Great car ! Writing review after owning it for a month. Bought in SF Bay Area. Superb ride quality, excellent visibility and top notch fit and finish. Plenty of cargo space. Definite looker like its cousin Audi A4 wagon. Drives as a German car for sure, responsive, very easy to drive and rock solid feel. Not yet rated for 2016, but based on 2015 Golf safety ratings from last year, most likely a top IIHS safety pick and 5 star NHTSA safety rating since no change to body structure. Couple of cons to keep in mind - noticeable Turbo lag at the start from 6 speed transmission but brilliant at highway speeds, pretty much point and shoot at 4, 5 and 6th speeds. No power seats for SE. Come on VW, that is lame. All in all a versatile, safe, nimble car for young families that is a blast to drive. If you are shopping for a mid range car (the usual Fords, Hondas, Toyotas or Subarus), this is a must test drive car. Better yet, test drive this right after your top choice from other brands, before you decide. You don't have to drive a crossover for added cargo space and worry about rollover later.
Granted, options are limited for the wagon enthusiasts out there, but I'm really loving this car. A lot. I of course did my homework and drove several cars (Civic, Accord, Mazda 3, and others) before driving the Sportwagen. Like the reviews elsewhere have noted, it's a drivers car; crisp handling, reasonable acceleration, solid as a rock, and very quiet on the inside. That this combination of subtly surprising performance is cloaked in a wagon's exterior makes it all the more awesome. It does seem to search for the right gear at low speeds (<15 mph), but it find it's groove quickly thereafter. The 1.8 turbo is nicely suited to the car and it never feels under-powered. The seats are also very comfortable, front and back. The resolution of the 5" audio display/back-up camera is a little low, but it's about the only gripe I have about the car. We also have a Subaru Forester, and we find ourselves driving the Sportwagen whenever we can, even on longer trips, as it's a much more comfortable (and fun) ride. We find that the cargo area actually holds more of our stuff than does the Subie. The cargo area is deeper (though not taller) than the Forester, and 4 of our travel suitcases fit perfectly in the back. You routinely feel like you're driving a much more expensive car, and I am deeply and smugly satisfied with it. 2 year update: Still liking the car a lot. A few issues with the electronics/radio, but they were small and easily fixed. Had to replace a simple relay switch in the shifting column because it was signaling a transmission error (no issue with the transmission), but it was under warranty. There was also a recall on a seal in the fuel tank which was repaired without cost. Still a really fun car to drive. Rattles are minimal and fuel economy is as stated. I'd recommend the car for sure.
I bought it without even test driving, I had a a 2012 Golf TD six manual that I sold, and previous a A3 hatchback, this 2016 is the best ever made by VW, solid, sport and all the room for you travel ! I pass on Subaru , nothing come close for price and quality like the new 2016 Sportwagen, for the price and what the standard rear camera,XM radio, manual is a must for me, there is nothing in the market that come close. Love to drive, people that want to go from point A to B look for a Honda or Toyota, boring but good I guess, I had those before. From the unique steering wheel, dash configuration, gearbox smooth, confort seats, the cargo space ? no wagon or some SUV comes close. Torque and city driving is great, if you like to drive manual like me, need the extra cargo space, fun to drive..do not look further .
With VW's woes I decided to look at the VWs, as I always liked they're driving dynamics. I bought the VW Golf Sportwagen S, (MK7) to be a "runabout" for local driving. It was a good deal and the test drive convinced me of the fun factor. I traded in an Acura RDX with 80K miles, a car I was very happy with without exception. No regrets on the VW purchase, its fun to drive and very nimble on city streets, lots of cargo room, good fuel economy. Best part its quite and has great handling. Its now our car of choice, when we pick the keys as we go into the garage. The other option is the "Queen Mary" our 2016 Honda Pilot, also a great car, just not as agile as the VW Golf. I owned three VWs in the 1970s and 80s including a MK1 Golf (Rabbit), so its great to be back in a VW Golf.
This is my 2nd Golf wagon in a row. I owned a 2015 Golf hatchback TSI briefly last year and loved the car, but my kids got tired of doing the Jenga thing with their backpacks under the hatch, so after a family road trip in the regular hatchback I bought a GSW TDI S with a 6MT. That was a really good car. However, with time I regretted that I was a little cheap and stopped short of getting the trim with heated seats and a panoramic sunroof. I had been following the diesel scandal quite a bit being a TDI owner and had planned to hang on to that car for a while. I was on a local dealer's web site a month ago looking for a number to schedule a service appointment for my wife's 2016 Jetta and I saw the attractive pricing on the Limited Edition trim with a bunch of features I wanted for the same price I paid for my TDI S last summer. Having owned the Golf TSI, I knew the type of economy I could get from the 1.8t as well as how that engine was to drive (super smooth and responsive around town). I asked the dealer if they were interested in a TDI trade in and they were, because the inventory has dried up on that front. I found a 2016 GSW in silk blue and the rest is history. Overall, the car is fantastic. I added an aftermarket compact sub/amp, and the sound is great. I'm averaging 32 mpg per fill up. Highway economy is slightly better than EPA at around 36 to 38 depending. I do miss the range of the diesel and the slight fuel savings, and I'm not opposed to having one again. The TDI ruled highway cruising, but that is maybe 25% of my mileage. The TSI to me is superior in every other way. I enjoy having fully independent rear suspension in the TSI as well as the broader torque curve and higher horsepower. The TSI is a joy to drive and light on it's feet. I don't think there's a better value in the compact segment than the VW Golf and it's wagon or sport tuned (GTI) variants. After having all the creature comforts in the LE, the one feature that trumps all 2nd only to the rear-view camera is APPLE CARPLAY, IMO. It really makes me a safer driver and is just a seamless extension of my iPhone.