GREEN CHOICE
2017
GREEN CHOICE

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

The Golf SportWagen offers a 170-hp, 1.8 liter gas-turbo engine with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. In our tests of the Golf with the 1.8-liter engine and automatic, we got 28 mpg overall. The SportWagen is longer and wider than previous VW wagons and has as much cargo space as most small SUVs. It is available with features such as the Advanced Front-lighting System and Park Distance Control.

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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
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.
NA
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.
NA
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).
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).

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.
Model Summary
The Golf SportWagen offers a 170-hp, 1.8 liter gas-turbo engine with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. In our tests of the Golf with the 1.8-liter engine and automatic, we got 28 mpg overall. The SportWagen is longer and wider than previous VW wagons and has as much cargo space as most small SUVs. It is available with features such as the Advanced Front-lighting System and Park Distance Control. A small-SUV alternative named the Alltrack has standard all-wheel drive and slightly increased ground clearance. But despite the rugged posturing, the Alltrack truly triumphs on the road. Sharp steering and quick reflexes make it fun to drive.
Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD, 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)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 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

"Water pump started leaking coolant. It's a common issue on MK7 Golf vehicles. It was quite expensive because of water pump bousing has to be replaced along with the water pump."

Anonymous, IL (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Water gets inside my car. It has ruined books and papers that were in my car. This also happened with my 2013 Volkswagon and my earlier one. I was forced to buy this one in a color I don't like because it was the only one available after the 2013 car had to be turned in because of the diesel scandal which I have not gotten over. The main problem with the leak is in the winter when I can't see out of the windows. The frost and clouding of the windshield is in the inside. They tell me to bring it in and I would but they have discontinued the ride home because of covid-19. And I don't want to sit there all day, even if I could."

Anonymous, IL (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"rain water leaking from sunroof impacted dashboard and electronic systems, floor carpeting. Resolved under warranty"

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Water infiltration in lights below bumper. Lights are fogged up, full of moisture"

Anonymous, IN (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Major roof leaks. Car out of service 30 plus days. Residual problem caused instrument panel to fail nine months later due to instrument panel harness getting wet."

Frank G., NC (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"I'm not sure about this. But somehow the water has to enter the car. Yesterday drops fell on my lap. This fogging and freezing could cause an accident because its hard to get the inside ice off. Scraper doesn't work well inside."

Anonymous, IL (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Android Auto

"It worked at first, though it was always multiple steps to get it operating as expected. Now it doesn't work at all for my Moto X4 phone. I was able to connect an old off plan phone."

Anonymous, WI (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Have had numerous issues with blank screen. Dealership has done replacement of the unit and several updates. I’m leasing this vehicle and would never buy this particular vehicle. Generally enjoy driving this car."

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Just recently, the screen would not come on when the car was started. It occurred four times on that day, with one instance where it came on. The next day and subsequently it worked fine. Seems to have resolved itself I hope."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Hardware replacement

"On two occasions I have had the screen go blank and the navigation system become inoperable. On the first occasion the entire infotainment system had to be replaced. Most recently (this week) the problem was corrected with a software update and instructions about how to disconnect my iPhone. I must go to "Systems" on the phone and "eject" the phone from the car cable before unplugging it. I had not been instructed to do so previously. The service agent implied that it was my error in disconnecting the phone from the cable that had caused the failure, even though I have disconnected the phone without "ejecting" it since I started driving the car. I wonder if my failure to "eject" the phone was really the cause of the problem."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Radio

"Whole infotainment system stopped working, affecting entertainment, information and driving assistance functions"

Anonymous, QC (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Same problem. Really, how many time are you going to ask the same question?"

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Paint chip where two body panels meet. Not caused by impact or scratch"

Anonymous, IN (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Rust

"Paint delamination and rust on the driver's side door sill."

Anonymous, (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

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

Shocks or struts

"Front struts made a rattle noise over certain road bumps. Warranty replacement solved rattle. Love power of turbo engine. DSG transmission is an engineering marvel. Better MPG than previous Golf."

Anonymous, CO (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wheel bearings

"Repair was on the right front and was done under manufacturer warranty."

Anonymous, AL (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SEL 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

Calipers

"One rear caliper seized causing premature wear of pads, rotor. Resolved under warranty."

Anonymous, ON (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Pulsation or vibration

"Brakes made an intermittent noise before I purchased car. Salesman said this was because it had been sitting in the rain (plausible). But noise did not stop after quite a bit of driving. On first visit to dealer, the completely ignored this problem. On second visit, they actually inspected the brakes and found warped rotors, which were replaced."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, WI (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 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

Heater system

"Heater blew cold air long after vehicle reached operating temperature. Air conditioner blew coolish, not cold, air. Dealer at first said system was operating properly, but on second visit replaced actuator, which has apparently fixed problem."

Anonymous, MD (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE 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

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Dealership discovered metal flakes in the oil. Check engine light illuminated and would not turn off."

Anonymous, MA (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"I have a message that says Front assist not available. The front sensor has been bumped - probably in on-street parking - and is out of alignment. The dealer says it is behind the front license plate. Repair is not covered under warranty. To repair the problem requires removing the front bumper and recalibrating the sensor at a cost of $675! How stupid of VW to put a sensor in a place where bad parking behavior by others can put it out of alignment!"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

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

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Minor

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

Drive System

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

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.

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.

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.

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