2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen


#2 out of 8 in 2015 Wagons

$12,033 - $16,965

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen was new.


Performance: 8.6

The brand-new 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen offers a very satisfying driving experience thanks to its agile handling and smooth ride, critics say. They add that acceleration is adequate in the base model and downright peppy in the diesel, which also gets superb fuel economy.

  • "Regardless of the engine, the Golf SportWagen will please in just about any circumstance. It manages body roll in fine style, but its ride is always smooth and compliant." -- AutoWeek
  • "You can feel the German-tuned character in the precise and responsive electrically boosted steering, well-mannered shock-absorber damping, billet-like body structure and easy-to-modulate 4-wheel disc brakes." -- AutoTrader
  • "Its turbodiesel option delivers exceptional fuel efficiency, which is why VW lists the Toyota Prius v among key competition. But the reality is that in its price segment, the new SportWagen doesn't really have any direct competition, certainly not with this kind of fun-to-drive index." -- Jean Knows Cars

Acceleration and Power

The base 2015 VW Golf SportWagen TSI comes with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower. The TSI model comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and is available with a six-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the 2015 Golf SportWagen TSI gets 25/35 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is good for a wagon. The TDI model comes with a 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic (DSG) is available. The TDI model gets 31/42 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class.

According to auto critics, the base Golf SportWagen delivers sufficient power for commuting, but may struggle up steep hills when fully loaded with passengers and cargo. They say the diesel model feels peppier, with lots of low-end torque that makes it feel very responsive around town. Reviewers write that the manual transmissions are satisfying to shift and the automatics are smooth-shifting and quick, especially the DSG.

  • "We think that the Golf SportWagen really comes into its own with diesel power. ... torque is an impressive 236 lb-ft at just 1750 revolutions per minute. That means tip-in throttle response is robust regardless of engine or vehicle speed, which makes darting through traffic or keeping up with the ebb and flow of the other cars a breeze." -- AutoTrader
  • "Neither engine makes the Golf SportWagen fast, but they're both quick enough, and the low-end torque of the diesel is especially satisfying." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Regardless of total gear count, the manuals both have somewhat long but accurate shifter throws and go into gear with a satisfactory click. Just like in a Golf. Also like a Golf, the two autos return smooth and snappy gear changes, with the dual-clutch being just a bit snappier." -- Motor Trend
  • The 1.8-liter engine is perfectly adequate to get around town and deal with the daily commute, but load the car up for a vacation and you'll want to stay in the slow lane when climbing mountain highways." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

Reviewers agree that the front-wheel drive 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has a comfortable ride and nimble handling that make it equally at home on a winding road or a long highway cruise. They also say it has precise steering and strong brakes that add to its driving appeal.

  • "Directional changes are eager, and the steering is quick and accurate, with more tactile information than most contemporary systems." -- Jean Knows Cars
  • "The steering, brake and other inputs are generally spot on, just like the switch operation, and the SportWagen creates a nice, comfortably tight Euro flavor wherever you're driving." -- AutoWeek
  • "The suspension in both cars strikes an excellent balance between comfort and handling, making the SportWagen just as satisfying to hustle through corners as it is to just cruise down the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Steering is predictable and accurate, consistent with other Golf models. And the wagon maintains a familiar balance of comfort and sport, even with our test cars' larger 17- and 18-inch wheels (15-inch wheels are standard on TSI models, while TDIs start with 16s)." -- Autoblog

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