Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen OVERVIEW
Based on the all-new Golf hatchback, and an efficient passenger car that happens to have the cargo space of a compact crossover, the arrival of Volkswagen SportWagen is welcome news to fans of the German automaker's long succession of compact but highly versatile wagons.
What's New for 2015
The Golf SportWagen is a new model that essentially replaces the Jetta SportWagen in the VW lineup.
Choosing Your Golf SportWagen
The SportWagen shares it mechanicals and overall design with the newly redesigned Golf hatchback. Passenger room is generous for this class, but of course the wagon's main draw is cargo space. You get 67 cubic feet of it with the rear seat folded. With its classy trim and soft-touch materials, the interior is surprisingly refined for this price class.
The standard turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine generates 170 horsepower and comes with your choice of a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. With either setup, the SportWagen achieves 29 mpg in combined driving. As good as that sounds, the available 2-liter turbodiesel (TDI) manages 35 mpg combined. The 150-horsepower TDI can be paired with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Both engines are available across all three trim levels:
Available safety features include frontal collision warning, front and rear parking sensors, and post-collision braking. Adaptive headlights and LED running lights are also available.
There are a few reminders, though, that the SportWagen is built by an economy-oriented brand -- you won't, for instance, find leather upholstery on any list of standard or optional features.
We're fans of the TDI's performance, economy and durability. And while the diesel engine adds about $3,200 to the price of the base SportWagen, this difference shrinks significantly as you move up the trim levels -- only $1,000 separates the MSRP of the 1.8T SEL and the TDI SEL.
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