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2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has a roomy cabin and agile handling. Though its interior is plagued with dull styling and a small infotainment display, this wagon still finishes in the top half of the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Roomy back seat
  • Large cargo area
  • Drab interior
  • Small, low-resolution infotainment screen
  • Requires special USB/smartphone adapter

Rankings & Research

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Wagons category. Currently the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has a score of 8.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 15 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Overview

Is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen a Good Used Wagon?

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is a good wagon. Its ample rear legroom and large cargo capacity make it ideal for family road trips. If you’re into technology, however, the SportWagen may not be your best bet. Most rivals have more inviting cabins and larger touch screens with sharper graphics. Furthermore, VW doesn’t make it easy to connect your personal devices to the car – a special adapter is required.     

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 15 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

Based on the roughly 200 listings for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen on our site, the average list price is $17,800. Prices range from $13,500 to $22,300 and vary depending on the trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Cost to Own?

At this time, we do not have five-year estimated costs for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

The 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has a starting price of $21,895, which is almost $4,100 more than the average list price of a 2015 model. Though the 2015 and 2019 SportWagen are part of the same generation, you’ll get a lot more if you buy new. The 2019 has an updated infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a standard USB port and rearview camera, and numerous available driver assistance features. Moreover, the 2019 model comes with a new engine for its front-wheel-drive models. If you can stretch your budget, you’ll get a better-equipped car with a new model.

Read about the new Volkswagen Golf SportWagen »

As a lower-priced alternative to a used SportWagen, consider a new subcompact SUV. While most of them don’t have quite as much cargo space as a wagon, a model like the 2019 Hyundai Kona offers a better infotainment system and a nicer interior than the Golf SportWagen. Pricing for the Kona starts at $19,990.

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Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Is Best?

The 2015 Golf SportWagen is part of a generation that spans the 2015 through 2019 model years.

While the 2015 model will probably save you the most money, the 2016 Golf SportWagen is a better choice. VW updated it with a number of appealing standard features, including a USB port, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The 2016 model also has more available safety features than before, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic parking assist.

Newer models are little different. The 2017 Golf SportWagen was the first to offer the Alltrack model and all-wheel drive as an option. For 2018, the SportWagen got an exterior styling refresh.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Golf SportWagen »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

J.D. Power gave the 2015 VW Golf SportWagen a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about Golf SportWagen reliability »

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Recalls

As of this writing, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has nine recalls. Issues include faulty rear coil springs; the ability to remove the key when not in park; improperly modified models; and fuel leaking into the EVAP system. Other recalls concern the possible loss of power brakes; front passenger-side air bag failing to deploy; fuel pump failures; fuel leaking into the engine compartment; and front stabilizer links that may detach. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Volkswagen Golf SportWagen safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Model Is Right for Me?

The Golf SportWagen comes in three trims: S, SE, and SEL. The base Golf SportWagen S trim comes with a touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth, a smartphone adapter, and satellite radio.

The Golf SportWagen SE is a better option, with upgrades like synthetic leather upholstery, a rearview camera, push-button start, and an upgraded Fender audio system.

The top-of-the-line gold SportWagen SEL trim adds comfort features like dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, ambient lighting with LED interior reading lights, and front comfort sport seats that include a 12-way power driver’s seat.

See 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen trims and specs »

What Does Volkswagen's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volkswagen offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles seven years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. You receive the balance of the new-car warranty when you purchase a CPO model. Depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired or on the sale date of the CPO VW vehicle. For 2018 and newer VWs, the limited comprehensive warranty is good for one year or 12,000 miles. The length of the warranty increases to two years or 24,000 miles for 2017-and-older gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Finally, 2016 and older TDI vehicles get a two-year/unlimited miles warranty.

VW CPO vehicles must pass a 100-plus-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, a Carfax vehicle history report, a three-month SiriusXM All-Access satellite radio trial subscription, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Volkswagen’s CPO program is the least robust of all auto manufacturers.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Golf SportWagen?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2015 Golf SportWagen a Top Safety Pick. It earned the agency’s top rating of Good in five out of six crash tests and the second-best rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not rated the 2015 Golf SportWagen for safety.

Available active safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and front and rear parking sensors.

See Golf SportWagen safety scores »

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen or 2015 Subaru Outback?

The Subaru Outback was fully redesigned for 2015, and though it has a higher average price than the SportWagen, the Outback is worth the extra money. Compared to the VW, the Subaru offers a stronger base engine, a potent available six-cylinder engine, and standard all-wheel drive. Additionally, the Outback has larger touch screens than the Golf SportWagen does, and both have intuitive menus that you can operate using smartphonelike gestures. To top it off, the Outback has a larger overall cargo capacity. Go with the Subaru.

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen or 2015 Volkswagen Golf?

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is smaller than the SportWagen. These VWs have the same reliability rating and similar handling dynamics, but they also have the same small infotainment display. The Golf’s interior is roomy for a compact car, but the Golf SportWagen has more passenger and cargo space. The SportWagen is a better choice for people who regularly carry lots of people and cargo, but the standard Golf may be a better choice for those who don’t. It will also cost you less.

Compare the Golf SportWagen, Outback, and Golf »

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Performance

How Does the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Drive?

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen strikes a fine balance between ride comfort and handling agility. The SportWagen's steering is accurate, and its brakes are strong.

This VW comes standard with a 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that serves up decent acceleration around town. On the highway, however, the engine can feel strained. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic is available.

You may find diesel models on the market. These models were affected by Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal, and they require modifications to meet EPA standards. Make sure these necessary repairs have been made before you buy one, and keep in mind that those changes could alter performance and fuel economy.

Does the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Golf SportWagen returns good fuel economy estimates for the class. With the base engine and automatic transmission, this VW gets 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Golf SportWagen performance »

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Seat?

The 2015 Golf SportWagen seats five and comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery and partially power-adjustable front seats. The cabin features soft-touch surfaces, but the cabin styling is lackluster compared to rivals. The Golf SportWagen has an abundance of rear-seat space.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

For installing child safety seats in the Golf SportWagen, there are two full sets of LATCH connectors. The middle seat has an upper tether anchor.

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Features

Standard features include a 5.8-inch touch screen infotainment system with HD Radio, satellite radio, voice control, and Bluetooth. You may also be able to find models equipped with upgrades like dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, push-button start, and an upgraded Fender audio system.

The dashboard buttons are simple, and the infotainment system has straightforward menus. However, some rival systems have larger, higher-resolution screens. There also isn’t a normal USB input. Instead, you have to plug in your smartphone or other personal USB device via a special adapter.

See 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen specs »

Read more about Golf SportWagen interior »

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Dimensions

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Cargo Space

There is 30.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and 66.5 cubic feet with those seats folded. That’s a typical amount of storage space for a wagon.

2015 Golf SportWagen Length and Weight

The 2015 Golf SportWagen is nearly 15 feet long.

Where Was the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Built?

Volkswagen assembled the 2015 Golf SportWagen in Mexico.


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