Fleet News

First drive: Volkswagen Golf estate SE 2.0 TDI



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.

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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