2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Overview

Andre Query
Automotive Editor - September 18, 2015

As the only budget-priced compact wagon available in the U.S., the Golf SportWagen is a true rarity. While sharing engines, technology, and overall design with the Golf, the SportWagen provides 33 percent more cargo space behind the rear seats and 26 percent more space with the rear seats folded flat. The SportWagen makes a compelling case for itself as an alternative to a compact crossover.

What's New for 2016

Changes to the Golf SportWagen in 2016 include making the rearview camera standard on all models and the addition of a new infotainment system. Technology included in the optional Driver Assistant Package has also been upgraded.

Choosing Your Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Just like the Golf, the SportWagen offers a choice between two turbocharged engines:

  • A gas-powered 1.8-liter four-cylinder (TSI) producing 170 horsepower comes standard. With a manual transmission it delivers an EPA-estimated 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. An optional, slick-shifting six-speed automatic features a Sport mode and offers an estimated 25/35 mpg.
  • A diesel-powered 2-liter four-cylinder (TDI) generates 150 horsepower and offers 31/43 mpg manual or 32/44 mpg when paired with the automatic transmission.

Both engines are available across all trim levels:


The entry-level SportWagen comes well-equipped with a rearview camera, touchscreen with App-Connect feature, Car-Net connect, USB port, power windows and locks, steering wheel-mounted controls, heated side mirrors, cruise control, fog lights, and roof rails.


Selecting the SE builds on the S with a sunroof, Fender premium audio system, keyless entry and pushbutton start, leatherette interior, heated front seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The optional Lighting package adds adaptive xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights. The Driver Assistance package beefs up safety with forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and lane departure warning, as well as parking assist, park pilot and adaptive cruise control.


Choosing the SEL increases your cost by about $2,300 and focuses on adding comfort amenities to the SE. Features include front sport seats with 12-way power adjustment for the driver, dual-zone climate control, and navigation with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Both the Lighting and Driver Assistance packages are available here as well.

CarsDirect Tip

The TDI remains our preference when it comes to selecting a SportWagen. If you are considering the SE or the SEL, adding the turbocharged diesel engine only increases your cost by $1,000 -- a no-brainer in our books. The price difference is more significant at the S level, but considering what you’ll save in fuel economy, durability and potential resale value, it’s still the more compelling option.

Get your price on a Volkswagen Golf SportWagen »

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Volkswagen Golf SportWagen By Year