2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
MSRP range
$21,580 - $29,970
2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen


  • Holds almost as much cargo as many compact crossovers
  • Interior features quality design and materials
  • Turbo four-cylinder engine delivers high fuel economy
  • Now offers optional all-wheel drive


  • Automatic transmission sometimes slow to shift in low-speed driving
  • Touchscreen's simple graphics look behind the times
  • Relatively snug backseat
Volkswagen Golf SportWagen years

Which Golf SportWagen does Edmunds recommend?

The base model comes well-equipped, and it's the only trim that offers all-wheel drive. But unless you need AWD for wet-weather motoring, we recommend an SE with the Driver Assistance package. You get a sunroof, power imitation-leather seats, premium audio, adaptive cruise and driver safety aids. (And if you really need AWD, consider the better equipped Golf Alltrack wagon.) You can also get the SportWagen with a manual transmission, good news for those who enjoy shifting their own gears. The bad news? It's only available on the base S trim and only with front-wheel drive.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Looking for something that can haul a bunch of things but don't want a crossover SUV? You'll probably like the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. It offers familiar Golf goodness, such as a premium cabin and high fuel economy, but with a cavernous cargo space.

The formula is simple: Turn the Golf into a wagon by adding a foot of length to the Golf hatchback's cargo area and get more space in return. The result is 66.5 cubic feet of space to carry stuff when you fold the rear seats, which is the kind of space typically offered by compact crossover SUVs (the Ford Escape, for example, offers 68.1 cubic feet). Factor in the Golf's efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine, available all-wheel drive (a new addition this year) and premium interior, and you've got an excellent choice for the crossover-averse or anyone who just prefers the sleeker look of a wagon.

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen configurations

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen comes in three trim levels: S, SE, and SEL. All versions have a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 199 pound-feet of torque). On the S, you can get either a six-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission (184 lb-ft of torque with the manual). Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive (called 4Motion) is optional for the S trim level. Note that the all-wheel-drive models come with a different automatic transmission, a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox called DSG in Volkswagen-speak.

Standard feature highlights include 15-inch alloy wheels, 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 all-wheel-drive S trim is the same but has 16-inch wheels and heated front seats.

Moving up to the SE gets you automatic headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, heated windshield washer nozzles, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, imitation-leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and a Fender Premium audio system (adds a subwoofer and upgraded sound). The SE offers an optional Driver Assistance package, which is a good idea to get if safety is a priority for you. It bundles adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The top-level SEL builds on SE features with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, a navigation system and the features from the SE's Driver Assistance package. The SEL's optional Driver Assistance and Lighting package adds adaptive xenon headlights that swivel in the direction of the car's turn, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and an automated parking system (parallel and perpendicular parking assist).


With 170 horsepower, the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine should prove potent enough for most drivers. It'll have to because it's the only choice. Despite the vehicle's name, there's not much "sport" to the car's handling abilities.


The extra length and weight make it feel less urgent than a regular Golf hatchback when accelerating around town, but it's a subtle difference.


The brake pedal has an uncharacteristically firm feel to it (for a VW), which is a good thing. Braking performance is predictable at all speeds.


For the most part, the SportWagen feels responsive from the helm. It doesn't give you a particularly great sense of the road exactly, but most drivers should find it perfectly adequate.


We've found the SportWagen delivers only modest handling capability when you're driving around turns. All-wheel drive should come in handy on the rain-soaked pavement, but don't expect it to liven up the SportWagen's ability on a dry, winding country road.


The automatic transmission hampers drivability. You'll often notice small lurches when you accelerate from a stop or when you need a quick change in speed. You either need to let it creep slowly or stomp the gas to subvert this behavior.


The SportWagen is a Golf through and through, which means impressive seat and ergonomic comfort all around. The central control panel is angled toward the driver for easier access.

Seat comfort

The standard front seats should provide firm support over short and long distances. Both front seats are height-adjustable. There is generous rear seat space, but low cushions mean less thigh support for taller passengers.

Ride comfort

Ruts and potholes are smoothed over by compliant suspension tuning. The SportWagen is composed on the highway, too.

Noise & vibration

Some road noise is noticeable but not intrusive. Engine noise is prominent under heavy acceleration, but more performance-minded drivers will probably like its burly sound.

Climate control

You'll need to step up to the SEL model to get dual-zone climate control with automatic air-conditioning. It's not a deal-breaker, but other automakers offer this creature comfort on lesser trim levels.


A large greenhouse with ample glass and a simple, sensible control layout make the SportWagen's cabin a pleasant, user-friendly environment. Premium materials and a conservative design make this wagon seem more entry-luxury than economy compact.

Ease of use

The controls are well placed and labeled for ease of use, and the gauges are straightforward and very easy to read. Nothing fancy, just strong fundamentals.

Getting in/getting out

Front passengers will have no complaints, but those in back might have something to carp about. The rear doors have a relatively narrow opening, and if the front seat is pushed back for long legs, there's not much room for the rear passenger to squeeze behind.

Driving position

Everything falls readily to hand in the SportWagen, which is unsurprising because it's basically the same praiseworthy interior you'll find in an ordinary Golf. The wheel telescoping range is very generous for taller drivers, as is the seat-height range.


Seating in the rear is a bit lacking compared to the backseats of some roomy small crossovers or a bigger wagon such as the Subaru Outback. But there is plenty of space for the front passengers.


All-around visibility is excellent thanks to narrow roof pillars. Backing into a spot is easy enough that you won't need to rely on the standard rearview camera — but it's nice to have anyway.


Increased cargo capacity and utility are arguably the key reason to buy the SportWagen over the Golf hatchback. With the rear seats folded, the cargo area is cavernous. Standard silver roof rails sweeten the deal for outdoor enthusiasts.

Small-item storage

To VW's credit, the flip-door ashtray area in front of the shift lever has been converted into a phone shelf with a USB port and auxiliary jack — it's super-convenient for stashing and connecting your phone. Otherwise, though, the center console offers only two cupholders and a shallow armrest bin.

Cargo space

Open the rear hatch and you've got 30.4 cubic feet of space behind the upright rear seats to work with, which is enough for the typical load of luggage, home goods and groceries. Dropping the rear seats yields 66.5 cubic feet, which is similar to what you get from a lot of small crossovers.


If the SportWagen has a clear weak spot, tech is it. The central touchscreen's graphics are surprisingly rudimentary for this day and age, and the navigation voice is robotic. On the bright side, the voice-control system is well executed.

Audio & navigation

The standard audio system isn't bad, and the Fender Premium upgrade adds a subwoofer. Audiophiles will like lossless file playback capability. Only the SEL model offers navigation, which is a mixed bag in our experience. The low-resolution graphics are disappointing.

Smartphone integration

Sophisticated smartphone capability is anchored by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Mirrors the smartphone interface and makes available commonly used apps such as Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn internet radio.

Driver aids

The optional Driver Assistance package for the SE trim adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous braking, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. A similar package for the SEL adds parking sensors, automated parking and lane keeping assist.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.

Overall Consumer Rating
4.08 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

TSI SE a good replacement for the TDI Sportwagen
chuck maricle,11/06/2016
Struggling like many TDI owners for the "perfect replacement" for the perfect car, my 2011 VW TDI Sportwagen 6-speed, the 2017 Golf Sportwagen SE TSI exceeds my expectations. It doesn't pull "off the line" line the diesel and unfortunately VW does not have a 6-speed in the SE line (which is sad). The transmission also seems to hunt at low speed but it is not bothersome. At 65mph on a trip I have averaged 40-41mpg and at 75mph 37-38 range which is acceptable. The TSI engine works well at 75mph+ and is smooth at these highway speeds with peppy acceleration. That said, the improvement in technology in only six model years is astonishing and the panoramic sun roof is outstanding. VW does need to move the USB interface for the connection for the Apple CarPlay or make a notch to accomodate the USB cable when the access door is closed. I am very satisfied with the Golf Sportwagen SE and do not regret the purchase in any way. German beats Japanese any day when it comes to vehicles. 5/8/2017 I have 8500 miles on the car now and it has been flawless. The last software update seemed to have corrected a few issues with the Apple CarPlay and nav map integration from the iphone (factory nav systems are a waste of money when you have the carplay app). I change the oil and rotate the tires every 5000 miles, I do not like the VW 10000 mile oil change schedule. Mileage has actually improved a bit to near 40 on the highway. I have no fit/finish issues and it has proven very comfortable on a road trip. Extremely pleased!
A good value
Wanted a replacement for our ten year old Volvo wagon which functioned as an extra car to haul stuff and for winter driving. This VW Sports Wagon is a bargain from a cost perspective and is more than adequete to meet our needs. Looked at new Volvo, BMW and even used mid size SUV but the VW delivered the most bang for the buck.
Lemon law?
So I drove my new car off the lot and it quickly developed a rattle in the dash. Brought the car in and they replaced the front axel, struts, mounts, etc. Basically the whole front end. Car drove fine for 200 miles and the rattle is back again. In my state 3 repairs for the same problem = lemon law. I suspect this will be the fate of my brand new car that I haven't even made a payment on yet and is only 1 week old! Consumer reports just rated this car as poor for reliability. If they had released their rankings 2 weeks earlier I probably would have looked elsewhere for a car.
The 2017 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI - It's a winner!!
ed barry,01/07/2017
The VW Golf Sportwagen TSI is a versatile vehicle - offers the space of a station wagon and the driving experience of a car. The TSI gasoline turbo charged engine provides very good power, acceleration, and gas mileage. The SE model is loaded with great features and upgrades. It is larger than the previous Jetta Sportwagen. A wonderful vehicle for local driving, shopping, vacations and carrying your dog. Be sure to check it out at your local VW dealer.
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Features & Specs

25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
25 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
See all 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Golf SportWagen safety features:

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
Applies the brakes immediately after a collision to stop movement and avoid a secondary impact.
Family Guardian
Enables speed and boundary alerts for new drivers. A component of the Car-Net Security & Service.
Forward Collision Warning
Issues visual and aural alerts if a collision seems likely. Applies brakes autonomously if necessary to mitigate impact.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover13.4%

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More about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Overview

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen is offered in the following submodels: Golf SportWagen Wagon. Available styles include TSI SE 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TSI S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), TSI S 4Motion 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), TSI S 4Motion 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M), TSI S 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and TSI SEL 4dr Wagon (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A).

What do people think of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Golf SportWagen 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Golf SportWagen.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Golf SportWagen featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagens are available in my area?

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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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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