Fast estate cars. There’s just something about them, which seems to appeal to petrol heads. Perhaps it’s the fact they are a bit odd, as if they have snuck out of the factory when the CEO isn’t looking. It could also be because, as you grow up, needing more space doesn’t necessarily mean you have to drive a dull car. Step forward the Golf R Estate. And this isn’t a badge engineering exercise, you really do get the 296bhp, four-wheel drive hardware from the super hatch. But, this is no rally car, it’s a civilised, sensible Golf. That is until you put your foot down. Acceleration to 62mph takes a luggage destroying 5.1 seconds, just 0.2 seconds more than the hatchback, with rapid-fire DSG fitted as standard. And, while all of the noise in the cabin might not be from the quad tailpipes, or entirely genuine, does it really matter when it sounds this exciting? That might be a matter for debate, but what isn’t is the four-wheel drive, because whether it’s summer, winter, rain or shine, plant your foot and the result is the same.In fact, this is one of the most planted cars I’ve ever tested. But that’s not it, because select Comfort or Eco from the dash and the noise disappears, the suspension softens and the Golf is more comfortable than a standard Golf with 18-inch wheels. You really can take your dog to the park one minute and hammer through the compression at Eau Rouge the next. But, for this full transformers effect, you really need to go for the £830 Dynamic Chassis Control, it’s money very well spent. In fact, I actually like it best in Comfort, because the suspension soaks up bumps beautifully, but there’s still not too much body roll and loads of grip.And this is where the individual setting comes in, because you can tweak each element of Golfs repertoire to your taste. The only bad news. Performance doesn’t come for free, and even in Eco mode, the best economy I’ve seen has been below 35mpg, some way off the 40.4mpg claimed average. Of course up front, the interior is identical to the Golf R hatch, so you get the blue needles only fitted in ‘R’ models, Alcantara bucket seats which are both comfortable and supportive, along with blue ambient lighting. And yes, compared to rivals like the Focus ST Estate and Leon ST Cupra, the Golf’s level of finish keeps it one step ahead.But, while ‘R’ means you get all the performance gear, you’ll still need to spend a bit
extra for all the kit you see here. This ‘Discover’ navigation system is £765 and adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto costs £100 extra. You can also spec a £545 Dynaudio speaker upgrade and if you are worried about the elongated boot, there’s an optional reversing camera. Space in the back seats is pretty good, the Golf has certainly grown in recent years, but it’s still no Passat if you want three abreast or lots of extra room for child seats. Still, there’s plenty of room for two adults back here. But, of course this car is noteworthy for its 605-litre boot, with a low and wide loading lip and practical hatchback. Fold the seats down and it grows to 1,620 litres, more than many cars from the next class up and around 100-litres more than the ST Estate.There are also plenty of lashing points, and yes, you’ll need to use those. As for its price, well, you’ll either think that £33k is a huge amount of money for a Golf, or that a car which feels this special to drive is worth every penny. Either way, the Leon Cupra and Focus ST are cheaper alternatives. If I could fill my dream garage, I’d probably have an SUV, a daily runabout and a lightweight sports car for the weekends. But, what if you could just have one car? For me, the Golf R would certainly tick a lot of boxes, and if one of yours is “wardrobe shifting boot space” then the Estate will be even better. Fancy turning shopping into omelettes in your own Golf R Estate? Let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Click on the enquire button to find out more details about this car or for any other models, visit Carkeys.co.uk.And to watch more reviews, click one of the links on screen now .