2015

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

We're already in love with the Volkswagen Golf -- it's our top-rated small car. But does adding extra cargo space and a diesel engine make a good thing better? VW is the only remaining mass-market European car company here and the SportWagen is one of the very few affordable station wagons that hasn't been converted into an ersatz SUV.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

We're already in love with the Volkswagen Golf -- it's our top-rated small car. But does adding extra cargo space and a diesel engine make a good thing better?

VW is the only remaining mass-market European car company here and the SportWagen is one of the very few affordable station wagons that hasn't been converted into an ersatz SUV. Add in the optional diesel engine (available with a manual transmission!) and this Golf checks all of the boxes for Niche Car Bingo.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (150 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Sun roof leaked water. It cost about $900.00 to fix. Also, last year's survey would not allow me to enter the correct year for this car, even after multiple attempts. It is a 2011 VW diesel Golf SportWagen, not 2015"

James R., ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"After a lot rain, notice there is a leak in the rear compartment , the car it's a Wagon, there is water in the spare tire compartment, took to the dealer and there is a Recall for this problem."

Jefferson P., FL (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Water from the sunroof leaked into the cabin, damaging the rough liner. A recall has been issued by VW regarding the sunroof drain"

Anonymous, NH (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Exterior gutter clogged with tree debris and leaked into car interior, damaging headliner. Dealer cleaned out gutter. Recent recall for this problem"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"the lines that drain water from the sun (or "moon") roof become easily clogged with debris (leaves, etc). This back sup the drainage system, resulting in water leaking into the roof/lights in front and back of the car"

Anonymous, VT (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"sunroof drains clogged, causing overflow and a leak. repair was covered under a recall by VW"

Anonymous, (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Panoramic sun roof leak due to clogged drain hoses. Fill the spare tire well with water. 1 day repair that required removing the headliner. This arose from the car being left untouched during the diesel settlement...the dealer was not allowed to sell it until the settlement was reached/"

Thomas M., CA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Panoramic roof leaking."

Anonymous, FL (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"same problem as for "Leak" category: sunroof drains fails causing a seal failure in ceiling - repair was covered under a recall of the roof drains by VW"

Anonymous, (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Sunroof/moonroof leak into the headliner in the cargo area"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Wind noise

"It is a noisy car on the highway, even without the roof rack. Squeaks and rattles come and go. And the horn is very crude - too loud with no finesse to the control"

James R., ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Well, I think we all know what the problem with the TDI's was vis a vis emissions"

Anonymous, BC (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Recall to fix excess emissions on TDI models"

-M L., ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"It is one of the TDI diesels under recall"

Anonymous, MO (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Fraudulent emission control on TDI - otherwise excellent car, will be getting the fix and keeping as mileage is amazing"

Anonymous, NS (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The diesel exhaust fluid system developed a leak that caused a check engine light. The car was fine to drive and when I took it in for the repair(under warranty due to the diesel emissions scandal) it took about a week to finish"

Travis S., TX (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"I experienced no problems but got a recall to bring in to be fixed"

Cary Z., CA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel injection system

"Fuel Injection component(s) had to be replaced after 45000, under warranty"

Jaye S., ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel pump

"High Pressure fuel pump disintegrated. Metal shards contaminated the entire fuel system. In tank sending unit, fuel lines, fuel filter, filter housing, injectors all replaced under warranty. VW took 5 weeks to complete the repairs. They compensated be for my car rental for the first 3 weeks and provided a loaner for the remainder. The breakdown occurred 200 miles away from home"

Andrew H., NH (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"The engine warning light came on and a sulfur smell was present after driving. VW determining the O2 sensor was failing and it was fixed free of charge, although car was past warranty."

Adam S., WA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Tail light stopped functioning due to an electrical connection issue. Light was replaced earlier due to a different issue. VW dealer fixed at no charge."

Anonymous, WA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"Bulbs burn out"

Anonymous, AB (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Heated or cooled seats

"Wouldn't turn on after seat adjustment. Later discovered a pinched wire."

Anonymous, IL (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Keyless entry

"The Keyless entry FOB's drain the battery within 6 months, and everyone at the dealership and VW knows this. I am on my 3 set (Pair) after 18 months"

Jaye S., ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Touching the door handle either to lock or unlock the door. It uses a sensor in the door handle. The sensor failed and was replaced. The key fob and the key continued to work."

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"Everything goes blank so navigation doesn't work, back up camera doesn't work, neither does Bluetooth"

Rosanna D., BC (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"While driving, the display screen goes blank. Have to turn off car and turn back on for it to come on"

Anonymous, NC (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Car interface doesn't seem to recognize or respond sometimes to my iPhone music folder. Not sure if it's due to the phone or the infotainment system"

Rosanna D., BC (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"The bluetooth module failed and needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Improperly aligned by dealer"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Shocks or struts

"Front tire ware required replacement of the struts"

Anonymous, NJ (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Springs or torsion bars

"Defective from factory. A known problem"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Bilateral rear coil springs broke and were not under warranty."

Anonymous, (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"engine oil cooler exchange had to be replaced"

Anonymous, AE (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Water pump

"I took delivery on the certified preowned car on 4/13/18. The following week the engine light went on. so I took it to the dealer who ordered the secondary coolant pump. They gave me a ride home (32miles). When the repair was done they came and picked me up"

Guy U., CT (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Needed new water pump to cure coolant leak"

Anonymous, WA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"compressor failed, replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"AC stopped working, dealer diagnosed compressor failure with particles in expansion valve. Most parts were replaced and system flushed. Repair was under warranty. Seems to be ok"

R R., NJ (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Refrigerant leaks

"shrader valve was leaking."

Ian M., BC (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"When driven for extended period, high oil level warning alert even when oil level is in normal range. Various engine warnings that cannot be replicated when servicing."

Anonymous, (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Oil leaks

"Oil leak in the turbo. Dealership kept it for a week because the part they originally ordered to replace also leaked. Replaced turbo in full, under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"While driving, an error code appeared to shift the car into park"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rough shifting

"when automatic transmission shift gears the car rocks some for unsmooth shifting"

Anonymous, MA (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Parking brake

"The release button on parking break handle broke off. This button was held to the handle by a small plastic tab on a on a linkage to the ratchet mechanism. The release button also retained the spring that pulled tension to activate the ratchet. When the small tab on the linkage broke, the the ratchet no longer engages automatically. To operate the parking break, the linkage must be pulled manually to set the break. VW offers no way to replace the broken plastic linkage, only the ENTIRE PARKING BRAKE LEVER for several hundred dollars."

Anonymous, NH (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Rotors

"Rotors were worn out with little wear showing on brake pads. Had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NY (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Had to replace a clamp that was the cause of an exhaust leak. Cost about $150 for the part and the labour, which I found excessive for a clamp replacement"

Anonymous, NS (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

"Turbo waste gate actuator failed"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"took the car to the dealer to see what's wrong with the brakes, the writer notice there the clutch there is an problem, told them couple days ago the car won't change speed, or shift , had to stop and put the car in park and shut off and start the car again, so the transmission start to working again. But they said replaced the clutch, but never they touched, I put the car in a car lift in my repair shop because the hurricane last year and I removed the lower panel under the engine to see if there is not a leak, notice they never touch in the transmission. The bolts around the tranny was the same way came of the factory. Went to this dealer and they told me they did the job, told them is a BS, took the car to another dealer and they said the same I was suspected, they never touched the tranny. Called VW about this matter and the didn't care about it. So the clutch was never replaced. My golf have a GSD transmission and some times I felt something wrong. The dealer suppose fix my car is here in south Florida, Coconut Creek , Gunther VW ."

Jefferson P., FL (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

"The seals in the sunroof leaked. This was fixed under warranty without issue"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8T 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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