Wagons are completely overlooked by the American public because they aren’t sporty looking or “cool” to be seen in. The reality is the automotive market is full of great wagons that offer plenty of cargo room with good fuel economy for a reasonable price. The 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen is a prime example. It features lots of cargo room, great fuel economy in the gas and diesel, plenty of technology features for less than $30k.
Driving around in our $26,515 test model reinforces how good this wagon is with plenty of power and the great price. On paper, the 150 HP power provided by VW’s turbo-diesel, 2.0L engine seems low, but in reality, the 236 lb-ft. of torque, makes the HP feel much higher. When combined with the optional 6-speed DSG (direct-shift gearbox) which features an electronically controlled dual-clutch and steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters like our model did, you would be forgiven for forgetting you are in a wagon.
If diesel isn’t your thing, VW offers the SportWagen in a 1.8L turbo-charged gasoline engine. It achieves 25/36 MPG city/highway with 170 HP. This is down from the turbo-diesel which achieves 30/45 MPG city/highway. You do pay more for the better fuel economy with the gasoline-equipped SportWagen starting at $21,395 versus $24,595 for the diesel.
On the outside and inside, the VW SportWagen offers the traditional minimalist German design. While it is pretty basic, it does suit families since this vehicle is devoid of items that can wear and tear easily. Also, it does takes some time getting used to entering and existing the vehicle. Yet, there are plenty of nice features to outweigh any concerns on the design.
For example, our S base model has the convenience of keyless access with push-button start. This allows you to walk up to the car, unlock it, hop in and drive all without taking the key fob out of your pocket or purse. Plus, Sirus-XM is available as well as Bluetooth phone connectivity. The Bluetooth is a great feature since besides taking a hands-free phone call; you can stream music or navigation.
As you move up to the SE or SEL trim levels, you add a variety of features like panoramic sunroofs, premium audio systems, navigation and dual-zone climate control.
Another big plus for the wagon is the amount of cargo room. This wagon offers plenty of room for whatever you want to do including room for golf clubs, groceries or surf boards. Along with the roof rails, you could load this SportWagen down with an impressive amount of cargo for a day at the lake or a weekend camping trip. Plus, by folding down the second-row seats, you are able to access more cargo room than many SUVs offer.
While many Americans have shied away from wagons in recent years, the 2015 VW Golf SportWagen deserves a strong look. It has plenty of great features, superb fuel economy and a great price. How can you go wrong with that?
2015 VW Golf SportWagen TDI S
- Tornado Red Exterior
- Beige Leatherette Interior
- 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Price as tested: $26,515 with $820 Destination Charge
- Driving Dynamics
- Fuel Economy
- Lackluster Exterior Styling
- Boring Interior