It’s been barely 18 months since we last drove a Golf Sportwagen from Volkswagen and recently they sent us the 2017 model. VW moved Sportwagen from the Jetta line to the Golf family for MY2015 and since then they have given the model a few tech upgrades.
We enjoyed driving this great little alternative to a compact utility vehicle and especially like the peppy turbo motor and solid chassis. Power quickly arrives at the wheels thanks to the 170hp and 199 lb. ft. torque of the 1.8T motor mated to a five-speed manual gearbox in our tester. Yes, I said manual transmission, as Volkswagen is one of the few remaining automakers clinging to this “archaic” form of technology. I, for one, applaud the automaker for keeping this option in the mix.
The Golf Sportwagen rides very confidently around town and on the highway. It is smooth and quiet while providing nearly every amenity and convenience of a CUV but with a lower point of ingress/egress as well as better handling in the curves.
New driver safety technologies now available on Sportwagen models include forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking (Front Assist), blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, front and rear park distance control (Park Pilot), parking steering assistant (Park Assist), and lane departure warning (Lane Assist).
For consumers in the snowbelt states that require a bit more driving assistance from their vehicles Volkswagen offers Sportwagen with 4Motion all-wheel drive and a new Alltrack model that basically elevates the Sportwagen to near crossover proportions.
Pricing for the 2017 Golf Sportwagen begins at $21,580 with our tester arriving at $22,400. Fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.
I know VW has had a rough stretch recently but for those who can look past the negativity and for consumers shopping an alternative to the cookie-cutter compact crossover, the Golf Sportwagen may just be right up you alley (or in your driveway).