Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Wagon(wagen)

You want a vehicle that can do 99% of everything that you think you need it to do? I have the perfect vehicle for you. It’s called a “wagon”, and it utilizes plenty of cargo room mixed with great driving dynamics and solid styling.
Oh you don’t like that idea? YOU’RE WRONG!
Say hello to the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen, and say hello to a vehicle that will handle nearly all of your daily needs. It has loads of cargo space, returns tremendous fuel economy with the TDI motor, and is available rather nicely equipped for right around $30,000.
Stop buying crossovers. Start buying wagons… this one is a good one to start with.
[Disclaimer: Volkswagen tossed us the keys to this Golf Sportwagen and included a tank of the oil burning fuel. We barely dipped into it, despite putting a fair amount of miles on the car. Even with my fat foot, it has massive range per tank.]

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  1. Eric Rucker Avatar

    The third option on the DSG is to call someone like Malone Tuning and get the transmission computer retuned (and most of Malone’s engine tunes require a DSG tune to handle the torque) to make drive a bit less lethargic, and sport a bit less aggressive. And, at least on previous TDIs, the sport mode actually revved too high for performance.
    But, that’s not warranty-compliant, of course. And you can just get a manual and have lower maintenance costs.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Hm, very interesting – I’d never heard of them. A new tune is exactly what that gearbox needs.

  2. CraigSu Avatar

    GAAAHH!!! Facial hair! It makes you look so…hirsute. I can see you’ve been sharpening your video editing skills. The intro has a very Top Gear feel to it. Well done.

  3. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    Is he morphing into Jonny Lieberman? Don’t we have enough just one ruining it all?

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      No, this was shot a few months back – I’m clean shaven at the moment.

  4. Maymar Avatar

    Granted, what I want or need might change in the next 7+ years before I’m due for another new car, but the Golf Wagen is pretty much exactly what I’d be looking for (I couldn’t justify the extra hundred bucks a month now, or there’s a chance I’d have ended up in a MkVI with the 2.5).
    Although, barring a huge shift in the cost of gas, I struggle with picking the TDI over the 1.8T – if the EPA’s to be trusted, fuel costs would be pretty much a wash (it’d take 5 years to pay off the premium, and even if the test is biased against diesels, there’s still the extra maintenance to compensate for). Admittedly, the TDI’s resale is way better than the gassers, and 5 years isn’t unreasonable, but I want something I can rev out a little more.

    1. Eric Rucker Avatar

      The other thing is, once you’re talking about an EA888 gas engine… I’m not actually sure the TDI would have that much more maintenance/repairs.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        See, I feel like I’ve heard the TDI very much needs the occasional Italian tuneup, as it gets carbon buildup if your typical driving is either too urban or rural (can’t remember which, and either way, citation needed). Couple that with more expensive oil changes, and just generally more complexity compared to the old diesel engines, and I was under the impression you had to really want a diesel, or clock some serious highway miles for it to start making sense.
        Now, hopefully the revised EA888 has been made less finicky, since they want it to be a volume engine instead of a premium option. Not sure I’ve heard how they’ve been holding up since coming out in ’14.

        1. Eric Rucker Avatar

          Short-tripping a TDI is generally a bad idea (especially with the newer ones having exhaust system filters that need regeneration often), and Italian tune-ups are needed if you’re driving too gently, not too urban or too rural. Drive like I suspect the average Hooniverse reader would, and you’re fine on Italian tune-ups. It’s not a bad idea to get a Scangauge or Polar FIS or something, though, to monitor EGTs, and avoid shutting the engine down during a regen (best to keep driving). (It’s also worth noting that upcoming emissions standards will likely require all of this exhaust system regen hardware on gasoline engines too in a few years.)
          As far as more expensive oil changes… the TDI’s will be slightly higher (it’s a higher-end oil that they use – VW 507.00 (the gasoline equivalent being 504.00), versus 502.00 (the diesel equivalent being 505.00) – but they both need about 5ish quarts of synthetic oil every 10,000 miles.
          And, honestly, I’d expect the new 1.8Ts to be MORE finicky in the long run, given that they’ve been lightened.

    2. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      But do the diesels have better resale? You might pay more at the start but retain more at sale time ?

  5. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    man, i’d really be interested in a Mk5 TDI wagon with a manual, but the Mk6…i rented an early Mk6 jetta, and i really wasn’t feeling it. i hear they’ve improved on the interior since then, and the TDI has got to be better than that fucking 2.5-liter 5cyl, but there just wasn’t anything compelling about it.
    now, if ford can get us a focus wagon….

    1. Eric Rucker Avatar

      The Mk6 “Jetta” Sportwagen is basically a Mk5 with Mk6 Golf (not Jetta) interior and electricals. (Which, the difference between a Mk5 Golf/Jetta/wagon and a Mk6 Golf is the body panels, interior, electricals, glass, and how they welded it. So, a Mk6 wagon is just welded like a Mk5 instead of a Mk6 Golf and has thinner glass.)
      The Mk6 Jetta, OTOH, is a different car cheapened and embiggened primarily for the US market.
      This is also why they’re calling the Mk7 a Golf instead of a Jetta, because that’s really what it is.

  6. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    I was coming from a Audi A3 and the Jetta Wagen reminded my a lot of it. I wanted something different so I got the TSX Sportwagon. That was over a year ago, but not much has changed, except the TSX is no more.

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