2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI/TSI Test Drive

?2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?
An all-new replacement for Jetta SportWagen

Austin, TX – The all-new Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for 2015, which replaces the outgoing Jetta SportWagen, is based on VW?s Mark 7 Golf. It is the latest member of the seventh generation Golf family.

This latest iteration of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen will offer a choice of power that defines the model. There is a 1.8T TSI with a 1.8-liter, FDOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine with gasoline Direct Injection; or a 2.0-liter TDI, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine with diesel Direct Injection. The gas engine makes 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm along with 199 pound feet of torque, while the diesel engine produces 150 horsepower at 3,500 rpm while developing 236 pound feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. Both engines are mounted up front in a transverse orientation and both are Front-Wheel Drive.?Two transmissions are available for either engine: a 6 speed manual gearbox; or a 6-speed automatic.

Trim levels for both models will include: a base S model; a more upscale SE trim level; and the top of the line SEL SportWagen.
Visually, the Golf SportWagen is still recognizable as a member of the Volkswagen Golf family, but it comes with an extended rear section, and is larger inside and out, than the Jetta SportWagen that it replaces. Think of it as a Golf with a ?fanny pack?. Despite the fact that the sheetmetal that it wears is totally modern, the overall form and styling elements are as well defined as other members of the Golf stable, distinctive cues such as the D-pillar, roof rails and unique rear design differentiate the SportWagen from hatchback Golf models. Up front, the hood slopes forward and down into the headlamp assembly, fenders and narrow grille. In the rear, the wide rear window, geometric two-part taillights and wide, low tailgate that integrates the license plate area are reminiscent of the outgoing Jetta SportWagen. The load liftover height is 24.8 inches and the 40.6 inch wide opening provides easier loading and unloading.
The SportWagen?s interior provides an upscale ambience that is basically shared with the other Golf models that it?s based upon. Essentially, the new Volkswagen Golf SportWagen delivers a versatility and functionality on par with a compact SUV, but with the efficiency and fun-to-drive factor as a compact vehicle.

During the National Press launch, my driving partner and I experienced seat and time behind the wheel of both the TSI and TDI version Sportwagens. We began our journey through the Texas Hill Country in a Golf SportWagen TDI in SE trim with a manual gearbox. The exterior was finished in Silk Blue metallic, while the interior was executed in Beige leatherette. The base sticker read
$27, 995, which came to $28,815 after adding the Destination charge. Our next ride came in the form of a TSI model in ?S? trim with an automatic transmission. It wore a Reflex Silver metallic exterior coat and featured a Titan Black leatherette interior. Its base sticker was set at $22,495, which rose to $23,315 after factoring in the Destination fee.

SUMMARY: The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is a most practical and affordable station wagon that is capable of serving a variety of purposes efficiently and effectively. Both the TSI and TDI examples perform admirably in virtually all driving scenarios. Both engine variants provide more than ample power, though the TDI clean diesel is the obvious winner in the torque arena. It is also the most fuel-efficient.
Both vehicles deliver sporty handling attributes, thanks to the Servotronic? electro-mechanical power steering, while both transmissions navigate through the gears smoothly.

The TDI in SE trim was the higher priced of the two test vehicles experienced, because of its higher feature content level, but both versions of the SportWagen were pleasant and enjoyable to drive and both are representative of a reduction in cost from their predecessors.

As with the rest of the Golf lineup, the SportWagen supplies a combination of both active and passive safety systems.

My pick of the litter if price were no object, would be the Golf SportWagen TDI in SEL trim with the DSG automatic transmission (an $1,100 option) and Driver Assistance package for the ultimate in driving pleasure and efficiency. The TSI SportWagen in S trim with a manual gearbox offers a more economical alternative, and may just be more fun to drive.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $21,395. (1.8T TSI -S) / $27,995. (2.0 TDI – SE)
Price as Tested: $22,495. (1.8T TSI – S) / $28,815. (2.0 TDI-SE)
Engine Type and Size: 1.8-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder with gasoline Direct Injection. / 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder with diesel Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 1.8T-170 @ 4,500 rpm / 2.0L-150 @ 3,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 1.8T-199 @ 1,600 rpm / 2.0L – 236 @ 1,750 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine – Front-wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front -Strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers, 22-mm diameter anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multilink, coil springs, telescopic dampers, 19-mm diameter anti-roll bar – 1.8T TSI

Torsion beam with coil springs, telescopic dampers – 2.0 TDI.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front), three channel with EBD, ABS and ESC.
Tires: Continental ContiProContact 225/40 R18 All-Season mounted on 7-double-spoke alloy wheels TDI / 10 alternating large and small spoke TSI.
Wheelbase: 103.7 inches
Length Overall: 179.6 inches
Width: 70.8 inches
Height: 58.3 inches
Curb Weight: 3,120 lbs.- TSI Auto / 3,199 lbs.-TDI
Fuel Capacity: 13.2 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 25 mpg city / 35 mpg highway – TSI / TDI – 31/43
Drag Coefficient: 0.31
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.


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