THE Golf GTD Estate is Volkswagen's debut in the ‘space with pace' race against rivals such as the Ford Focus ST Estate and the SEAT Leon Cupra Estate.
Priced from Â£28,675 on-the-road - a modest Â£700 premium over the equivalent five-door hatchback - it's more expensive than its rivals, excluding what Audi has to offer obviously, but it comes with guaranteed VW quality and that all-important ‘premium' feel.
It's the first time VW has stretched a GTD-badged car into a vast and fast estate but it works extremely well.
As an estate, it can carry a lot more stuff than the equivalent hatch - the 605-litre boot increases to an ample 1,620 litres with the rear seats down. Yet, it has the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder beating heart.
Firmly in hot hatch territory it produces 181bhp from 3,500 to 4,000rpm. Maximum torque is 280Nm from 2,500 to 5,000rpm. Those many torques, reduced Dartmoor's imposing hills to the Netherlands.
Volkswagen say the 0-62mph sprint takes 7.9 seconds and the GTD estate will motor on to a top speed of 143mph.
Yet, economy remains part of the equation. Volkswagen claims an official 64.2mpg. I got 41.8mpg though that involved a lot of slow-motion commuting. CO2 emissions are a surprisingly tax-friendly 115g/km.
It may sound hard to believe, but the GTD is not handicapped by its estate bodystyle.
It comes with sports suspension and progressive steering, which gives a sharper response at speed, so is very happy to be driven hard on the twistys yet a refined and comfortable fast cruiser on the motorway.
The light and precise six-speed manual gearbox adds fun, though, for those who fancy it, VW's excellent six-speed DSG version is available for an extra Â£1,415.
Its ‘hot hatch' character is reflected with bespoke GTD bumpers, honeycomb radiator grille, smoked rear lights, flared sills, 18-inch alloys, black roof rails, twin chrome tailpipes and bi-xenon headlights. Its sports suspension is 15mm lower than a standard Golf. Its looks signify it means business.
Inside there's more of the same with - frankly horrible - black and white tartan sports seats, illuminated door sills, black headliner and black pillar trims, the ubiquitous stainless steel pedals alongside plenty of decorative Checkered Black inserts and panels.
Notably, the GTD Estate also comes with adaptive cruise control , city emergency braking, driver alert, pre-crash protection, post-collision braking function and an advanced touchscreen infotainment system.