From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £18,085 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1477kg
85% Match: 1255kg
Maximum towing limit: 1500kg
Towball limit: 75kg

THE GOLF ESTATE is one of those cars that does almost everything well and nothing badly. For starters, it’s a good load carrier: every luggage item bar the Aquaroll fit in the 505-litre boot. There’s no lip to load items over and it has a handy 12V socket.

Fold the rear seats flat and there’s 1550 litres to play with. There’s also plenty of head- and legroom for adults, even in the back.


With a van in tow, the Golf continues to impress. While the AL-KO ATC system measured greater G-force than when the Golf hatch tackled the same manoeuvre, car and caravan stayed rooted to the intended course. Every judge was happy with the outfit’s stability at higher speeds in a straight line.

A good chassis is backed up by a strong engine. Response at the bottom of the rev range could be better, but once up to 2000rpm car and caravan began to shift along nicely. We recorded a 30-60mph time of 13.9 seconds.

Fuel economy is good, with a promised 51.4mpg on the combined cycle. When Practical Caravan took the car over its economy route, it managed 29.4mpg while towing.

Even so, the engine is the car’s weakness. Compared with the Renaults and the Peugeot, it’s just too noisy, yet by the time you read this, VW will have introduced the next-generation engine fitted to the Tiguan: much quieter but just as strong. Since this was our only reservation, the Golf Estate is deservedly the winner of this class.

We say

Towing: 4/5
Solo: 5/5
Practicality: 4/5
Buying & owning: 4/5
Verdict: 4/5

A great all-rounder. New engine will only make the car better.

Braking 30-0mph 11.09m