The American-market Mark7 2015 Golf line is only about three years late, but finally looks like it is not missing some critical members this time.
Scratch that: the Golf Plus and Golf Sportvan are still nowhere to be found, along with the long-promised/never-delivered e-Golf.
The e-Golf is now on sale only in Europe, and has been teased in the US since at least 2008.
As many VW people know very well, the GTI has always been the star pupil of the group — both due to its performance and it vastly superior build quality and materials versus the Pueblo-built models.
VW may be shuffling things around on production — that remains to be seen. But you have been warned: the cars built in Mexico are some of the least reliable and most-fault-prone German machines ever made.
That being said, the Golf SportWagen is almost sure to be a vastly improved car versus the stale, underpowered, under-equipped, trouble-prone and over-priced current lineup.
But with AWD and TDI comes a steep expected price. The interior of this Golf SportWagen has us projecting a base price of about $29,000, and an out-the-door price of nearly $36,000 as equipped. That is $10,000 more for than what it is worth, so VW still has much to “figure out” if they want to sell more cars here.
Yet another damning observation? It does not look new today, and will definitely not feel new when it goes on sale some time…. wait for it… in calendar 2015.
Finally, this charade of effort called the Golf SportWagen will debut in New York as a “Concept” only.
Ridiculous and deserving ridicule, to be sure.
All-wheel-drive TDI® Clean Diesel concept version of VW’s popular SportWagen model previews a bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen
Thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and 1.8-liter turbocharged Golf SportWagen models will be offered
Uses the new MQB modular architecture, like the 2015 Golf and Golf GTI
Golf SportWagen will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015
New SportWagen model is estimated to have fuel economy improvements of up to 17 percent
New Golf SportWagen offers increased cargo volume, matching compact SUVs for size and versatility
Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. will debut a concept version of the latest SportWagen model that features a 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system and the new EA288 TD®I Clean Diesel engine at the New York Auto Show. The concept previews the all-new Golf SportWagen that goes on sale in early 2015. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the Golf SportWagen will continue the trend introduced by the seventh generation Golf whereby it is lighter, bigger, roomier, more fuel efficient and more powerful than the outgoing SportWagen model.
Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new SportWagen bodyshell is lighter than the current Jetta SportWagen and offers an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has optimized components—such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture —to help save weight.
The Golf SportWagen is 1.1 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider than the current SportWagen model. It is also 0.9 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car’s proportions: the CdA number has been reduced by almost 10 percent compared with the previous generation. The interior package has been optimized to give more rear-seat leg- and shoulder room. Although the new SportWagen’s overall height was lowered by nearly an inch, front and rear headroom has been improved by 0.4 inches.
The SportWagen has long been a top choice for customers who want a car that’s fun to drive and offers a large cargo area that is truly versatile. This new SportWagen is even more appealing, offering nearly 10 percent more cargo room with the rear seats folded than the outgoing model. Essentially, the Golf SportWagen provides a sportier alternative to compact SUVs.
The new SportWagen will be offered with two powertrains. The Golf SportWagen will be powered by a 170 horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, mated to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. These powertrains offer manufacturer highway fuel economy that’s improved by as much as 17 percent compared to the 2.5-liter Jetta SportWagen.
The TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by the new EA288 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine that makes150 horsepower, an improvement of 10 hp over the current SportWagen model. The TDI model will have a choice of six-speed manual or DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new SportWagen, using the principles of Volkswagen’s Design DNA. Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedals, the car’s proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current SportWagen design. This has created what Bischoff calls “‘a cab backward impression’. That’s what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the hood is long and the passenger compartment is a long way towards the back.”
Compared with the previous generation SportWagen, the new car’s front end looks completely different, thanks to the way that the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. This new SportWagen features more angular horizontal design cues, with a slender radiator grille.
At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical SportWagen features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car.
Along the lines of the new Golf 7, the SportWagen will bring a number of available new features to market including a panoramic sunroof, 12-way power driver’s seat, Climatronic® automatic climate control, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and the Advanced Front-lighting System, Park Distance Control, and available 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
In addition, the new SportWagen features a new standard driver assistance system called the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This system automatically engages the vehicle’s brakes after it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce secondary collisions and to help bring the vehicle to a stop. The system is triggered when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision and it is limited to a maximum retardation rate of 0.6g by the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) unit. The driver can effectively override the system at any time; for example, it is disabled if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates braking at a higher rate than 0.6g.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 640 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or media.vw.com to learn more.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.