The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It

Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It

The new Golf SportWagen is bigger and lighter than the "Jetta" SportWagen it replaces, and with a 1.8-liter turbo gasoline or a 2.0-liter diesel mated to a pair of manuals or a DSG, it's sportier and more economical too. Just get it in brown.

America's new manual diesel wagon, also known as the holy grail is here.

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Based on the MQB architecture just like the rest of the Golf family, the SportWagen is 1.1 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider than the current Jetta. It's also 0.9 inches lower, which helps reducing drag.

Inside, it is more spacious thanks to its front wheels being 1.7 inches further forward, improving legroom at the rear. While offering more headroom, it's also easier to load, and there's ten percent more space with the seats folded down.

Volkswagen focused on saving weight, and with high- and ultra-high strength steels in the body and optimized components such as the seats, air conditioning and wiring, the Golf is not only lighter but stiffer too. That should make for a sportier ride, especially with the 1.8 TSI gas engine linked to a five-speed manual or a DSG, offering 170 horsepower and around 17 percent better fuel economy than what the current 2.5-liter can achieve.

Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
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For those looking for an even better milage, Volkswagen offers the 2.0 TDI with a six-speed manual or the DSG, producing 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

Add four-wheel drive to that, and it might just be the best family car the US have seen in a long time (it's worth noting they say nothing about AWD in the press release but there's a 4motion badge on the car).

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The Golf SportWagen will go on sale in the first quarter of 2015.

Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
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Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
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Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
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Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
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Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen: This Is It
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What do you think? Do they have a winner?

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DISCUSSION

505 - morphine not found

I just gave back an 1.4 TSI DSG (122 hp) test car. I know this is bucking the trend, but i don't like it.

Two things i noted.

Firstly, and I keep saying this: the Golf just isn't Jalop in the sense that it's not nearly as much fun to drive as some rivals. Yes, it's utilitarian, so it doesn't need to be, but then why all the hoopla about the manual shifter? It won't be fun to drive just because you'll row your own, it'll only be more of a chore, which is dissfunctional in a utility vehicle.

The other thing that surprised me is how much i disliked the DSG. When it first came on the market, in 2005 or what was it, the doppelkuplung-getriebe was a revelation - it simply blew other robotized manuals out of the water, while still being more responsive and better on fuel economy, than a conventional auto. I loved it too, just like everybody else. It also turned out to be fairly sturdy since then. However, it's 2014 now, and the automatic has come along in leaps and bounds. The exceptional Mazda Skyactive auto is at least as responsive, while being in a different galaxy in smoothness, and in more expensive cars there's the ubiquitous ZF 8speed. The DSG simply isn't the best choice anymore, and i have to say i hated it, while i tried to manage the fairly short powerband of the small TSI in city traffic.

So all in all, my dear American friends, you can buy as many Golf Variants / SportWagens as you want, i don't want any of it.