Although the 2009-2013 Volkswagen Golf Estate is in many ways an improved version of the 2003 model, that’s no bad thing, because that Golf itself was a highly recommendable car.
The Golf Estate’s big selling point over its hatchback sibling is its boot. It offers 30% more space, has a low base and no lip to lift luggage over.
Elsewhere, the Estate is identical to the hatchback, and again that’s a good thing because both have a high-quality interior and smooth, quiet engines.
You will have to pay more for a used Golf Estate than you would for a comparable Ford Focus Estate or Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, but in return you’ll get more of your money when the time comes to sell it on.
If you want a Golf Estate but can't afford a brand new one, the previous-generation model is also a great buy. Read on to find out how much you should pay for a used Golf Estate and which variant to choose.
What budget do I need?
You can pick up a Volkswagen Golf Estate for as little as £3000, but that’s likely to be a diesel with mega-high mileage. For £5000 and you’ll get a decent 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre diesel model with less than 100,000 miles on the clock.
Stick with a diesel model and both running costs and servicing should be reasonable. The 1.6 officially averages 67mpg and the 2.0 gets 56mpg, while car tax is just £20 for the lesser model.
What version should I go for?
If you regularly carry heavy loads you may want to opt for a 2.0 diesel version, but if not a 1.6 should be pacy enough for most drivers.
While the cheapest S trim level gets you aircon and electric windows, we’d go for an SE to gain alloy wheels, cruise control and a better stereo.
If you want all the bells and whistles, Sportline models come with sports suspension, larger alloys and a multi-function steering wheel.
Any problems to be aware of?
While the Golf estate is a sturdy motor, it’s likely to have had a fairly hard life, so check the interior for signs of damage and ensure the clutch and suspension aren’t on their last legs.
It’s also worth noting that diesel Golfs of this era were involved in Volkswagen's dieselgate emissions cheating scandal. Although many will have had the appropriate remedial work done, it’s worth checking with the seller before you buy.
Some cars suffered problems with the seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox, too, so avoid cars that judder when they’re cornering or make unusual noises when you change gear.
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