Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Arriving here in February 2010, this is the first time Volkswagen has offered the Golf wagon bodystyle in Australia. The wagon is 43cm longer than the Golf hatch, with the added length contributing to greater cargo carrying capacity.
Not so good Yes design is subjective, however we do think the Golf hatch looks sexier from the back than this slightly more ‘frumpy’ design. Whilst closely related, the Golf wagon shares its platform with the Jetta medium sedan, rather than the Golf hatch. As a result whilst the hatch comes standard with 7 airbags, the wagon makes do with 6 (missing out on the driver’s knee airbag). As the wagon is longer it is also heavier than the hatch (between 70kg & 160kg depending on variant).
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Just like the hatch, the Golf wagon leads the way in interior class. The mostly soft touch dash plastics and the cloth rather than the usual vinyl covered centre-console both contribute to the premium cabin ambience. Trip computer and semi-automatic climate control air-conditioning comes standard on even the ‘base’ grade. We really like the cup holder storage in the front centre console (it has a neat sliding arm so whether you’re drinking a small or extra large sized latte, it’ll stay firmly in place).

The rear seats are positioned higher than the two front buckets - second row visibility outwards is first class. Lots of storage compartments, including one in the roof lining, useful door bins, and a storage compartment under the rear cargo floor. Little things like standard fold-out shopping bag hooks and a clever cargo net make the rear cargo space even more useable. Significant more storage space than in the Golf hatch – just over one meter of cargo length with the rear seats up is impressive; and with the rear bench folded flat into the floor this grows to 1.7metres (to back of front seatback). The wagon can carry an extra 155 litres (or an extra 77 two litre bottles of milk?!) and that’s with the rear seats up.

Not so good We didn’t notice the extra second row legroom the wagon has over the hatch (but still wished the wagon’s rear seat was of the sliding variety - to further increase second row legroom when the cargo space is not needed and vice versa). The longer body also emits a little more road noise into the cabin (a trait all wagons must live with).
Performance

Performance

Good Excellent new Petrol engines are high-tech smaller displacement units using Turbochargers or Turbo/Supercharged combo’s and direct fuel injection to produce at least the same amount of power as competitor’s larger (and thirstier) offerings. On the Diesel front, the more powerful 103TDI (over the entry level 77TDI) produces a big 320Nm of torque, however even the 77TDI with 250Nm is sufficient for 21st century motoring.
Not so good The entry level petrol powered 90TSI grade and the diesel 77TDI are most affected by the heavier kerbweight of the wagon over the hatch bodystyle, however in the real world we could still easily live with both.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good It drives very similar to a Golf hatch (which is very good thing indeed).
Not so good If we’re being really picky, the extra weight and longer rear overhang does slightly reduce the Golf’s handling prowess (but not by much). The wagon is also 4.5 cm higher so the slight shift upwards in the centre of gravity would also play a part (however it’s much lower than an SUV – and it’s handling is superior too).
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good Competitive pricing (across most variants the wagon costs $2,000 more than the equivalent Golf hatch); four different engines to choose from and two levels of trim. Six airbags as standard on all grades as well as Electronic Stability Control.
Not so good Unfortunately for hot hatch fans who need a bit more Golf than the smaller hatch, the iconic GTI variant isn’t offered in the wagon bodystyle.