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2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Review

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen sits in the top half of our wagon rankings. It boasts athletic driving dynamics, lots of cargo space, and a posh cabin. However, the high cabin floor cuts into passenger space and creates an awkward seating position for those in the back.

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty handling
  • Spacious, comfy seats
  • Ample cargo room
  • Upscale interior
  • Cramped second row

New for 2017

  • Golf Alltrack introduced
  • All-wheel drive became available in Golf SportWagen S

Rankings & Awards

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2017 Wagons category. It was a finalist for our 2017 Best Wagon for Families award. Currently the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Overview

Is the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen a Good Used Wagon?

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is a fine choice in the wagon class. It delivers quick acceleration and sprightly handling while maintaining a comfortable ride. It also has some of the highest fuel economy estimates in the class. Its spacious cabin is constructed with quality materials, but its high rear cabin floor might make things uncomfortable for some passengers.

Why You Can Trust Us

To give you a complete overview of the 2017 Golf SportWagen – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 44 Golf SportWagen reviews alongside reliability ratings, safety scores, and more.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

Based on about 130 listings for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen on our site, prices range from $14,900 to $22,000. The average list price is $18,100. The price you pay varies depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Cost to Own?

Five-year estimated costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen are about $22,060 – or $4,410 per year. That’s low compared to the same five-year cost estimates for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat ($25,230) and the 2017 Subaru Outback ($22,360).

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

For 2018, the SportWagen gained updated exterior styling, a new available 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, standard LED taillights, LED daytime running lights. Volkswagen also shuffled features in some of the Golf SportWagen’s trims. If these changes don't matter to you, consider saving some money by going for the 2017 Golf SportWagen.

Read about the new Volkswagen Golf SportWagen »

The only new 2018 wagon that you can get for around the same price as the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is the low-ranking 2018 Fiat 500L. It has a good amount of cargo space and an intuitive infotainment system, but its positives are outweighed by downsides like poor ride quality, sloppy handling, and unsupportive seats. The 2018 Kia Soul is a member of the compact car class. It’s a much better alternative with poised handling, a high-end cabin, and overall passenger and cargo space that rivals the Golf SportWagen's.

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Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Is Best?

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is part of a generation that debuted for the 2015 model year. For 2016, Volkswagen added a standard USB port, a rearview camera, an updated infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and newly available driver assistance features. It also discontinued the diesel model. Volkswagen introduced the off-road ready Golf Alltrack for 2017, and the Golf SportWagen S became available with all-wheel drive. Opt for the 2016 model if you don't need all-wheel drive. You'll save loads of money compared to a 2017 SportWagen, and you’ll get a better car than the 2015 version.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Golf SportWagen »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Golf SportWagen?

J.D. Power gives the 2017 Golf SportWagen a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is average.

Read more about Golf SportWagen reliability »

2017 Golf SportWagen Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no safety recalls for the 2017 Golf SportWagen.

See more information on Golf SportWagen safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen comes in three trim levels: S, SE, and SEL. The base S trim has a good amount of features for most buyers, including a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, an eight-speaker audio system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera.

The SE trim adds comfort features like heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a larger 8-inch touch screen, and push-button start. The SEL trim includes advanced safety features like forward collision warning, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The base S trim also comes in an all-wheel-drive variant (Volkswagen calls this 4Motion). There’s also a sportier Alltrack model, which comes with all-wheel drive, an off-road mode, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen offered the Alltrack in the same trim levels as the SportWagen.

See 2017 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.

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How Safe Is the Golf SportWagen?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2017 Golf SportWagen a Top Safety Pick, which is one of the organization’s highest honors. The SportWagen also earned the highest rating of Good in five IIHS crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 SportWagen a five-star overall rating, with four stars in frontal and rollover tests and five stars in side crash tests.

The Golf SportWagen comes standard with a rearview camera, and it's available with a number of active safety features, including blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and active park assist. The Alltrack SEL is the only model available with adaptive headlights, which automatically adjust the direction of the car's headlights to illuminate the road around corners. 

See Golf SportWagen safety scores »

2017 Golf SportWagen Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen or 2017 Volkswagen Passat?

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan that has responsive road manners, a comfortable ride, and an attractive cabin with a good amount of passenger and cargo space. The Passat has a lower average price than the SportWagen. Unlike the Golf wagon, the Passat has an available V6 engine. However, the Golf SportWagen comes with even more space, standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a slightly higher predicted reliability rating. Choosing between the two comes down to personal preference. Go with the Passat if you are willing to trade some extra space and features for a slightly lower price. Otherwise, stick with the Golf SportWagen.  

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen or 2017 Subaru Outback?

The 2017 Subaru Outback is another high-ranked wagon. It comes with an even more expansive passenger and cargo area, along with standard all-wheel drive. It also has a marginally higher predicted reliability rating than the Golf SportWagen. However, the Outback has a substantially higher average list price. You can't go wrong with either wagon, but the Outback is a slightly better vehicle overall.

Compare the Golf SportWagen, Passat, and Outback »

2017 Golf SportWagen Performance

How Does the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Drive?

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen's 170-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine has quick acceleration from a standstill and plenty of power for highway driving. The SportWagen has no problem tackling curvy roads while maintaining a comfortable ride. Golf Alltrack models have standard all-wheel drive and an off-road driving mode, along with a slightly higher ground clearance. The Golf Sportwagen comes with a somewhat vague five-speed manual gearbox or an available quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. The Alltrack has a responsive six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or an available six-speed manual.

Does the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Get Good Gas Mileage?

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen models with the five-speed manual transmission deliver 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Models with the available six-speed automatic deliver 1 less mpg on the highway. The Golf Alltrack gets 22/32 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Golf SportWagen performance »

2017 Golf SportWagen Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Golf SportWagen Seat?

There's seating for five in the 2017 Golf SportWagen. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats have a good amount of space. However, the second-row's high cabin floor puts some passenger's leg and knees into an uncomfortable position. Nonetheless, this Volkswagen's interior features some of the nicest materials in the class. Cloth upholstery is standard, and some models feature leatherette upholstery and heated front seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the 2017 Golf SportWagen's rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Golf SportWagen’s LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. Some upper tethers may be hard to find or easily confused with other hardware, and the lower anchors may be difficult to maneuver around.

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Features

Standard features include satellite radio, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment, an eight-speaker audio system, HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Some models also feature navigation and a premium audio system.

See 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen specs »

Read more about Golf SportWagen interior »

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Dimensions

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Cargo Space

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen has 30.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 66.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded. Those are some of the largest cargo capacities in the class. In fact, they’re comparable with some small SUVs. 

2017 Golf SportWagen Length and Weight

The 2017 Golf SportWagen is roughly 15 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,060 to 3,420 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Built?

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen was built in Mexico.


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