It seems today that every automobile manufacturer is offering at least a couple of SUVs to the public. And to many buyers the SUV fills an important role as the new family hauler. Those of us with some age to us, know all too well that today’s SUV was yesterday’s wood paneled station wagon.
Then came Lee Iacocca and he brought is the minivan to be the family hauler.
But what happens if you still need some extra room, but you don’t want either of those choices?
Well, along comes Volkswagen with a pretty nice alternative…The Golf SportWagen. With a projected EPA 25 MPG overall and 31 MPG on the highway, it becomes a nice alternative to the SUV with an amazing 66 ½ Cubic feet of space in the rear with the seats down. Think of this as the highly regarded Golf but on steroids for extra space.
Our test vehicle’s MSRP of $25,740.00 included a $895.00 destination charge was equipped with only one option…the Driver Assistance Package which included Forward Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring, and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and all for $450.00. The base “stripped down” model starts at $22,790.00, and the top end with all the toys and options rings in at $30,890.00. Our test vehicle came with the 6-speed manual transmission.
Standard features included the 1.8L TSI 16 valve dual overhead cam turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with Volkswagen’s 4 MOTION all-wheel drive System with Active control. Of course, it had all the safety features that we have all come to expect in today’s cars: 3- point safety belts in all positions, advanced airbag protection, Anti-Locking brakes, electronic Stability Control and a rearview Camera just to name a few of the more popular safety expectations.
As far as creature comforts, the Golf SportWagen was no slouch in this area as either. Included standard was climate control with rear seat vents; leather wrapped 3-spoke full function steering wheel which also includes tilt and telescopic wheel; heated front seats; Dual front and rear reading lights; Cruise control, Hill Hold Control technology, Power door locks with remote and panic button, 6 speaker sound system, and Bluetooth connectivity. Something really cool (Ok, so little things impress me) it even has a Washer Fluid Level indicator…pretty handy on New England’s salt covered winter roads. Ever run out of washer fluid going down the interstate at night when conditions are less than optimal? A nice l little feature for a relatively inexpensive vehicle.
So how was the drivability you ask? This was really a fun car to be in. Having the manual shift certainly added to the fun factor, and handling…well…that’s why they call it the SportWagen. It did not have a “bulky” SUV feel frankly because it isn’t an SUV even though it could compete space wise. Mind you, it can’t compete with a Lincoln Navigator or a Chevy Suburban for interior space, but it isn’t trying to compete in that space, but as a small car it is pretty well in a class of its own as far as utility and usefulness.
Make sure you include at least a test drive of the VW Golf SportWagen if you are looking for a vehicle that is fun, small, and with outsized utility. I’m sure you’ll agree that it wasn’t a waste of your time.