Diesel or Gasoline the Golf Sportscar Wagen

2015, Volkswagen, Golf Sportwagen

Volkswagen Golf has received many awards, including North American Car of the Year. There are enough models of the 2016 Golf for almost anyone looking for a car. The Sportwagen is one of them.

The Sportwagen is based on the Mark7 Golf and replaces the Jetta Sportwagen. There are very few wagons on the market so there is a cult following that follows the Sportwagen.

The Volkswagen design studio—led by Walter de Silva (Volkswagen Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design) always intended The 2015 Golf SportWagen to be a member of the A7 family from the moment the first sketches were drawn.

The challenge of reinventing was differentiating the Sportwagen from the hatchback. The exterior visual elements include a distinctive D-pillar and the horizontal rear design. The front is sleek and slender with angular headlights. The roof rails speak for the activity expected out of this wagon.

The interior boasts almost 3.5 cu inches more space over the outgoing Jetta Sportwagen. Volkswagen is calling the design around the driver's seat driver-centric because of the intense focus for the driver. I would like to see the backend mapping system changed to google maps but at this price point I'm not sure it can be done.

There are two powertrains, a Golf SportWagen 1.8-liter turbocharged, inline four cylinder, 16 Valve, direct-injection that can extract 170 horsepower @ 4500 rpm and 199 lb ft of torques @ 1600 rpm on the automatic and 184 @ 1,600 rpm on the manual. The gasoline powertrain runs on regular unleaded gasoline. Whether you choose a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission the EPA estimated 25 city and 36 highway is achievable. Both transmissions achieve a 29-mpg combined.

The turning radius is a pleasant 35.8 ft. If you like the technology on the performance-oriented GTI model that reduces understeer you'll appreciate the XDS Cross Differential Systemon on the 2015 Golf models. I would love to see an option for Google maps. While tripping around Austin we used Google maps on our smartphone. It just is superior and VW's sister, Audi, already uses Google maps.

The robust Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-liter inline four cylinder, 16V, turbocharged/intercooled, direct-injection EA288 diesel engine can produce 150 horsepower @ 3500 rpm and 236 lb ft torque @ 1750 rpm on diesel fuel. Swooping into first place for all non-electric battery compact SUVs the fuel economy for the clean diesel powertrain depends on the transmission; the six-speed manual offers an EPA estimated 31 city and 43 highway fuel economy while the six- speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission offers 31 city and 42 highway mpg. Both transmissions achieve a 35-mpg combined.

The competitors would include Subaru Outback, Subaru XV Crosstrek (and presumably the Crosstrek hybrid), Toyota Prius V, BMW 328 sports wagon, Audi allroad quattro.

The subcompact SUV market is growing and they could be considered second degree cross shopping vehicles; both have a unique craftsmanship that fuses functionality and are known for drivability even in inclement weather such as we had while driving in Austin, TX. Austin has been in a drought for years. We happened to be there on the first day of a serious downpour. That typically means oil coming up to the surface of the roads and accidents, but we were pleased with the handling of the vehicle even while driving through the puddles.

There is a fusion of design going on now between sports cars and SUVs and between sports cars and wagons.

Many of you will remember driving around in a station wagon. The whole fam damily packed into a station wagon. I was the tiniest in the family so I road in the back next to the cooler on the long cruise, starring out the back window. When we got hungry we would stop and eat, no going into a restaurant with five kids for our family. No, my Mom would pop open a can of Campbells vegetable soup and scoop off the top liquid and I would eat it cold out of the can with a white bread sandwich. Those were the days!

The SUVS and wagons are melding and eventually the stigma of having a station wagon will be gone because the cars are now being sold as sportswagens or as a Sport Activity wagon.

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen front-wheel drive goes on sale at U.S. VW dealerships in April. Pricing starts at $21,395 for the gasoline 1.8T S model with manual transmission. An AWD version is slated for next year

2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen gasoline powertrain according to Volkswagen:

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T S The SportWagen 1.8T S has a starting MSRP of $21,395 and features a standard turbocharged and direct-injection1.8-liter engine; 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; Bluetooth® technology; a touchscreen radio; Sirius XM® Satellite Radio trial; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with smartphone integration; V-tex leatherette seating surfaces; power windows; power door locks; and air conditioning. An automatic transmission is available as a $1,100 option.

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T SE Available only with the six-speed automatic transmission, the SE starts at $26,995 and adds the following features over the S: 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; front foglights; a panoramic sunroof; KESSY® keyless access with push-button start; a rearview camera, and the Fender® Premium Audio System. An optional Lighting package is available for $995 and includes Bi- Xenon headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System, LED DRLs, and ambient interior lighting with LED interior reading lights. The $695 Driver Assistance package includes the Forward Collision Warning System and front and rear Park Distance Control.

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T SEL Building on the specifications and layout of the TSI SE, the top gasoline-powered SportWagen trim starts at $29,345 and adds: 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; silver roof rails; a navigation system; Climatronic® automatic air conditioning; sport comfort seats with a 12-way power driver’s seat; and ambient lighting with LED interior reading lights. The Lighting and Driver Assistance packages are available on the SEL as well.Golf SportWagen TDI S

2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen diesel powertrain

The line-up of Clean Diesel Golf SportWagen models largely mirrors its gasoline siblings in terms of features and packages. The base TDI S starts at $24,595 and offers a six-speed manual gearbox and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels as standard, with a dual-clutch DSG automatic available for an extra $1,100. KESSY keyless access with push-button start and a rearview camera are among the standard features.

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI SE Starting at $27,995, the TDI SE has the same list of equipment and optional packages as its gasoline-powered counterpart, the 1.8T SE, including the Fender Premium Audio System, automatic headlamps and a panoramic sunroof. The Lighting and Driver Assistance package are available. The DSG transmission is an $1,100 option.

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI SEL Starting at $30,345, the TDI SEL’s standard equipment mirrors the 1.8T SEL, adding features such as a navigation system, Climatronic automatic air conditioning, and sport seats with 12- way power adjustment for the driver. Both Lighting and Driver Assistance options packages are available on this trim. The six-speed manual transmission is standard, with the option of the DSG automatic ($1,100 extra).

By Lou Ann Hammond

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Images of the 2015, Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen

2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI and TSI
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI and TSI
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen cockpit
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen cockpit
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen silhouette
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen silhouette
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen - part sports car part wagon
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen - part sports car part wagon