Why the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Concept Matters:
Although the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen debuted as a concept car here at the New York Auto Show, VW says it will be available in dealerships early next year, so it’s as close to a production version as it gets.
But before you get totally confused, note that the Golf SportWagen actually replaces the Jetta SportWagen. Many would argue that the SportsWagen, mostly based on the older Golf platform, should never have been called a Jetta, so now we see a course direction of sorts.
Wagons are back in vogue in the USA because people are finally appreciating their ability to be both fun to drive and able to hold plenty of cargo. Add to that the offering of a manual transmission and a turbo-charged diesel (TDI) engine, and you have a pretty nifty package of goodness, explaining why VW wanted to get the news out about it as soon as possible. The only thing about the announcement that is disappointing is that it seems an all-wheel-drive version will not be offered as it is in the European variant.
One reason for the correction is that this vehicle was created on the new and improved MQB global architecture that Volkswagen is implementing with all its brands. This modular platform was tailored made for Golf and now the wagon variant gets to take advantage of the lighter, bigger, roomier, more fuel efficient, powerful and safer attributes of this new, innovative technology.
These and other widespread improvements are moving Volkswagen in the right direction to their lofty goal of U.S. market domination by 2018, but the jury is still out.
What's New for the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Concept Car?
You might think, because it’s a Golf, this wagon would be smaller than the outgoing Jetta SportsWagen, but it’s actually larger in interior space and cargo by 10 percent. It’s also more fuel efficient by 17 percent.
Other newly improved features not found on the previous Jetta SportsWagen include a 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection 4-cylinder TSI® engine that makes 170 horsepower and a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine that improves horsepower by 10 horses above the current model to an admirable 150 horsepower. There's also a choice of six-speed manual or DSC® dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
The exterior changes include a sloping, long hood designed that creates a “cab backward impression” thanks to the new MQB architecture.
Inside, luxury-level features are added like a 12-way power driver’s seat, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs, Park Distance Control and 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels.
2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Concept: What Autobytel Thinks
Europeans have a fervent love for wagons, but the US market has been much more dedicated to small SUVs, which are becoming more affordable and feature-rich by the day. Nobody does wagons better than Volkswagen, but will this cool new version be enough to turn an American market’s head away from small SUVs and engage with a diesel wagon? Volkswagen’s SUVs are extremely pricey in comparison, so its move to bring a comparable product to the mix against more affordable SUVs is not surprising.
Pricing for the production model of the Golf SportWagen has not yet been released, but we expect it to be consistent with the Golf line up and that means a much more affordable alternative – especially with the diesel offering. There’s a lot going for the Golf SportWagen, and, as diesel wagons go, you probably won’t find a better, more attractive package.