Nothing to complain about here, nor is it likely to get your heart racing
Smart, no-nonsense look and layout and plenty of adjustment
Most things we'd expect; basic models miss out on an alarm
VW's cars may look the part, but they haven't shone in recent reliability surveys
The boot is large and the rear seats fold down to create a flat loadbay with no awkward lip to negotiate
All get air-con and electric windows; SE adds alloys and MP3 connectivity; Sportline is the sporty model
The Volkswagen Golf Estate is thoroughly competent but not exceptional in any way - which for many people makes it ideal. There's an engine for all tastes and you'll find the drive quiet, smooth and assured. The Estate isn't based on the latest MK6 version of the Golf hatch, but that's not to its discredit.
Inside the Volkswagen Golf Estate too everything is just right. So while there's nothing to write home about, you'll find nothing to write to the VW complaints department about either. The dash is simple to use and clearly organised while the driver's seat offers plenty of adjustment. Rear seat passengers will be comfortable and there's plenty of room for luggage. Full marks to VW for boot design: there's no lip to heave items over and the rear seats fold to leave a useful flat floor.
Most safety kit we'd want is here; reliability isn't what we might expect from VW.
The Golf Estate is more expensive than the (bigger) Skoda Octavia, but cheaper than the (smaller) Volvo V50. Frugal engines keep running costs low and the Golf's enduring popularity means that resale values should remain strong. We'd suggest paying more to upgrade to SE spec which adds alloy wheels and MP3 connectivity to the standard air-con and electric windows.