Cities are filled with would-be fearless SUVs with a generically high attitude. Which shows how much people put in emotions when choosing a car. For those who listen to reason, there is the Golf Variant. It does not conquer wide prairies or attract bison hunting, but it offers the same riding comfort, the same modern equipment, the same spacious cabin, sometimes even a larger suitcase for less money. This also applies to the ornate version 2.0 TDI Style.
Whether you browse the price lists of any brand, you will always see the same. In the lower middle class, an SUV is a good 30 percent more expensive than a comparable station wagon. For Peugeot today, this difference reaches a nice 160,000 crowns, for Hyundai 180,000 crowns and the tested Golf Variant 2.0 TDI 110 kW DSG Style is even 218,000 crowns cheaper than the Tiguan with front-wheel drive.
Despite this, SUVs are breaking sales records and their share is still growing. This shows that Europe is still doing well. The SUV is a matter of style, while the lower class station wagons answer the question of what we really need. The Golf class has grown to a size where a family and two growing children can fit in really comfortably and the suitcase is 115 liters larger than it was in Passat thirty years ago.
Golf pays only one objective tax for this fidelity to the car's original mission - it looks a bit ordinary. It is impossible to enchant with the basic shape, the new generation also chose a very strictly aerodynamic bow, on the low front of which it does not fit many characters. But Golf includes moderation without fads, which the novelty meets with a certain dose of elegance.
The rather austere approach also determines the atmosphere in the cabin with a tidy dashboard and the concentration of almost all controls on digital interfaces. This minimalism is sensitive to the quality of materials, but Golf will not disappoint. The touch buttons under the central display, covered with plastic in piano lacquer, look cheap, but otherwise, the quality of workmanship is thorough in German.
The same goes for the seats. At least in the tested Style equipment, they are upholstered as a cafe sofa and the spine does not get tired even after a long journey. The space at the rear is definitely one of the best competitors, in contrast to the low-lying seat, which unfortunately belongs to the standard of the class today. But a family view balances the suitcase: try to imagine something that would not fit in it.
The development of recent years has led to the deployment of ever-smaller engines, with which it is often difficult to speak when starting or overtaking, and they start from the last on the motorway. Therefore, a nice refreshment is a ride with a two-liter diesel, which in any situation readily serves a powerful force and behaves in a cultured way. It fires agilely from traffic lights, reacts promptly to gas, and in the highway hills, where hybrids roar at high speeds, it only hums softly. By the way, you will no longer get diesel of this volume in any lower-class French, Japanese or Korean car.
After the last tightening of the emission standard, the carefree quiet start at low speeds, which we admired a year ago in a hatchback, lost, but it is still a sovereign, comfortable and reasonably economical drive. The average for the test reached 5.6 liters, and we did not save the car in any way, and the hydraulics of the DSG train automat also took a few extra decks.
Cultivated driving is supported by flexible but firm suspension supported by independent suspension of all wheels. With it, the Golf is supplied as standard with an output of 110 kW, while both the Octavia and Leon have to make do with the trailing rear axle at this level. The combination of comfort and dexterity is here at the ideal center, and even less noise is transmitted to the body on uneven surfaces.
The second secret weapon of the new station wagon is the wheelbase 66 mm longer than the hatchback, which no previous generation of the Golf had. The suspension does not have to keep such an overhang in check, which allows for more comfortable adjustment without affecting handling. Cheaper versions with a simpler axle also benefit from this advantage.
The lower-class station wagon, therefore, does not have to meet only the most basic need for mobility. Golf can do a lot more, and thanks to the conventional, out-of-fashion format, it also offers an out-of-fashion price. Not just folk, but still comically low next to all SUVs of the same size. Volkswagen also emphasizes this advantage by currently selling the Variant for the price of a short hatchback, ie thirty thousand cheaper.
Without this promotion, the tested Style equipment with the 2.0 TDI 110 kW engine starts at CZK 746,900, including comfortable Art Velor seats with electric adjustment or three-zone air conditioning, 17 wheels, and a complete Travel Assist package. You would pay an additional CZK 60,000 for our car. CZK for automatic transmission, CZK 31,000 for advanced navigation, CZK 23,000 for LED Matrix headlights, and CZK 16,000 for 18 wheels.
Volkswagen Golf Variant 2.0 TDI
Engine: diesel 4-cylinder, 1968 cm3
Power: 110 kW at 4000 rpm
Torque: 360 Nm at 1600 rpm
Top speed: 223 km / h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h: 8.7 s
Combined consumption: 4.1 l / 100 km
Trunk volume: 611 l
Price: from 684 900 CZK