Although the newest version of the Volkswagen Golf was launched back in January 2009, the Volkswagen Golf Estate version didn't go on sale until November.
Clearly based on the same platform as the MkVI, the 4th generation of the Volkswagen Golf Estate shares the same front end with the chamfered corners. A black high-gloss upper grille, blends into the relatively conventional, halogen headlights with daytime running lights. These DRLs should not be considered a 'gimmick' as they will become the European standard in 2012.
The lower grille echoes the upper and emphasises the chiselled look. On the Sportline model, this area features chrome-trimmed fog lights and air intake surround, while the SE models just have chrome highlights on the louvers of the upper grille.
Above, the broad, smooth bonnet kicks up sharply between the inner edge of the headlights and A-pillars, which helps to give the car its low, wide appearance.
In profile, it is easy to see that the proportions of the new Volkswagen Golf Estate are just so. Black roof rails almost disappear into the almost flat roofline and the black B- and C-pillars and dark privacy glass on the Volkswagen Golf Estate test car give the impression that it is a single-glazed unit, adding to the up-market appearance.
The body-coloured door mirrors reinforce this feel, as do the smart 16- or 17-inch alloys, which fill the wheelarches beautifully.
Subtly muscular wheelarches merge seamlessly into the body and those at the rear wrap around to form the rear bumper.
Although the overall design is not going to set pulses racing, the new Volkswagen Golf Estate does exude an elegance and air of quality that is illustrated by the extremely tight shut-lines to the doors and bonnet. Another way of looking at it is that it is very unlikely to offend the eye, and that makes it popular with fleet-buyers, who are likely to represent 65 per cent of sales.
The new Volkswagen Golf Estate is some 22mm shorter than the previous model and 335mm longer than the Volkswagen Golf Hatchback. However, it is the same width, height and sits on the same wheelbase as the previous Volkswagen Golf Estate as well as having the same luggage capacity. So the 22mm has been absorbed somewhere within the cabin but it is difficult to see quite where, as there is adequate legroom for the three rear passengers and the front occupants have plenty of space, too.
All Volkswagen Golf Estates have 60:40 folding rear seats with squabs that lift to allow the seat backs to fold and form a flat floor. SE and Sportline trims have a load-through or ski-flap behind the centre armrest. In every case the boot capacity is 505-litres rising to a maximum of 1,495-litres. The boot also has a shallow storage compartment beneath the main platform, which can be removed for a few more centimetres depth. There are four lashing points to anchor a cargo net and all but the S trim have a 12v socket in the boot.
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