2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon

#2
in Fullsize wagons
2018 MODEL

$21,685 - $30,245

8.4

Overall Rating

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Overview

If you are looking for a spacious car with all-wheel drive on a budget, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen with a starting price of $21,685 will impress you. Further, it offers a dose of entertaining driving characteristics and German composure.

A 170 hp 1.8L Turbocharged Inline-4 is standard offering sufficient power for daily use and the All-Wheel Drive effortlessly shuffles the power to all four wheels. Competitors include the potent Subaru Outback that also offers all-wheel drive but in a more spacious package. You can also consider some compact SUVs.

All the trims of the Golf get the same 1.8L turbocharged Inline-4. Other features include 6.5-Inch Touchscreen system infotainment system with all standard features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

See detailed review »

Pros

All-wheel drive variant available

Capacious boot space

Precise and responsive steering

Responsive infotainment system

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration

Cons

Brakes are underwhelming

Low ground clearance

What's New?

New LED daytime-running lights and LED taillights

New Golf SportWagen S trim adds standard automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and a 6.5-inch touch screen.

Warranty is extended to six years or 72,000 miles


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$21685

bodystyle

5dr Wagon

passenger capacity

5

top speed

125 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

horsepower

170 hp @ 4500 rpm

torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

transmission

5-speed manual

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

10.7 in./11.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

103.5 in.

length

179.8 in.

width

70.8 in.

height

58.3 in.

curb weight

3053 lbs.

ground clearance

5.4 in.

capacity

passenger volume

94.3 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.8 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/29/34 mpg

highway range

448.8 mi.

warranty

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon in Platinum Gray Metallic color  2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon in Tornado Red color  2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon in Pure White color  2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon in Blue Night Metallic color  2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon in deep black pearl metallic color
Platinum Gray Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.9

Engine

8.5

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.9

Exterior

8.5

Safety

9.0

Driving

9.3

8.4

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon S

S

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$21,685 - $22,785

Configurations
S 5dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Transmission: 5M Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (25/29/34) Torque: 184 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
S 5dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (24/28/33) Torque: 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon S 4motion

S 4motion

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$23,935 - $25,035

Configurations
S 4motion 5dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Transmission: 6M Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (22/25/31) Torque: 184 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm
S 4motion 5dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
Transmission: 6AM Drivetrain: AWD
MPG: (22/24/29) Torque: 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon SE

SE

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$27,320

Configurations
SE 5dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (24/28/33) Torque: 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Wagon SEL

SEL

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$30,245

Configurations
SEL 5dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (24/28/33) Torque: 199 ft-lbs. @ 1600 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 4, 2018

8.4

Overall Rating


6.9/10
Features

 

8.5/10
Engine

 

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.9/10
Interior

 

8.5/10
Exterior

 

9.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

If you are looking for a spacious car with all-wheel drive on a budget, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen with a starting price of $21,685 will impress you. Further, it offers a dose of entertaining driving characteristics and German composure.

A 170 hp 1.8L Turbocharged Inline-4 is standard offering sufficient power for daily use and the All-Wheel Drive effortlessly shuffles the power to all four wheels. Competitors include the potent Subaru Outback that also offers all-wheel drive but in a more spacious package. You can also consider some compact SUVs.

Features

6.9/10

All the trims of the Golf get the same 1.8L turbocharged Inline-4. Other features include 6.5-Inch Touchscreen system infotainment system with all standard features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Trims S S with 4Motion SE SEL
MSRP $21,685 $23,935 $27,320 $30,245
Features
  • LED taillights
  • 6.5″ touchscreen sound system
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system
  • LED taillights
  • Heated front seats
  • 8″ touchscreen sound system
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Power tilting/sliding, tinted panoramic sunroof
  • 8” touchscreen navigation system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

The SE variant includes all the features of the standard variant including additional features like a bigger 8″ infotainment system, Blind spot monitor, and Power tilting /sliding. The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE also offers a tinted panoramic sunroof.

Engine

8.5/10

Like the Golf GTI and R, this wagon is fun to hustle along back roads, and the clutch pedal feel is actually better than it is on those hot hatches it catches early for quick shifts when needed. The downside? Higher trim levels are automatic-only, meaning if you want heated seats and a moonroof with your manual, you’ll need to move up to the higher riding Golf Alltrack wagon.” – Autoweek

Engine and Transmission

The SportWagen gets a 1.8L TSI Inline-4 engine developing 170 hp and 184 pounds-feet of torque. That’s enough power to move the over 3000 pounds Sportwagen briskly.

Models Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
MSRP $21,685 $23,850 $25,955 $25,895
Engine 1.8L TSI DOHC 16V 4 Cylinder Turbocharged 2.5L Inline 4 1.8L TSI 2.5L DOHC 16 Valve 4-Cylinder
Transmission 5-Speed Manual 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Manual 6-Speed CVT Automatic
Power 170 hp 168 hp 170 hp 175 hp
Torque 184 lb-ft 170 lb-ft 199 lb-ft 174 lb-ft

Competitors like Ford Escape S and Subaru Outback 2.5i offer bigger 2.5-liter engines while Volkswagen Golf All-track S has the same 1.8 L TSI engine as the Sportwagen. The power output is 170 hp for both Volkswagen’s while the Ford Escape S and Subaru Outback offers 168Hp and 175 Hp respectively.

Acceleration

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S takes 7.6 seconds in attaining 60 MPH from still. That’s above average among the cars compared here. The Golf SportWagen covers quarter mile in 16.2 seconds.

Models Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
0-60 MPH 7.6 sec 8.9 sec 7.1 sec 7.1 sec
Quarter mile 16.2 sec 16.6 sec 15.5 sec 15.7 sec
Engine 1.8L 2.5L 1.8L 2.5L
Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 6.1 7.3 7.4 6.3

While accelerating from still to 60 MPH, Ford Escape S, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S, and Subaru Outback 2.5i take 8.9 seconds, 7.1 seconds, and 7.1 seconds respectively. The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S has a bit more eco-friendly engine than its competitors with an emission rate of 6.1 Tons of CO2 for every 15K miles.

Ride and Handling

The SportWagen S offers a smooth and composed ride. But impressively, it also offers a hint of sportiness through the communicative steering. And thanks to clever All-Wheel Drive system, there will be less of those hair-raising moments when crossing treacherous snow covered roads.

Braking

The Golf SportWagen has 11.3-inch brake rotors in the front wheels and 10.7-inch brake rotors at the rear. These are capable of bringing the 3063-pound Sportwagen to stop from 60 mph in 117 feet.

Model Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
Brake(in) 11.3 12.8 11.3 12.4
Brake (in) 10.7 12.0 10.7 11.8
Curb weight(lbs.) 3063 3542 3422 3622
60-0 MPH (ft.) 117 123 117 126

The Sportwagen stablemate, the Alltrack also has similar braking performance. The Subaru Outback takes longest to stop from 60 mph taking 126 feet. The Ford Escape posts slightly better braking performance taking 123 feet to stop from 60 mph.

Fuel Economy

8.0/10

The SportWagen’s quartet of powertrains aren’t particularly fuel efficient, with middle-of-the-pack EPA ratings.” – Car and Driver

The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S performs above average in this segment. It delivers 25 mpg and 34 Mpg in city and highway respectively. It gets a combined EPA rating of 29 mpg which is better than the competitors.

Model Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
MPG (city) 25 21 21 25
MPG (highway) 34 29 30 32
MPG (combined) 29 24 24 28

The combined EPA rating for the competitors like Ford Escape S, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S, and Subaru Outback 2.5i stands at 24, 24, and 28 respectively. The SportWagen S outshines the competitors in this segment with a higher fuel economy.

Interior

8.9/10

Large windows all around with ample glass and a simple, sensible control layout make the SportWagen’s cabin a pleasant, user-friendly environment. The premium materials and a conservative design make this wagon seem more entry-luxury than economy compact.” – Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S has a passenger capacity of five. The interior is built in a typical German fashion – simple, intuitive and with good quality switchgear. In terms of interior dimensions, it’s exactly similar to its stablemate – the Golf Alltrack.

Model Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume (ft. cube) 94.3 98.7 94.3 108.1
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.6/55.9/41.2 39.9/56/43.1 38.6/55.9/41.2 40.8/58.1/42.9
Second(Head/Shoulder/Leg(In.) 38.6/53.6/35.6 39/55.3/36.8 38.6/53.6/35.6 38.9/57.3/38.1

The Subaru Outback offers a considerably larger interior with better headroom, legroom, and shoulder room all-round. So if you desire a more spacious car, consider the Outback. The Ford Escape is also more spacious than the Sportwagen but less than the Outback.

Infotainment System

The standard 6.5-inch touch-screen used in the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S was among the best of the base model screens in this class. The infotainment system also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Cargo capacity

The Sportwagen offers a reasonable cargo capacity of 30.4 ft. which is same as its sister Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S. Other competitors offer higher cargo capacities of 34.3 ft. Cube and 35.5 ft. cube for Ford Escape S and Subaru Outback 2.5i respectively.

Model Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
Behind 2nd Row (ft. Cube) 30.4 34.3 30.4 35.5
Behind Front Seat (ft. Cube) 66.5 67.8 66.5 73.3

After folding the second row, the cargo capacity of Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen S and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S amounts to 66.5 cube which is slightly lesser than the competitors like Ford Escape S and Subaru Outback 2.5i offering the cargo capacity of 67.8 ft. Cube and 73.3 ft. Cube respectively.

Exterior

8.5/10

“It looks quite a bit longer than the Golf hatchback, because it is. The 2018 VW Golf SportWagen is about a foot longer than the hatchback. For 2018 VW has upgraded the look of the SportWagen with new front-end styling, including new LED daytime-running lights, and LED taillights.” – Kelley Blue Book

Size and Dimensions

There are very few changes in the new Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen S from its predecessor when it comes to design and exteriors. The major exteriors changes include new daytime running LED lights and LED taillights for all variants including the base trim Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen S.

Model Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S Ford Escape S Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S Subaru Outback 2.5i
curb weight(lbs.) 3063 3542 3422 3622
Length(in) 179.8 178.1 180.2 189.6
Width(in) 70.8 72.4 70.8 72.4
Height(in) 58.3 66.3 59.6 66.1
Ground clearance(in) 5.4 7.9 6.6 8.7
Wheelbase(in) 103.5 105.9 103.5 108.1
Track width(in) F/R 61.0/59.9 61.5/61.6 60.9/59.7 61.8/62.2

The ground clearance for the Sportwagen S amounts to only 5.4 inches which is a setback as competitors offer better ground clearance. Subaru Outback 2.5i offers the highest ground clearance at 8.7 inches while Ford Escape S and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S stands at 7.9 and 6.6 inches respectively.

Safety

9.0/10

The VW Golf Sportwagen offers advanced active safety features and driver assistance systems like Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist, and Rear Traffic Alert.

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  •  Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), and Engine Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Driver and front passenger front and side airbag supplemental restraint systems
  • Side Curtain Protection head airbags LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child seat anchor points
  • 3-point safety belts for all seating positions Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The car performs well in the IIHS crashworthiness test. Small overlap front driver side, Moderate overlap front, Roof strength, Head restraints & seats and side are rated as ‘Good’ in the test, while Small overlap front passenger side and LATCH are rated as Acceptable.

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front passenger side Acceptable
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

 

Crash avoidance and mitigation
Frontal crash prevention Basic
LATCH Acceptable

 

The Golf SportWagen has got a 5-star rating in the IIHS crash test. That’s impressive but it’s worth noting that the Golf has managed 4-star rating in the passenger side front barrier crash test and rollover test.

NHTSA Ratings
Overall Rating 5 Star
Frontal barrier crash rating overall 4 Star
Frontal barrier crash rating driver 5 Star
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger 4 Star
Side barrier rating overall 5 Star
Side barrier rating driver 5 Star
Side barrier rating passenger 5 Star
Side crash rating overall 5 Star
Combine side barrier and pole rating 5 Star
Rollover 4 Star

 

Competition

2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs Ford Escape S

The Ford Escape S is compact SUV and is priced higher than the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S. Apart from the butch looks and a bit larger boot space, the Escape offers little else. The SportWagen S features better handling, reliability and fuel efficiency even at a lower price.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack S is the sister variant of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S and is identical in terms of spaciousness, powertrain, and style. However, the Alltrack has a higher asking price and offers more off-road features like off-road mode and hill-decent control.

2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs Subaru Outback 2.5i

Subaru Outback 2.5i offers bigger boot space, spacious seats, and a bigger 2.5-liter engine while the Volkswagen outshines the Subaru Outback 2.5i in handling and mileage section. However, it also costs a couple of thousand dollars more than the Outback.

 

Final Verdict

The Sportwagen is a compelling option for the asking price if you are willing to buy a wagon. It’s spacious, comfortable, and well-built. The ride is composed and the steering is responsive – a thing inherited from the Golf hatchback on which it’s based.

However, it’s worth considering the competitor. The Outback offers considerably more spacious interiors for a little more asking price and a little less fun. The stablemate Golf Alltrack is more premium offering. However, if these do not impress you much, go ahead with the Sportwagen – it’s an accomplished wagon with a relatively low asking price.

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