Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Estate R Review
Here is Motor Verso’s first drive review of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Estate R.
What’s the Volkswagen Golf Estate R all about?
The Volkswagen Golf Estate R is the fastest Golf estate car ever made. The latest model has 310 PS, a smart 7-speed DSG gearbox and plenty of boot space… so expectations are high.
The Volkswagen looks very much like the classic Golf GTi but stretched a little longer. It has very subtle yet sporty styling and with the 19 inch wheels, the Golf R certainly looks at its best.
The updates in the 2017 car include new front and rear bumpers, new LED DRLs and full LED rear lights. Note that the R comes with animated indicators that are a nice treat on the eyes. Impressively, on the inside, there is now a gesture controlled infotainment system. It works well and looks remarkable with a large high-resolution screen.
Anyone and everyone drives a Golf. Golf drivers are classless. It can be anything from the local doddery vicar, to all-round car enthusiasts. With this in mind, the Golf series’ engines range from the hybrid all the way up to the mighty R, which will blow your mind.
A 2.0 litre, four cylinder, turbocharged engine that puts out 310 PS is behind the power in this Golf Estate R. It can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 155 mph. It’s rare you get a hot hatch that does 0-60 mph in under 5 seconds, let alone an estate car!
How Does it Drive?
Getting into the Golf Estate R and driving off gently with the DSG box, it could have been any other Golf in the range. It is still very refined, but the second you put your foot to the floor and the turbo kicks in; you’re in another world. The level of power in the 2.0 litre engine is immense as the car literally just launches and goes. There is a lot of grip from those 7.5 inch wide wheels, which the 20 mm lowered ‘R’ suspension may have improved even further.
The car on test came with a 7-speed DSG gearbox, with flappy paddle controls on the steering wheel. The responsiveness from the gearbox was excellent and gave the Golf an even greater performance car experience. If I’m really honest, you can just put the car in drive and let the Golf do all the thinking for you. It is that good. One of my favourite features of the car is the exhaust noise. The car sounds very raspy and when the turbo gets on boost, it sounds amazing! I doubt you could ever get bored of hearing this car releasing its power. During my test drive, I couldn’t get over the sound.
The car handles well, as does any Golf, but let’s not forget this is now an estate car, not a nimble hot hatch. Yet I couldn’t notice the extra length or weight and so it’s simply brilliant with its nice solid chassis. The steering is very controlled and wonderfully well balanced. It feels like a great package and really rewards the driver when challenging the car.
No one is likely to get fed up of driving the Golf R. In my experience it is such an underdog of a car; it’s practical and subtle in styling, but when you open it up it sets your hair on fire. This Golf is just magical. I came away very impressed and wanting more time with the car.
What’s it Like Inside?
The Volkswagen Golf R is a Golf at heart, obviously; everything inside is very functional. It’s well designed, solid, and just works really well, not to mention pleasing on the eye.
The Golf interior is great with loads of brilliant features. These include LED lighting, a media system with an 8 inch screen, infotainment system with gesture control, nicely designed and supportive seats, and a very sporty flat bottom steering wheel.
And even on the practicality side of things, this Golf Estate R comes out on top. It has five doors, a DSG gearbox, and plenty of room in the front and back. Open up that estate tailgate and you will find a very useable large boot.
I love how far the Golf has come. VW realised they had conquered the hatchback market with the Golf, then the fast hatch market with the Golf GTI and then the super fast hatch market with the Golf R. They now also have the ability to meet the wider market needs, like the fast estate market. It’s a bold move, but it works for the brand. This Golf Estate R is a non-compromise version of the hatch, just with more boot space. Perfect!
The Golf R is a very affordably priced, premium, fast estate car that anyone in their right mind would want to own. The 310 PS delivered in such a practical car is impressive. Whether you choose the Golf R in the hatch or estate configuration, you simply can’t go wrong.
Volkswagen Golf Estate R
- Price: £39,530
- Engine: 2.0-Litre Turbocharged
- Power: 310 PS
- Torque: 380Nm
- Transmission: 7 Speed Automatic DSG
- 0-62mph: 4.8 Seconds
- Top speed: 155 mph
- Weight: 1,593kg
- Economy combined: 39 mpg
- CO2: 164 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley