Just when you thought station wagons had gone the way of the Dodo bird, Volkswagen releases a new model – dubbed SportWagen – and releases it on the family of vehicle that brought home the 2015 North American Car of the Year crown, the VW Golf. The V-dub Golf S-dub arrived earlier this year and it replaces the Jetta SportWagen.
Volkswagen uses the new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture introduced for the seventh-generation Golf and this new VWSW is actually roomier inside than the outgoing Jetta SW. Front and rear seat occupants ride in better comfort and there is utility vehicle-like cargo space behind the seats.
While totally a station wagon at heart, the compact family cruiser we recently tested was powered by a peppy, turbocharged 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine with direct injection for 170hp of quick starts and loads of passing power. It was mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox that made for seamless driving around town or out on the highway. As with all 2015 Golf models, the SportWagen receives the XDS Cross Differential System technology that mimics a limited-slip differential in this front-wheel drive application by sensing if the suspension system becomes unloaded and automatically applying braking to the driven inside wheel to reduce understeer, thus improving ride stability along with better handling and cornering performance.
The new Golf SportWagen rides on four wheel independent suspension up front and a multilink setup under the rear and features vented disc brakes up front with solid discs in the rear. Steering technology arrives in the Servotronic electromechanical power assist variety for effortless operation behind the wheel. This SE tester rides on 17-inch alloy wheels shod with all-season tires. New driver assistance technologies such as forward collision warning, automatic post-collision braking, and front and rear park distance control systems are available on the VWSW.
Inside, Volkswagen gives the Golf SportWagen all the latest creature comforts and technologies as it has the rest of the family including such amenities as the Fender premium audio system with Satellite radio, rearview camera, color touchscreen monitor, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless access, and push button start. The only thing that is still difficult to deal with in the Golf is the ancient media device interface where VW has yet to incorporate USB ports in the car, instead relying on a collection of cables occupants must wrestle with to connect their devices.
Pricing for the 2015 VW Golf SportWagen begins at $21,395 for the base S model. Our TSI SE tester came with a final sticker price of $28,510. EPA fuel economy for the TSI 1.8L engine comes in at 25 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with turbodiesel TDI models capable of up to 43 mpg highway.
Station wagons are a thing of the past but some automakers have yet to let go of the variant and have their marketing teams come up with creative ways of providing the family truckster a new identity. The new V-dub Golf S-dub drives effortlessly and is quiet, smooth, comfortable, and spacious for its segment. It offers very good utility on a spaceframe that is modern yet down to earth. It’s the German-tuned wagon.