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Driving Notes

2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI

The Golf SportWagen is replacing the Jetta SportWagen.

July 17, 2015, by Paul Clinton - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Volkswagen's 2015 Golf SportWagen TDI is a powerhouse highway miler with enough comfort features for fleet drivers delivering lab samples or other low-profile cargo.

The Golf SportWagen is replacing the 2014 Jetta SportWagen. The vehicle is based on the same MQB platform VW used for its 2015 Golf redesign, while the Jetta continues using the older PQ35 platform.

The 2015 SportWagen TDI provides plenty of performance upgrades from the outgoing Jetta-based TDI model, including more horsepower (150 to 140) and a nearly 8 percent improvement in highway mpg. The new dimensions remain similar, as the vehicle is now only 0.2 inches longer, 0.7 inches wider, and 1.6 inches shorter.

The new platform provides a fluid ride. The Sportwagen is light on its feet with a tight suspension that gives it sure-footedness. We drove it without cargo.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Last year, we were impressed with Passat TDI, which provides nearly 700 miles of range on one tank. But if you're looking to haul light cargo, the Golf SportWagen TDI may be a better choice. You get 30.4 cubic-feet behind the rear seat, and if you fold down the seats, the hauling capability more than doubles. VW added 1.7 cubic-feet of cargo volume.

The SportWagen provides impressive fuel economy and a range of about 450 miles per 13.2-gallon tank, depending on how you drive it. As a means of comparison, I usually drive a gasoline entry-luxury sedan with a 14-gallon tank. When driving that car to maximize fuel economy, I can log nearly 23 mpg in city and highway driving with a range of about 320 miles.

The SportWagen gets an EPA-rated 42 mpg highway (a number that's easily achievable) and 31 mpg in the city. 

Our SportWagen SEL's near-luxury cockpit provided a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats, and Fender premium audio system. The steering wheel controls for cruiser control and audio volume were easily identifiable so you could glance down to set cruise control and return your eyes to the road.

While our test model would sell for $34,620, the SEL trim level starts at $31,445.

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Author Bio

Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Chris Wolski

Managing Editor

Chris works on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Work Truck, and Green Fleet. He edits the Global Fleet Management eNewsletter.

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, Vehicle Remarketing, and Work Truck. He has covered police vehicles for Police Magazine.

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Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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