2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Review


Pros & Cons

  • Crossover-grade cargo capacity
  • upscale interior
  • responsive and fuel-efficient engines
  • sophisticated ride
  • good value.
  • Lacks some common entertainment and safety technologies
  • AWD not offered.
Other years
Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for Sale
List Price Range
$10,999 - $20,236

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The new 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen provides familiar Golf goodness along with a cavernous cargo area. It's a compelling alternative to similarly priced crossovers.

Notably, we picked the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

Vehicle overview

If you're looking at small hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf, you may be wondering whether they're big enough for your lifestyle. Stepping up to a larger crossover SUV might seem to be a logical choice, but their higher center of gravity and compromised fuel economy may give you pause. This is what MBA types refer to as a "market opportunity," and the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is an attempt to seize it.

While it's technically an all-new model, the Golf SportWagen isn't so different from the Jetta SportWagen it replaces in VW's lineup. Both models offer gasoline or diesel power and similarly versatile interiors. But with its previous-generation platform and dowdy styling, the Jetta SportWagen never seemed to be a top priority for the company. The Golf SportWagen, conversely, shares its capable underpinnings and crisp styling with the highly regarded new Golf, so it's clear that Volkswagen means business this time around.

Indeed, the Golf SportWagen could have just as easily been called the "Golf XL." In return for an extra 12.1 inches of overall length, the SportWagen provides 33 percent more cargo space behind the rear seats and 26 percent more space with the rear seatbacks folded flat. In SE and SEL trim, it also comes standard with a panoramic sunroof that's unavailable on the regular Golf. Otherwise, though, it's a Golf through and through, from its two terrific turbocharged engines (gas-powered 1.8T and diesel-powered TDI) to its attractive, well-trimmed interior. The hatchback liftgate comes standard either way; you just have to decide how much space you want inside.

If you're shopping for something like the Golf SportWagen, you'll quickly find there isn't much else out there. The 2015 Subaru Outback wagon is reasonably priced and roomier and more capable (thanks to a raised suspension and all-wheel drive) than the SportWagen, but it's bulkier to drive and its fuel economy isn't as good. Then there's the 2015 Toyota Prius V. It mirrors the SportWagen's hauling capabilities and returns an impressive 42 mpg in mixed driving, but it's slow and uninvolving from the driver seat. Beyond that, we'd just point you to crossovers like the 2015 Ford Escape and 2015 Mazda CX-5. But for an affordable wagon with a premium vibe, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is one of a kind.

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen models

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is offered with the 1.8T or TDI engine in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL.

The 1.8T S starts with 15-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, roof rails, air-conditioning, cruise control, leatherette (premium vinyl), a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, height-adjustable manual front seats with power recline, 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through, hill-hold assist, VW's Car-Net emergency telematics system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch touchscreen interface and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio, HD radio and iPod connectivity.

The 1.8T SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, heated windshield-washer nozzles, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a 115-volt power outlet, heated front seats, a rearview camera and a nine-speaker Fender audio system.

Going with the 1.8T SEL gets you 18-inch wheels, interior ambient lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, sport front seats with a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar) and a navigation system with dual SD-card slots.

The TDI S gets 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition and the rearview camera as standard, but the TDI trims otherwise have the same standard equipment as their 1.8T counterparts.

All SE and SEL trims are eligible for a pair of packages. The Lighting package adds xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, cornering lights that shine through turns, and interior ambient lighting. The Driver Assistance package adds front and rear parking sensors and a forward collision warning system.

2015 Highlights

The SportWagen is an all-new wagon version of the Golf hatchback.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 VW Golf SportWagen 1.8T employs a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower. With the base five-speed manual transmission (1.8T S only), it's good for 184 pound-feet of torque, but the optional six-speed automatic bumps that number up to 199 lb-ft. According to the EPA, the 1.8T returns 29 mpg combined (25 city/36 highway) with the manual, dropping to 35 mpg highway with the automatic.

The SportWagen TDI uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder producing 150 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while the optional transmission is a six-speed automated manual (VW's DSG). The EPA estimates 35 mpg combined (31 city/43 highway) for the conventional manual, with the DSG a single highway mpg behind.


Standard safety features on the 2015 VW Golf SportWagen include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is a post-collision braking system that automatically applies the brakes after an impact to lower the chances of a secondary crash.

The standard VW Car-Net emergency telematics system includes automatic crash notification, an SOS button for roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (permitting parents to set electronic limits for young drivers). The Car-Net app lets you control some of these features from your smartphone, and it also grants access to various vehicle status indicators (fuel level, odometer reading, service schedule, etc.).

As noted above, the optional Driver Assistance package (SE and SEL only) adds front and rear parking sensors and a forward collision warning system. Certain increasingly common safety technologies are absent, however, such as a blind-spot monitor and lane-departure warning.


The 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is blessed with a pair of excellent engines. The base 1.8T is so smooth and strong that it feels as if you should have paid extra for it, while the TDI delivers more authoritative torque at low rpm along with astounding fuel economy. As redline approaches, the 1.8T pulls ahead, and that extra measure of performance plus its lower price may be enough to justify its relatively modest 29 mpg rating. Or perhaps you'd rather pay a premium for the TDI's exceptional driving range and available quick-shifting DSG transmission, which makes the 1.8T's automatic seem a bit dull. You'll be winning either way.

On time-worn pavement, the rigidity of the Golf SportWagen's structure shines through, as the ride is controlled yet supple, with little harshness to speak of. If you've driven a regular Golf, you'll notice the extra foot of length when you're parallel parking, but the SportWagen remains small enough to be an asset in tight urban spaces. It's also an unusually confident high-speed cruiser. Pressed on a winding country road, the SportWagen demonstrates only modest handling talent and generally fails to make good on the "Sport" part of its name. But overall we like the way this VW drives.


Inside, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is a dead ringer for the regular Golf hatchback, which means it has one of the nicest cabins in this price range. Highlights include relatively upscale materials and tastefully restrained dashboard styling, plus a central control panel that's angled toward the driver for easier access. Most of the buttons and switches are sensibly arranged and easy to understand at a glance, and while the standard 5.8-inch touchscreen is on the small side by present standards, it's a cinch to operate. We also like that an exclusive panoramic sunroof comes standard on all but the base S trim, which should only enhance the SportWagen's appeal.

The main disappointment is the SportWagen's touchscreen interface. It works reasonably well but it's small and lacks the crisp graphics and detail found in some other systems. Also, VW's continued use of its oddball "MDI" electronics port instead of a USB port means you'll need a special cable to connect your phone, and swapping or purchasing cables for different devices is a hassle.

As in the regular Golf, the SportWagen's standard front seats provide firm support over both short and long distances. Per Volkswagen's norm, both front seats offer height adjustability, so front passengers won't feel like second-class citizens. Rear seat space is quite generous for a small car, but the SportWagen's relatively low rear cushions deprive tall riders of under-thigh support; most crossovers have a distinct advantage here with their higher seat bottoms.

Cargo capacity is already a strength of the standard Golf hatchback, but the SportWagen takes it to another level. There are 30.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and that expands to 66.5 cubes with the rear seatbacks folded flat. To put that in perspective, the Ford Escape provides 34.3 and 68.1 cubes, respectively. The SportWagen is a genuine match for small crossovers in this regard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best family car for the money!
TSI S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Long term update. Car rocks! No issues except there may be a pinhole leak near the rear hatch door. I paid just under $21,000 out the door using TrueCar (MSRP $21,625 + $820 delivery fee). The 2016 Golf Sportwagen TSI S was an excellent value. I never buy new cars because of the depreciation, but due to a new addition to our family, I had to look for something reliable without any hassle of maintenance issues. This car has more space than a Mazda CX-3, Mazda 3 Hatchback, and many other crossovers. ~30 cubic feet with the seats up and ~66 cubic feet with the rear seats folded is excellent. It fits our massive stroller, luggage and a few oddities from Ikea on a weekend trip to San Diego with the baby/car seat, wife, and mother-in-law. If my mother-in-law wasn't in the car we could fold 60% of the rear seats even. The technology in the car is amazing also. Apple CarPlay is very intuitive and streams my 320 kbps Deezer app on my iPhone to the car flawlessly. Furthermore Apple Maps is excellent. The sound quality isn't Premium BMW sound, but it's not far off. It's better than my amplified aftermarket stereo system in another car I have. The base trim "S" has 8 speakers, that's four component speakers. It is definitely sufficient for 99 percent of people. I have no desire to increase the volume beyond 50 percent, even when I'm by myself in the car zooming about. Fuel economy at 25/29/36 for the manual is excellent. The clutch is dummy-proof. Shift linkage feels solid and very connected from gear to gear with no confusion. Synchros are smooth enabling grind-free shifts. Turbo lag is minimal, maximum torque is available at 1,500 RPM which is a blip of the right foot; maximum RPM is ~6k. 170hp is definitely adequate even when loaded with passengers and cargo. It's no sports car with 300 wheel horse power, but it definitely gets up and goes. The Volkswagen MQB architecture may offer interesting future opportunities to convert this car to 4-Motion AWD also. Of course I wouldn't seriously consider modifying a warrantied vehicle until out of the 5 year/60k mile power train warranty. The EA888 1.8 turbo direct injection engine is an amazing piece of technology also. The turbo bolts directly onto the head. It's exhaust manifolds are integrated into the heads surrounded by coolant passages. This improves engine warm-up time for better engine wear/longevity, improved fuel efficiency, and quicker cabin heat for passengers. Allegedly this 1.8T engine picks up ~100 ft lbs of torque and ~60 horsepower with just ECU tuning through APR. That makes it on par with a stock GTI or quicker. Handling is adequate, a bit squishy (compared to my bone-shattering 03 Nissan 350z Track, 06 BMW E90 3-series with run flats and 93 Mercedes 190e SportLine). Steering feel and input is slightly delayed due to tire size (195/65/15 Bridgestone Ecopia 422 Plus 580 UTQG). While the tire may be good for improved fuel economy MPG's, it's obvious setbacks are a huge sidewall that flexes under cornering and small contact area resulting in "economical" traction under maximum acceleration from a stop. Likewise the tire is "acceptable" for braking. Don't expect sports car performance in this area. Up-sizing the wheels and adding Summer tires would transform this car into a different machine at the cost of a couple MPG. If you don't want to commit to a mini-van and turn in your man card, this is a great choice!
Everyone should buy this car.
TSI S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
We were looking at crossovers since we've recently started a family but they were all so meh in test drives. We ended up test driving this one because it was at the lot next door and we feel just incredibly lucky that we did. We LOVE it. It's zippy and fun, with a crazy amount of cargo space (comparable or greater than most crossovers), and is very quiet and smooth to drive. We got the base model because it's already well equipped, and the quality of the interior for the price is just incredible. I discovered that we actually like to have a car with subtle, elegant styling, instead a tank that looks like it's ready to go mud slinging. One nice thing about this car is that my 6'1" husband can sit in the backseat without his head touching the ceiling. Though he's not crazy tall, we've still found that to be rare. We got the TSI instead of diesel (the purchase was before the emissions scandal) because we found it was snappier. We test drove A LOT of vehicles and are still puzzled by a) how under the radar it is in the US market and b) how reasonable the price is for the quality of drive and interior. Definitely check it out.
I love this car more everyday!
TDI S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
I enjoy driving. I've owed several cars, 4 VW's over 30 years, never a diesel. Last was a 2004 Jetta that I thought was the greatest. Recently I was seriously considering a 2015 Mazda3 5-door. Then I decided I had better go drive a couple VW's before buying anything. Drove a new Golf TSI and thought it was incredible. Then I drove this TDI Sportwagen. What a great car! I had never driven a TDI before. After test driving around town and on the highway, I had to have it. I opted for the TDI wagon, but I certainly would have been thrilled to drive away in any manual Golf. Didn't try any automatic transmissions. The response of the TDI feels wonderful, it's a great engine. Add MPG's and it was the obvious choice for me. I couldn't be happier with this car. UPDATE: OK, the diesel thing was announced a month after I bought this thing. I think VW is making the best cars in this range. I don't know if anything comes close to how much car I got for the money. I do t want to surrender this car, and I don't think I'll have to, but I've never owned a better car and I plan on driving this one forever (as I also know I may not be able to get another one). UPDATE 9/17: My opinions have not changed about this car. VW gave me back 1/3 of its price, so now I'm even happier about my purchase.
Great car (aside from the emissions...)
TDI SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)
Have owned the car 5 weeks and driven 2200 miles. I really like it, but certainly feel conflicted because of the VW emissions scandal. Traded in an Accord which was nice, but pretty boring. Sportwagen is fun to drive, very responsive and quiet on the road, even at high speed. Getting around 46 mpg (nearly all hwy). Excellent visibility and very easy to get in and out of. We opted for the SEL due to better seats and dual climate. I have a back issue and I would rate the seat comfort at 9 out of 10. A little more lower support would be perfect for me. The ride is firm but well tuned and is better than the Accord. The low profile tires no doubt contribute to the firm ride but the handling is great. Love the engine and DSG trans which shifts well. When you step on the gas, the car has no problem getting you up to speed. Everything remains to be seen after the emissions recall.

Features & Specs

25 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automatic
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
31 city / 42 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
150 hp @ 3500 rpm
31 city / 42 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
150 hp @ 3500 rpm
31 city / 43 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
150 hp @ 3500 rpm
See all Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen features & specs
More about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Overview

The Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is offered in the following submodels: Golf SportWagen Wagon, Golf SportWagen Diesel. Available styles include TSI S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TDI S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), TDI SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), TDI S 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), TDI SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM), TSI SEL 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TSI SE 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TSI S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), TDI SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M), and TDI SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI S is priced between $10,999 and$15,500 with odometer readings between 23942 and73309 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI SEL is priced between $20,236 and$20,236 with odometer readings between 31789 and31789 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagens are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2015 Golf SportWagens listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,999 and mileage as low as 23942 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Can't find a used 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagens you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $7,992.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $23,955.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $19,480.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 11 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $13,052.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Volkswagen Golf SportWagen lease specials