Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs. Volkswagen Golf

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Contributing Editor

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, Contributing Editor - November 17, 2015

When the latest version of the Volkswagen Golf arrived on the scene it was almost universally praised by reviewers and consumers alike, earning the title of North American Car of the Year and numerous other prestigious awards.

The Golf SportWagen takes the same formula and adds a little more utility, creating a comfortable and extremely useful vehicle for just about anyone who needs the utility of an small SUV, but desires the excellent fuel economy and driving dynamics for which the Golf is known.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Golf & Golf SportWagen »

In a battle that pits Volkswagen against Volkswagen, the venerated Golf takes on the stretch-job Golf SportWagen to see if the hatchback is enough, or if adding an extra foot makes it even better.

What we like about the Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen’s Golf is affordable to buy and to own. Offering excellent fuel economy from the 170-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, the five-speed manual equipped Golf can run from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and achieve 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway. Volkswagen’s build quality is excellent, resulting in a vehicle that feels solid on the roadways. Steering is direct and precise. A six-speed automatic is available as an option. In a nutshell, the Golf is a great car that provides affordable basic transportation and so much more.

What we like about the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Using the same 170-horsepwer 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, the bigger VW SportWagen offers strong performance, especially for an affordable station wagon. The base model is surprisingly efficient: fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The heavier weight and larger rolling mass result in slower acceleration, but the number is still respectable at 7.8 seconds. The cabin is comfortable and quite roomy. VW claims that the SportWagen has the utility of a SUV and the maneuverability of car, and frankly we don’t disagree. Well done, VW -- especially for the cost.

Our Verdict: Volkswagen Golf

Obviously, if you need the added utility that the SportWagen offers and you love the Golf, you should buy the wagon. However, if you are simply in the market for a fun vehicle that offers plenty of utility but avoids the station wagon stigma, the Golf is truly hard to beat. Matter of fact, the Golf is hard to beat period.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Golf »

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Contributing Editor

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