2017 Golf SportWagen TSI S: Crossover Space Without the Crossover Face

Published: Friday, May 5, 2017 | 11:20 PM

2017vwsportswagen475Once upon a time when you had a family or had to move stuff you bought a station wagon but when the crossover came on the scene the traditional family wagon all but disappeared, enter the Golf SportWagen. Longer than the Golf by a foot but with all the Golf’s goodies (including the zippy 4-cylinder turbo engine), the SportWagon gets 66.5 cubic feet of space to carry all you need when the back seats are down.

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen comes in three trims: S, SE and SEL. This review will focus on the S trim in all-wheel drive.

2017vwgolfsportwagenintWith 16-inch wheels and heated front seats the S trim features power-adjustable and heated side mirrors, roof rails, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, front seats with manual adjustment and power recline, 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through and a 115-volt outlet in the cargo area. Also standard are a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Bluetooth, VW’s Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration and Car-Net Security & Service telematics, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base audio system includes eight speakers, a CD player, satellite and HD radio, and auxiliary audio, USB and SD card inputs.

The 1.8-liter turbo four-banger produces 170 horses with 199 pound-feet of torque, it is paired with a six-speed automatic trany. Expect to get 22/city, 30/highway and 25/combined mpg.

The SportWagen is all about comfort with cushy and supportive seating front and back. Materials are top-notch and the design is simple giving the interior an air of luxury. The gadgets and gizmos are readily accessible and easy to use.

Front legroom is great but taller back seat passengers may find the space confining. Cargo space is large (due to the longer length) with 30.4 cubic feet of storage space behind the seats and a whopping 66.5 cubic feet with them down.

Driving the SportWagen is a solid experience, while not exactly “sporty” it does get to speed with little effort. Driving winding roads is not a problem but you won’t zoom around the turns. Road imperfections will be smoothed out with its suspension and road noise is minimal.

Need a car with a bit extra room but don’t want a crossover? Give the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TSI S a test drive.