Popular family-sized hatchback is even more practical in load-lugging form
When you’ve got as good a base as the Golf hatchback, it’s hard to go wrong. The 2009-2013 Volkswagen Golf Estate boasts yet more of the same style, driving fun, high-quality cabin and smooth, quiet engines but with an added dose of practicality, thanks to its 30 per cent bigger boot that also features a low floor and no lip to lift loads over.
A used Golf Estate costs more than a comparable Ford Focus Estate or Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, but as it holds on to its value better, that means better returns come resale time. Here’s how much you should pay for a used Golf Estate and which version to go for.
How much should I pay?
A mega-high mileage diesel Golf Estate can be bought for as little as £3000, but you’re looking at £5000 for a decent 1.6 or 2.0-litre diesel with fewer than 100,000 miles. All diesels should give reasonable running and servicing costs, with economy of 67mpg for the 1.6 and 56mpg for the 2.0, and VED of just £20 for the former.
What version should I buy?
Heavy load-carriers may prefer a 2.0 diesel, but the 1.6 is fast enough for most drivers. Aircon and electric windows come in even the cheapest S, but the SE adds alloys, cruise control and a better stereo. If you want sports suspension, larger alloys and a multi-function steering wheel, choose the Sportline.
Any problems to be aware of?
These are hard-working estates, so be sure to check for signs of a tough life including interior damage and knackered clutches and suspension systems. If you hear juddering while cornering or unusual noises when you change gear, it could indicate the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox is past its best, too.
Finally, check that any models affected by the Volkswagen dieselgate emissions cheating scandal have had the correct remedial work carried out.