Country lanes and minor roads become a playground in which to explore the agility and dynamics, while motorway driving is a breeze with plenty left in 6th gear should it be required.
So, we have the Volkswagen Golf Estate's trim levels, S, SE, and Sportline but there is another, intermediate level. An economical, low-emission version is available across all three trim levels, known as BlueMotion Technology. BlueMotion comprises technologies such as low rolling resistance tyres, a multi-functional computer with a gear-change recommendation indicator, Start/Stop and regenerative braking.
There are five engines from which to choose; two of which are petrol and the others are diesel. The newest of these is the 1.2-litre TSI 105PS and that has recently joined the 1.4TSI 122PS. Two of the diesel engines share the same cubic capacity of 1.6-litres. Again the 90PS version is the latest on the on the scene while the 105PS unit has been on the books since launch.
The largest engine and the one in the Volkswagen Golf Estate test car is the 2.0TDI unit that produces 140PS at 4,200rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,500rpm. It takes 9.7 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and the top speed is 130mph.
Just yesterday, a friend was bemoaning the fact that he was to be given a Volkswagen Golf with the same engine while his car was in for servicing. He had already decided that is was going to be slow and boring. Clearly he had never experienced the amount of oomph the engine has to offer - it really is quite impressive - so much so that even with the ASR Traction Control on it is still fairly easy to spin up the wheels.
The Sportline, as the name suggests, has sports suspension, which is lowered by 15mm compared to the standard cars, and it shows. The wide stance and firm suspension give the car a superbly weighty, taut feeling that makes it a joy to drive. Country lanes and minor roads become a playground in which to explore the agility and dynamics, while motorway driving is a breeze with plenty left in 6th gear should it be required.
The gear shift is equally tight and until you get used too it, which doesn't take long, might baulk a little but the action has a nice crisp feel to it, nonetheless.
Even though it is the largest of the available engines, the 2.0TDI offers good fuel economy; the official and target figures are 43.5mpg for the urban cycle, 68.9mpg for the extra-urban and the combined is 57.6mpg. During the test period it took a good few miles before the fuel gauge needle began to move. CO2 emissions are posted as 132g/km, which puts it in VED Band E (£110) and the Insurance rate is 24E using the new 1-50 scale.
The Volkswagen Golf Estate is a thoroughly solid car that offers a comfortable, assured drive in businesslike and practical surroundings. The Sportline takes it a step further with excellent dynamics and it is this overall package that makes the Volkswagen Golf a benchmark for the other to match.13 August 2010
Volkswagen Golf Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Golf Estate 2.0 TDI Sportline|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||68.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 13/08/10)||£21,955|