2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI: the last of its kind

golf tdi

During the disco era, station wagons were parked in many suburban driveways, giving families additional utility and cargo space for flexible living. Four decades later, the crossover SUV has assumed this role, and it is basically the same thing as a station wagon but with a taller ride height and available all-wheel drive.

For most buyers today, the only choice in a modern, traditional station wagon is the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen. It used to be called the Jetta SportWagen, but with a redesign for 2015, this model adopts the Golf nameplate.

Available with a choice between two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, one burning gasoline and one burning diesel, and with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Golf SportWagen comes in S, SE, and SEL trim levels. Prices start at $22,215 for the 1.8T S model and rise to $33,955 for the TDI SEL model with all of the extras.

That’s pretty reasonable for a compact wagon, one providing comfortable space for four people and up to 30.4 cu.-ft. of cargo. Three children will fit across the back seat, as long as one of them doesn’t require a safety or booster seat, and if you need to maximize space, the Golf SportWagen can tackle up to 66.5 cu.-ft. of cargo with the rear seats folded down.

With the SportWagen TDI, you’re paying a $2,200 premium to obtain the turbo-diesel engine, which is expected to return 35 mpg in combined driving, regardless of transmission choice. Compared to the SportWagen 1.8T, that represents six extra miles of travel for every gallon of gas pumped, or 79.2 extra miles of travel with every tank of fuel. The TDI model’s improved fuel economy eventually pays for the price premium.

In the meantime, the Golf SportWagen is the last remaining affordable station wagon that you can buy.