Volkswagen Fleshes Out Golf SportWagen TDI Pricing
Diesel Wagon Enjoys Price Reduction of Nearly $2,000
Yesterday, Volkswagen revealed the pricing structure of the 2015 Golf SportWagen TDI, and the news is very good. Even though it features more standard equipment, at $24,595, it will cost $1,970 less than the outgoing 2014 Jetta SportWagen TDI. Unfortunately, there's still no word on whether the tasty Golf GTD Estate will make the jump across the pond.
The Golf SportWagen TDI will be available in three trim levels: S, SE, and SEL. All come standard with a six-speed manual transmission (bow to the gods of the third pedal), with Volkswagen’s well-tuned DSG dual-clutch automated transmission available for an extra $1,100. The S is the base model, but it comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and pushbutton start, a touch-screen radio with Bluetooth connectivity, iPod integration, air conditioning, leatherette seating, and power windows, door locks, and mirrors.
Stepping into the SE will cost $27,995, but it includes 17-inch wheels, fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, and a Fender-branded premium audio system. The top-of-the-line SEL starts at $30,345, adding navigation, automatic climate control, sport seats (power-operated for the driver), interior ambient lighting, and chrome roof rails to the features list.
Improvements across the lineup are vast. Its all-new 2.0L turbodiesel I-4 (codenamed EA288) makes 10 extra horsepower compared to the engine available for 2014, and the SportWagen TDI enjoyed a healhy, 80-pound weight loss, so those horses should move with a bit more verve. Additionally, the Golf variant is now available with automatic post-collision braking, a system that applies full braking force in the event of a collision to prevent a second crash immediately following the first. Other driver’s assistance features include forward collision monitoring and front and rear park distance sensors.
Additionally, to this author’s eye, the Golf SportWagen looks substantially better than the already-handsome Jetta SportWagen, with long, attractive contours on the bodysides and a stable, hunkered-down stance. Those impressions are not optical illusions, as the new SportWagen is 1.1 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider, but with a 0.9-inch height reduction and a 2.2-inch wheelbase increase, the larger dimensions look toned and lithe, rather than bulky. Longer, lower, and wider, this is Harley Earl’s station wagon (if Harley Earl was a German engineer inspired by the Bauhaus movement).
Volkswagen says the Golf SportWagen TDI will achieve 43 mpg on the highway, which is an improvement from the Jetta’s 41mpg EPA rating. If that’s true, then drivers could even get 50 mpg out of their TDIs, as many people are able to better the current SportWagen’s EPA ratings. VW is quick to point out that the station wagon will be more efficient than any comparably priced SUV, while still offering the same levels of cargo space, interior room, and features and amenities. We’re inclined to agree that the new TDI would make a far better choice for most people than a Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue, as it will drive much better in most conditions than the average crossover, to say nothing of its crisp styling, exceptional efficiency, and comparable value. We've driven the 2015 Golf TDI hatchback and it's a fun-to-drive car with pleasant performance, and we have no reason to believe the additional space of the SportWagen would diminish those characteristics.
Of course, most people won’t be able to see past the station-wagon body style and will dismiss the SportWagen as a boring family hauler in the vein of Clark Griswold’s Family Truckster, flocking as they do to their equally boring, high-riding CUVs. That’s a shame, as we predict the VW will be fun to drive, pleasant to ride in over long distances, and very efficient. We’ll find out in the coming months once we get some drive impressions of the 2015 Golf SportWagen.