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Hot Estates, are they the way forward?


Wind the clock back 30 years, and the recipe for a hot hatch was simple… Extra power, subtle body styling changes, a nice set of alloys, drop the suspension, fit some sports seats, and make sure it has three doors.

 

Three door hatches are iconic, not just in the VW scene but also when it comes to fast Fords and other brands – the XR2, XR3 and even the hot Sierras all looked good with three doors.

 

There’s a reason why three doors were always preferred, the body shells were stiffer than their five door counterparts giving better handling, three door cars were cheaper to make, and let’s be honest, they were better looking.

 

How times have changed though. Thanks to modern production standards, the three door car no longer offers a major advantage in body stiffness, in fact, drive a modern 3-door back to back with a 5-door and you’d struggle to tell the difference. The same goes for modern estates too, traditionally estate cars used to suffer from a ‘boomy’ interior, not any more though, they’re as quiet now as a hatch.

 

The estate still represents a small percentage of Golf sales. In January Volkswagen sold 3,922 hatchbacks versus just 380 estates. That’s a trend it obviously wants to change, and adding performance estate versions are a great way of doing just that.

 

The unveiling of the Golf R Estate has been the catalyst of great discussion on our forums, but news this week from Volkswagen has confirmed that the GTD will be unveiled at Geneva in Estate form also, going on sale in the UK in April.

 

Using the same 184 PS TDI engine as the GTD Hatch, it takes the Golf GTD Estate to 62 mph in just 7.9 seconds with the 2.0-litre unit delivering a maximum torque of 380 Nm yet also boasting a combined consumption figure of 64.2 mpg.

 

So Volkswagen will have the R-Estate, and the GTD Estate. Does this mean they are buttering us up for a GTI Estate? Possibly, yes.

 

Whether they create a GTI estate or not, the R and GTD variants pose as an interesting option for the car buyer, in that you can now have a car with the performance of the Hot Hatch, in a sensible, practical and understated body shell.

 

It’s the understated part that appeals most to me, the Q-Car aspect that slips under the radar.

It’ll appeal to the family man too. He’ll be able to justify the new GTD as a sensible diesel (64.2mph) with space for the kids and their clobber, but be able to have fun when he’s on his own. It has worked for sister brand Skoda for years. The Octavia vRS Estate being the thinking Dads wagon of choice, but now he can have a VW should he wish.

 

The big question is of course; will these new Estates spell the end of the three door Golf? It has for the Focus and the Clio both of which are no longer available in three door form. So is the three door Golf on borrowed time, and will practicality be its executioner?

 

Let’s hope not, it’s a nice option still to have. But what do you think?

 

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I'm loving the look of these fast estates from VW. I think I would have gone for the R estate had I know it was coming out.

 

A GTI estate you say? Really? You know what, I reckon they won't do it. Why have an R estate and not a GTI estate? Well I think it's self explanatory. The GTI is an iconic hatch. The R is a fairly new creation and no preconceived ideas have been formed about its form.

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The Golf R estate is perfect - pretty sure I would have ordered one as well.

The CC Shooting Brake looks fantastic - stick the BiTurbo Diesel and 4 Motion on that and it will be an absolute cracker.

What I really, really like was the render I saw of a suggested CC Shooting Brake 3dr - Lancia HPE style - showing my age a bit... but R that one up and i'm in!!

 

2015-volkswagen-passat-coupe-and-shootin

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Some of the Audi estates look okay, like the RS6 Avant in blue. But almost all estates look too "old man". Just one step away from a people-carrier. Three-door hatches look sleeker and handle better.

Bollocks, you can't be comparing a golf to a b7 rs4 avant for example

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But almost all estates look too "old man". Just one step away from a people-carrier. Three-door hatches look sleeker and handle better.

 

Surely more a "family man" with young kids who is a car enthusiast at heart, and couldn't give up on the performance of a hot hatch when practicalities dictated the need for a larger family car ?

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Do they spell the end for the three door hot hatch?

Er, simple answer to this one. No debating needed....................NO!

 

Hot estates are for people who want a hot hatch with more space :)

 

If you don't need the space the hatch is a better proposition.

 

The same reasoning why the sports car hasn't been made obsolete by the hot hatch :)

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Er, simple answer to this one. No debating needed....................NO!

 

Hot estates are for people who want a hot hatch with more space :)

 

If you don't need the space the hatch is a better proposition.

 

The same reasoning why the sports car hasn't been made obsolete by the hot hatch :)

 

I'm not so sure. I think we're entering a phase of Hot Estates rising in popularity.

 

Previously Hot Estates have tended to be in the size category up. RS4, RS6 etc. This time more are coming out Golf sized and therefore its going to appeal to many more buyers who want a hot hatch but need a bit of extra space. 

 

I for one am seriously tempted, and I've driven a Hot Hatch for most of my driving life

 

So watch this space!

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I'm not so sure. I think we're entering a phase of Hot Estates rising in popularity.

 

Previously Hot Estates have tended to be in the size category up. RS4, RS6 etc. This time more are coming out Golf sized and therefore its going to appeal to many more buyers who want a hot hatch but need a bit of extra space.

 

I for one am seriously tempted, and I've driven a Hot Hatch for most of my driving life

 

So watch this space!

I appreciate that, but they will live along side each other, not be superceded. :)
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I hear you R'men, but with more and more models to choose from, including all these SUV/ crossover variants (including hot versions of those) there's going to be a lot less pure Hot Hatches than there were (in percentage terms) in years gone by...

 

The beginning of the end perhaps...?

 

:-)

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I'm not so sure. I think we're entering a phase of Hot Estates rising in popularity.

 

Previously Hot Estates have tended to be in the size category up. RS4, RS6 etc. This time more are coming out Golf sized and therefore its going to appeal to many more buyers who want a hot hatch but need a bit of extra space.

 

I for one am seriously tempted, and I've driven a Hot Hatch for most of my driving life

 

So watch this space!

But isnt that because all cars are getting bigger, eg the new a3 saloon seems to me be as big as the old a4 and bmw new 3 series is not far off the size of an old 5 series.
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The estate will never, ever supersede the 3 door or even the 5 door hot hatch. Period. The end.

 

Hot estates have a niche market all of their own. VW knows this and simply wants another slice of the market to add to their ever expanding share. 

 

What I really want to know is " Where is the Jetta R?"

Audi did a phenomenal job of making the new S3 look very classy when they created the sublime looking S3 Sedan and VW should be able to create a jawdroppingly good saloon version of the R if they made a concentrated effort to do so.

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The estate will never, ever supersede the 3 door or even the 5 door hot hatch. Period. The end.

 

Hot estates have a niche market all of their own. VW knows this and simply wants another slice of the market to add to their ever expanding share. 

 

What I really want to know is " Where is the Jetta R?"

Audi did a phenomenal job of making the new S3 look very classy when they created the sublime looking S3 Sedan and VW should be able to create a jawdroppingly good saloon version of the R if they made a concentrated effort to do so.

 

But can VW sustain so many body variants of the same model?  Audi's A3 model range has four models, 3-door, 5-door, Convertible, Saloon.

 

If VW introduced the Jetta as you said, they'd have five models (3-door, 5-door, Estate, Jetta and Convertible, albeit Mk6 based).  That's a lot of models spilt between Wolfsburg and Zwickau.  Ultimately, adding extra models adds complexity and cost, so it depends really what the bean counters will allow.

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