2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TSI 4Motion new car reviews

Say hello to the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TSI S with 4Motion. It comes with a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine that is good for 170 all-wheel horsepower. Other than the extended wagon body it is basically a Volkswagen Golf. It also comes with the brand's famously smooth DSG transmission.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

A friend summed up this one perfectly: Nice Jetta wagon.

No, I had to say, it’s a Golf. Yeah, he’s also old-school.

Despite only 1.8 liters, power felt good. It’s not going to run down a GTI, but it’s not a slug. Let’s call its performance par for the class.

The six-speed, twin-clutch DSG transmission felt perfect. Yeah, I know we all like to shift our own, but the DSG just works so well. I am a fan. Pull it back to engage S, and it becomes a different animal—fast shifts along with gear changes right where you’d want them. Even if you’re wearing a Save the Stick T-shirt, you might be happy here.

I figured that this one would cost more, too. Ours stickered at $25,750. Between the all-wheel drive and DSG, I would have expected a higher figure. If you need an all-wheel-drive wagon, I’d take this one for a spin.

Ed Higginbotham Ed Higginbotham
Associate Editor

Right off the bat, I would vote for this car as one of the best options for the money.

Power is good—certainly better than you would expect from a 1.8-liter station wagon. It has get up and go, especially when you pop it down into S mode. The DSG transmission is everything it's cracked up to be: Very smooth with great delivery.

I never had a chance to test the all-wheel drive system, but I'm certain that will be attractive to those who live in the northern states.

As we regularly step into various new cars, I've become accustomed to dashboards cluttered with enough buttons and switches to rival Apollo 13. The Golf, however, is a huge refreshment. It's elegant. There aren't dozens of buttons littering the dash that you might use once a year. It's clean and I appreciate that.

It's also very comfortable. It will make an excellent road trip car.

My overall impression of this car: two thumbs way up.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Shaun HalfDork
6/23/17 3:52 p.m.

Clean inside and out! Does all the right things at a fair price. That should give Subaru a little competition around Portland (Or). At a recent Portland Auto Show, which is a modest affair to be sure, the Subaru area was mobbed, while everybody else had lonely looking sales people staring at the carpet between glances at their watches.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
6/23/17 3:59 p.m.

In reply to Shaun:

It certainly seems like it would be a great competitor for Subaru. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/23/17 4:28 p.m.

Yeah, I really expected this one to be more expensive. Our actual test car was silver, too. It looked good in that color. I'd daily it and be happy.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
6/26/17 1:46 p.m.

And if you desire to row your own, the standard transmission is a 6 speed manual for $1100 less.

nocones UltraDork
6/26/17 2:53 p.m.

In reply to Ian F:

Just looked. My god your right. I am so confused about my next car now.

Ransom PowerDork
6/26/17 11:32 p.m.

I... The Mini's been and remains great, but I'm still angry at VW for being so badly behaved I can't do business with them. The misc Sportwagens are awesome. It remains the only car in its class.

Seriously. It's one thing to be angry at a company for their behavior, but such a step further that I'm angry about being deprived of the opportunity to give them my money. I hope whomever's at the helm from here on gets it.

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