Volkswagen Golf

Estate GTD 2.0 TDI

150

Volkswagen Golf estate, 2017, front, action
Volkswagen Golf estate, 2017, side
Volkswagen Golf estate, 2017, rear
Volkswagen Golf estate, 2017, rear, static
Volkswagen Golf Estate, 2017, interior
Volkswagen Golf estate, 2017, boot

YOU'D be hard pressed to pick out the latest VW Golf from that outgoing model. Just a tweak to the grille here, a rear light cluster fiddle there and restyled bumpers.

But beneath the surface there have been a myriad of modifications to make one of our best loved cars a bit better - without changing its appearance or its appeal.

The M&S of family cars has a wholesome appeal to young and old that took decades to build up and it's too valuable to throw away with some rash strokes of a designer's pencil.

It was the estate version in 2.0 GTD form that I've been putting through its paces. With styling treatment that mirrors the larger Passat estate, it has pleasing if unremarkable proportions. More remarkable, however, is its Tardis-like interior.

With 605litres of boot space before the split 60-40 rear seats are folded down, the Golf Estate is up there with the best of them. There's no lip to haul heavy items over and the height-adjustable floor means there's no step that might make items unsteady.

Extra long items can be carried thanks to a through-load ‘porthole' without folding the rear seats.

There's a selection box choice of engines available but one of the most popular choices is the trusty 2.0-litre diesel 150 for its blend of performance and economy.

Its character is very much like the Golf itself - tough, honest and reliable without being flamboyant or exciting. With strong torque and lusty mid-range acceleration it disposes of the 62mph dash in under nine seconds. But more impressively its overtaking ability between 50mph and 70mph is swifter than many hot hatches.

Matched to the seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission, it delivers solid all-round performance without punishing economy.

My average over 600-miles worked out at 47mpg, but on several relaxed runs it nudged the 60mpg mark.

Engine noise is a bit old-school diesel with a rattly start-up before it settles down to a distant drone - not irritating, but hardly music to the ears either. Wind noise is muted and little road commotion is transmitted into the cabin.

The Golf might be family car destined to a life of a modern-day pack horse, but that would be to ignore its superb dynamics which have endowed it with fine handling and roadholding. Few of its direct rivals can stick to the road so impressively while also allowing a smooth and cosseting ride.

The cabin styling is what we have come to expect from Volkswagen - a mix of high grade, robust materials and sensible, sober styling. Nothing flash or brash here, rather a sombre and serious approach and shades or dark grey or black.

Touches of red piping or tartan cloth are reserved for the sportiest models. But it seems a shame the GTD merits fairly downbeat, boring interior treatment.

Seats front and back are quite form but very supportive. Those in the front are adjustable for height and lumbar support.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Golf Estate GTD 2.0 TDI 150

Price: £27,135

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,968cc, 4-cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 134

0-62mph:8.9secs

Combined MPG: 62.8

Insurance Group: 19

C02 emissions: 117g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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