Flash Drive

2019 VW Golf SportWagen

Model Tested: 2019 VW Golf SportWagen 1.4T S

The 2019 VW Golf SportWagen is a handsome compact that’s available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.

Engine:1.4-liter turbocharged I-4, 147-horsepower 184 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 29-mpg city, 37-mpg highway, 32-mpg combined

Base Price: $21,895

As Tested: $23,240


Semi-sporty handling

Fun to drive

Nimble in traffic

Smooth 6-speed manual transmission and clutch

The Golf is available in several iterations including the Alltrack, which features 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

6-speed adds sportiness and maximizes engine power

Hill Hold Control

Electronic differential lock

Frugal: our best mileage was 34.7-mpg

Ample safety features


Super stretch-out legroom for driver

Even more legroom for front passenger

I had to move seat up to effectively use clutch

Flat bottom, medium thickness, slightly contoured leather steering wheel

Ample, efficient auxiliary controls

Large range tilt/telescopic steering column

Front seat room and comfort are excellent, but with some compromise for rear seat passengers.

Soft headrests

Supportive, comfortable front seats with OK side bolsters

Adjustable height front shoulder harnesses

Tall, wide rear floor hump affects middle seating position

Rear seat legroom tight even with fronts moved up considerably

Soft, wide rear armrest with cupholders

Excellent rear headroom

Good quality interior materials


Big, wide rear hatch

A big, wide hatch provides easy access to a good sized flat cargo deck.

Ample clearance for tall people

Minimal lift-over (about 1-inch)

Flat cargo deck

Rain sensing wipers

Split, folding rear seats have noticeable slope

Big front door bins

Medium rear door bins

Small console bin

Large glovebox, but no lock

Medium size hard plastic visors

Two seatback pouches

Solid build quality; solid door shut

WOW Factors:

Affordably priced, a strong value proposition

The 2019 VW Golf SportWagen is a great road car. It’s especially fun to drive with the 6-speed manual transmission.

Thrifty fuel economy

Extra sportiness with 6-speed manual transmission

Handsome styling

Compact exterior size and versatile interior


Front-wheel-drive is OK, but AWD is better

Bottom Line:

The 2019 VW Golf SportWagen is a versatile, handsome, semi-sporty, nice size wagon/hatchback that provides lots of practicality without the bulk (and fuel economy penalties) of an SUV. The Golf is available with AWD for people who live in snowy areas or who like winter sports.