The VW Golf has earned his “car of the year” award with panache, and the car indeed excels in many fields. For those who want a vehicle with even more useful storage variations and practicality, VW has a now stunning station wagon version of the Golf up its sleeve, and we were so lucky to sample driving impressions with the “Variant” in the high-end equipment version, with, as an icing on the cake, the new 2 litre TDI Diesel engine with not less than 110 kW or 150 horsepower… just read further!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Close to perfection…
Again one can only be very impressed by the sheer quality and the workmanship VW puts in his cars, and of course, this is even more true for its flagship, the Golf.
Is the “normal” Golf already astonishing, the masters in Wolfsburg outclassed themselves even more with the Variant version. The car looks timelessly elegant and “classic” Volkswagen, and the test car came in a blue metallic “night blue” which matched nicely the light coloured “Shetland” interior, together with “Vienna” light beige leather seats.
The car indeed looks good from any angle, the new Golf Estate follows the lines of the latest Golf hatchback model up to the border of the front door.
As a result of the extra space between the B-pillar and the D-pillar and homogeneous visual modifications, the "classic" Golf then becomes the Golf Estate; at a length of 4,562 mm, the Golf Estate is 307 mm longer than the hatchback version.
The designers succeeded in transferring the shape of the C-pillar, which is like a drawn bow and is typical of the classic Golf, to the D-pillar of the Estate; visually, the "third" side window forms a part of the D-pillar.
Result: The new Golf Estate makes a more elongated, more exclusive and sportier impression than its predecessor.
The dashboard was also finished in glossy inlays, and “Piano Black Mesh” panels. The choice of materials is clearly done with top quality in mind. Instrumentation, levers and handles are well laid out and easy to use, with functionality being paramount for the Golf designers. The Golf is therefore a very nice car to live with everyday, and this is what it is all about.
Seating is excellent, with good firmness and just the right amount of support where it is needed. We already mentioned also the excellent ride comfort of the Golf, result of the new platform strategy, or the innovative modular transverse matrix (MQB).
Indeed, the car steers beautifully precise and agile, and of course the road behaviour is impeccable. Let it be mentioned here that for the first time, the new Golf Estate is being equipped with a new standard feature: the XDS+ electronic differential lock, which improves the handling even more.
Like all new Golf cars, the Estate is, as mentioned, equipped with a Stop/Start system and a battery regeneration mode as standard. It is the first estate car in its class to offer the functionality of the new Automatic Post-Collision Braking System (if the vehicle is involved in a collision, it automatically brakes the car after the initial impact).
Performance and economy…
Let it be said, the new 2 litre TDI engine I a pure delight. Smooth, also when cold, it runs velvet-like under power, bearing in mind it’s a Diesel four cylinder unit. Balance shafts keep vibration(s) at bay, and even at low revs in the intermediate gears, the unit stays smooth.
The unit develops 110 kW between 3500 and 4000 rpm, with torque being 320 Nm between 1750 and 3000 rpm.
Pushing the throttle will catapult you smoothly forward: 0 to 100 is absolved in the manual version in merely 8,9 seconds. Top speed is around 218 kph, no less, and acceleration in the intermediate gears is impressive to say the least;
In daily use, the Golf Variant 2.0 TDI reveals itself as a (very) fast car, and long autobahn journeys are delightful in this golf. The test car came also equipped adaptive cruise control (ACC), and this is something we appreciated very much during our test, where this system came really into its own in busy motorway traffic situations. The car adapts is speed to the circumstances very smoothly, braking or accelerating very gently when the traffic conditions allowed. Superb!
Of course, whith these new engines, economy is equally impressive indeed. During our test, we stayed well below 5 litres/100 km, thereby driving the Golf quite briskly. In the official combined cycle, the Golf 2.0 TDI consumes merely 4,2 litres/100 km, with CO2 emissions being only 102 g/km.
The estate car now has a roll-up cargo cover with a two-stage automatic rolling feature; the cover and the net partition can be stowed under the cargo floor when they are not in use.
The cargo floor height can also be varied, or the floor can be removed entirely.
Practical: the four bag hooks in the side walls of the bootspace. A new design feature is remote unlatching of the rear backrests that can now be conveniently done from the luggage compartment.
Its cargo capacity was increased from 505 to 605 litres (loaded up to the backrest of the rear seat), which means that the Volkswagen offers ample luggage space even with five people aboard. When loaded to the backs of the front seats and up to the ceiling, cargo capacity grows to 1,620 litres (for the previous model this was 1,495 litres).
We already mentioned the excellent seating comfort and ride, and the well placed controls. We just want to mention here the truly excellent navigation system, easy to use display controls, the outstanding sound system; our test car came with the optional “Business Pack”, which comprised the excellent digital climate control, excellent radio, and last but not least we also appreciated greatly the Mobile Device Interface (MDI) which allowed us to use our iPOD just to listed to our favourite (classical) music. Last but not least we enjoyed in these sunny autumn days the wide panoramic roof.
Our test car came with excellent Xenon headlamps and the light- and sight module with “Coming Home – Leaving Home” function. Making life with the Golf even nicer!
We certainly enjoyed this test with the Golf Variant: quality, performance, excellent comfort, handling, and roominess, practicality, all this packed in a timeless classic body shape. With last but not least a very good economy…. So do we need to say more?
Hans Knol ten Bensel