"IT'S THE GOLF for customers who need 'more Golf'." They're Volkswagen Australia's words at the launch of the new Golf Wagon. And, yes, the addition of the wagon back certainly adds a lot more Golf to the awarded hatch.
If there was ever one criticism that the hatch variants struggle to shake (and it's barely a criticism), it's that the standard Golf is a little limited for carrying capacity - ok for shopping and small loads but a bit tight if pressed to carry the family clobber.
No such quibbles with the wagon.
With greater rear overhang and a generous luggage area, it offers significantly more interior space than the five-door Golf hatchback. Rear seats in place, there is tons of room out back for the driver with the young family in tow; fold the rear seats down and a biblical cubit opens up.
Importantly however, the Wagon is as impressive dynamically as it is versatile. And, while certainly more conservative in character than its hatch stablemates, it still feels "all Golf".
Sold as the Golf Variant in Germany and Golf Estate in the UK, the Wagon shares its underpinnings and front styling with the sixth-gen Golf hatchback.
It also shares the involving drive, the sporting character at the wheel, and the agile and eager on-road dynamics of the hatch. Tight as a drum, the Golf Wagon feels un-wagon-like.
The move everywhere - here, in Europe, and even in the US - is to smaller cars. And while wagon sales are down in volume in the small car segment compared to sales four and five years ago, Volkwagen would seem to have dropped the right car into the Australian market at just the right time.
It's hard not to be impressed; for buyers looking for a lot more room and a little more versatility without sacrificing enjoyment at the wheel, on the basis of this first drive, the new Golf Wagon is very easy to recommend.