sorts of detritus left behind by the last occupant. You'd be amazed how much you can cram into the back of a Golf estate. Meanwhile our last road test of the Golf resulted in a flurry of e-mails between its author Julian Kirk and the Volkswagen press office.

Kirk whinged endlessly about the fact that the Golf didn't have metallic paint as standard and whined pitifully about the amount of extras loaded on to the car. Volkswagen pointed out that in fact this car comes with a pearlescent paint job, which makes an even better finish than metallic, and that the myriad of extras were purely put on to show us journalists what is available. It is hardly likely that anyone will select them all…

Me? I love the paintwork and am just happy to wallow in all the luxury items that Volkswagen has given me.

BIK annual tax charge:
22% £661
40% £1,203

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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