Fresh bodywork and a raft of advanced technology features will put a dramatic new slant on a long-running Volkswagen estate later this year.
Despite being stretched to haul more than its predecessor, the latest in a line of Golf estates stretching back more than 20 years looks ready to trade in its dull-but-worthy character for a more outgoing personality.
“It’s a remarkable transformation. We’ve turned job-need transport into a model that company car drivers will want to own,” said Volkswagen UK product manager Mike Bennett.
Speaking in Amsterdam where the fifth-generation version was launched, he told Fleet News: “This car is no longer the poor relation to the hatchback.
"As a no-compromise lifestyle vehicle, our estate now has a much wider base of appeal.”
Based on the German group’s latest compact car platform, the new model is 105kg lighter than its predecessor but carries 125 litres more with a cargo volume of 1,620 litres.
It also features a multi-level rear deck and a roller-blind load cover with a handy net partition. With new safety attributes that include an automatic post-collision braking system, it also costs less to insure.
Like the hatchback, the estate uses stop-start and battery regeneration technology to contribute to operating economy of more than 70mpg in 1.6-litre diesel form, expected to be the most popular fleet choice.
The 2.0-litre version we tested is not far behind with 67.3mpg.
Feeling notably larger inside, the newcomer raises the profile of Volkswagen C-sector workhorse motoring and rivals the larger Passat in capability and practicality.
Due on sale from October, it is a polished performer well suited to long-haul work with high levels of comfort, ample space and an upmarket environment thanks to low noise levels and high-grade detailing.
SE trim provides a good spread of equipment that includes DAB radio, distance control with front assist and city emergency braking, automatic lights and wipers and rear map reading lights.