Redesigned VW Golf SportWagen Makes American Debut At NY Show

April 11, 2014
If you want a sporty European wagon that doesn't have a luxury-level price tag—or otherwise, one that hasn't been been raised and made rugged for the trail—the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen has been the one and only sport wagon for the mainstream U.S. market for several years now.

The current SportWagen's success in the U.S. remains unique and unrivaled. And now this next week, at the New York Auto Show press days, Volkswagen has released pictures and information teasing that it will be revealing the completely redesigned version of the SportWagen to the U.S. for the first time.

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Technically the Golf SportWagen, as it's being shown at New York—and how it will be badged when it goes on sale in the first quarter of next year—is a concept. Volkswagen hasn't yet announced whether it will arrive for the 2015 or 2016 model year, and official features and the bulk of U.S. specs aren't expected for a few months. But visually, the Golf SportWagen is virtually identical to the production global Golf SportWagen, called the Golf Variant, that was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show last month.

VW hasn't released full U.S. specifications for the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, but it's confirmed that it will follow the design of the model already introduced for the European market—lighter, bigger, and roomier, as well as more powerful and fuel-efficient, than its predecessor. Overall length is up 1.1 inches, while it's nearly an inch wider and nearly an inch lower altogether, which contributes to this model's vast reduction in aerodynamic drag.

Similar size, quite different profile

While the footprint isn't much different than before, the profile is. Built on Volkswagen's new global MQB architecture, the new SportWagen has front wheels that have been pushed forward nearly two inches, leading to a “cab backward” look, and proportions more like those of rear-drive sport wagons. Yet compared to the current model, the new Golf SportWagen has slightly more rear legroom and shoulder room, as well as more headroom all around. In back, the cargo-floor load height is lower than before as well; and compared to the outgoing Jetta SportWagen, the Golf SportWagen offers almost ten percent more cargo space with the seats folded.

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