2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen


#3 out of 9 in 2016 Wagons

$21,625 - $29,385

2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen was new.


Interior: 8.1

Test drivers agree the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen's cabin has a stylish and refined design, with some adding that it has nicer materials and a better build quality than many competitors. The front seats are supportive, reviewers report, and the rear seat is impressively spacious. The infotainment system was updated for 2016, and critics say it responds faster to inputs than the previous system. Reviewers also appreciate that a USB port is now included. The Golf SportWagen has more cargo space than most wagon competitors and some compact SUVs.

  • "The Golf's cabin is a great place to be. The material quality is top notch, and while the overall styling isn't as clean or as classy as something like the Mazda3, the cabin feels like it's a step above the rest in terms of fit and finish." -- Autoblog
  • "The 2016 Volkswagen Golf's interior features well-grained plastics that are soft to the touch and a cabin design that is distinctly European, comfortable and sporty." -- Edmunds
  • "Even in base S form, the Golf Sportwag[e]n boasts one of the classiest interiors in the compact-car class." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen's dashboard is lifted directly from the regular Golf hatchback, which means it's stylish in a restrained German way, with higher-quality materials than the norm for this price range." -- AutoTrader (2015)


The 2016 VW Golf SportWagen seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, upgraded front seats with added side support and a 12-way power-adjustable driver seat are optional. Test drivers report that the front seats are supportive, and the rear seat offers plenty of head- and legroom. Some critics note, however, the rear seat cushion may be mounted too low to keep tall riders comfortable.

  • As in the regular Golf, the SportWagen's standard front seats provide firm support over both short and long distances. Both front seats offer height adjustability, so front passengers won't feel like second-class citizens. Rear seat space is quite generous for a small car, but the SportWagen's relatively low rear cushions deprive tall riders of under-thigh support; most crossovers have a distinct advantage here with their higher seat bottoms." -- Edmunds
  • "If you prefer to move people instead of things, rest easy knowing the wagon mimics the Golf hatchback's 35.6 inches of rear legroom." -- Autoblog
  • "The SportWagen distinguishes itself from other Golfs behind the front seats. There's a bit more headroom for rear passengers and almost as much as you'll find in the typical compact SUV." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "The front seats are firm and supportive, particularly with the SEL trim's sport comfort contours, while rear passengers will find more knee-room than expected in a compact wagon." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Interior Features

The 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen comes standard with satellite radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, smartphone integration, a rearview camera and a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. Optional features include a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, navigation, a Fender premium audio system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, active parallel park assist and forward collision warning with automatic braking.

Volkswagen updated the infotainment system for 2016, and reviewers report that it responds more quickly to inputs than the previous system. They like that there's now a USB port in place of the input cable from previous model years. Some test drivers say the Fender audio system is among the highest-quality systems available for its price.

See 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen specs »

  • "For 2016, a new touchscreen interface on all trims (including the base model) is quicker and more responsive to inputs than the old screen and adds comprehensive Apple and Android smartphone integration. There's finally a real USB port, too, replacing VW's less useful proprietary smartphone/media player plug." -- Edmunds
  • "I've been very impressed with the Fender audio system in other Volkswagen models, and consider it one of the best low-priced premium audio systems available in a car. That comes standard in the SE and SEL trim levels." -- CNET (2015)


The 2016 Golf SportWagen has 30.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seat and 66.5 cubic feet with it folded, which is above average for the class. Some reviewers note the Golf SportWagen's overall cargo capacity even matches that of some compact SUVs. Test drivers say that since the release levers for the rear seat are located in the cargo area, it is simple to fold the seat down. Additionally, critics like the under-floor storage compartment, which they say helps organize and secure shopping bags.

  • "With 66.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded, the Golf SportWagen's cargo capacity rivals many compact SUVs; among its class competitors, only the tall-wagon Fiat 500L tops it." -- Consumer Guide
  • "But it's not just the extra space that makes moving things a lot easier. The rear hatch is more defined and sits atop a lower bumper. The load height is just 24.8 inches, while the tailgate opens to an aperture of 40.6 inches. It also opens high enough that your six-foot, one-inch author can stand tall below it." -- Autoblog
  • "There's an SUV-like 66.5 cu ft. of cargo room available with the rear seat folded down, made easier with a pair of handy rear seatback releases just inside the rear hatch. Volkswagen also found a way to keep grocery bags from tipping over; the SportWagen's cargo floor flips up, revealing a deep well to corral the bags." -- AutoTrader (2015)

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