What used Volkswagen Golf estate will I get for my budget?
Prices for the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf Estate (you can spot it from its predecessor by the more angular rear lights) start at about £6000 for a high-mileage 1.6-litre diesel in the lower of its two available power outputs (104bhp versus 114bhp).
For a petrol Golf Estate, you’ll pay about £6500 for one with average miles for the year on the clock or double that for a car that has covered a lower mileage. Finding something between these extremes is surprisingly rare. Spend between £7000 and £10,000 on a good example from 2015 or 2016. Put aside between £11,000 and £13,000 for a 2017 car, and £14,000 to £16,000 for a 2018 model.
The fact that the high-performance Golf Estate R was only launched in 2015 means prices are still very strong; you’ll need to budget at least £20,000 for such a car. It’s a similar story with the Golf Alltrack, a jacked-up, four-wheel-drive version of the family estate intended for those who occasionally need to venture off the beaten track. Launched at the same time as the R, it costs from £20,000 as a used buy, while a Golf GTD Estate (also available from 2015 onwards) can be yours for £15,000.
How much does it cost to run a Volkswagen Golf estate?
The Golf Estate can be bought with the same 1.6 TDI 105 engine as the hatchback. It’s an impressive unit as far as fuel economy is concerned, returning as much as a claimed average 72mpg in official government tests. True, it will struggle to match that in normal driving, but you can still expect 55-60mpg if driven carefully.
More powerful versions of the 1.6 TDI will exceed 50mpg in normal driving, as will the 2.0 TDI, while the majority of petrol engines manage 45mpg against official averages of more than 50mpg. Indeed the claimed average offical figure for the later 1.5-litre TSI petrol engined-car is a healthy 58.9mpg when equipped with the optional DSG automatic gearbox.
The only model that can be particular thirsty is the Golf Estate R, but even that is dependent on driving style; exercise self-restraint and 32mpg is still possible.
These impressive economy figures translate to low CO2 emissions, which make the Golf Estate cost-effective to tax. In fact, unless you opt for the R, you’ll pay no more than £30 per year, if your car was registered before the tax changes came into effect in April 2017. The most efficient 1.6-litre diesel is even free to tax. Cars registered after April 2017 mostly fall into the £145pa tax bracket.
Servicing costs for most models range from £164 for a basic check and fluid change to £329 for a major service. That’s slightly more than a Vauxhall dealer would charge to service an Astra Estate or a Ford dealer for a Focus Estate, but it's by no means unreasonable for this size of car.