The standard 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injected gasoline four—still the pick for those who are more focused on sticker price—will get a choice between a five-speed manual and a conventional six-speed automatic. And because its highway fuel economy might be improved by as much as 17 percent over the outgoing five-cylinder engine, it might prove a more popular choice.
All-wheel-drive part is what still makes it a concept...for now
As for all-wheel drive, well, that's part of the reason why the Golf SportWagen is being shown at New York as a concept. While there's no chance we'll see a '4Motion' all-wheel-drive version of the SportWagen at launch, there's a reasonable possibility that Volkswagen's Puebla plant, where these models will be assembled for the U.S., could be given that build option in the not-too-distant future.
“We see this as a business opportunity in something that gets great mileage and is all-wheel drive,” said Volkswagen spokesman Mark Gillies, pointing to the success of Subaru, to VW's generally superior mileage numbers, and to increased awareness about all-wheel drive due to the daunting road and weather conditions in the Midwest and Northeast this winter.
Elsewhere on the safety front, the SportWagen has a structure that provides enhanced crash protection while being lighter than before—through the use of more high- and ultra-high-strength steels. The Golf SportWagen will offer an Automatic Post-Collision Brakiong System that can automatically engage the brakes after the car is involved in a collision, to help avoid a secondary collision.
Features available on the Golf SportWagen will include a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control, a 12-way power driver's seat, Park Distance Control, and bi-xenon headlamps with Advanced Front Lighting and LED running lamps.
Golf or Jetta, it's still a great alternative to a thirstier crossover ute
Whether badged as a Golf or a Jetta, it's unlikely to make much of a difference at the dealership. The equity is in the SportWagen name itself; so with the brand eager to bring the Golf name back to stature with Americans, we see it as a move that will restore a little more luster for that nameplate in the U.S., after the brand shied away from using it some years ago (with Rabbit, and dropping the Golf name from GTI).
Look for more details on the 2015 or 2016 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen, including pricing and full specifications, later in the year.