2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept
Volkswagen appears to be listening to the tiny, but obnoxiously loud, voices of the forum goers and automotive journalists. At this year’s New York Auto Show, they displayed this shiny new Golf SportWagen Concept with a new 2.0-liter TDI engine, three pedals and 4Motion AWD.
This latest machine may have “concept” in its name, but there is very little about this car that won’t make it to production. Volkswagen has already stated it will be coming to U.S. shores as a replacement for the near ancient Jetta SportWagen. The new Golf SportWagen will provide a modern model for U.S. buyers that is underpinned by the new MQB architecture (the current Jetta SportWagen is actually still a fifth-gen car underneath).
VW has also confirmed the powertrain options will include the new 1.8-liter turbo gasoline engine and the updated 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Shifting will be accomplished by either a traditional manual transmission or a choice of automatics. What is not confirmed, and what makes this car a “concept” is that sweet 4Motion all-wheel drive system like you get in the Golf R. VW is stating that it may come, but no firm plans have been made yet.
Start those forum threads now, kids.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept.
2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept
Horsepower @ RPM:150
0-60 time:8 sec.
Top Speed:125 mph
Some of the more intelligent design features include the expansive slabs of glass and thinner C and D pillars to improve visibility.
Anyone making a passing glance may not immediately notice that the Golf SportWagen is an all-new car, but there are a few subtle details that make all the difference. Some of the more intelligent design features include the expansive slabs of glass and thinner C and D pillars to improve visibility. Blind Spots can be a major issue in wagons, and it’s nice to see VW take this into account.
Thankfully, Volkswagen is adding some nice new options to the car like a huge panoramic sunroof, and the sweet Bi-Xenon headlamps with the Advanced Front-lighting System are returning. The AFS lights are the ones that turn the headlamps when you turn the steering wheel.
2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept - Exterior Dimensions
|Cargo area||41.5 inches|
VW claims that headroom, rear legroom and rear shoulder room have all been improved.
Apart from the sharper and cleaner design that comes to all Mk VII cars, the new SportWagen is longer, wider and lower than the old model. That means better aerodynamics, visual proportioning and even more space. VW claims that headroom, rear legroom and rear shoulder room have all been improved.
The rest of the interior is very traditional Volkswagen. It is clean, well assembled and features lots of black. It may not be the most exciting thing to look at, but it is very functional, ergonomically sound and features plenty of cubbies and cup holders.
Volkswagen may not make the prettiest interiors, but it’s hard to fault them on execution or refinement, especially at the price levels they play in.
The new TDI engine outputs 150 horsepower, a 10-pony improvement, and fuel economy is expected to jump by as much as 5 mpg.
Under the hood is where the majority of noticeable improvements take place for this new SportWagen. The old 2.5-liter five-cylinder has been exorcised to be replaced by the new 1.8-liter turbo. This new engine is no more powerful than the old one, but it is much lighter, will deliver a huge boost in fuel economy, and has a better torque rating. If you opt for the gasoline engine, your transmission options are limited to a five-speed manual (why not six, VW?) or a six-speed auto slushbox.
Jumping up to the TDI nets you a wholly superior set of drivetrain options. The engine itself is VW’s new EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine, a 2.0-liter unit that handily trumps the current TDI. The new TDI engine outputs 150 horsepower, a 10-pony improvement, and fuel economy is expected to jump by as much as 5 mpg. Transmission choices for the diesel include a six-speed manual or Volkswagen’s fancy six-speed DSG dual clutch auto.
If Volkswagen approves it for American consumption, the 4Motion AWD system is basically the same Haldex-based system found in the Golf R. That means a front bias for fuel economy with the ability to shuffle power to the rear for stability and performance in slippery conditions. Even with AWD, expect the TDI model to return 40+ mpg on the highway.
2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept - Drivetrain Specifications
|Type||2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine|
|Transmission||six-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch automatic|
Obviously, as this is just a concept, there is absolutely zero *official* pricing information. That said, expect this new model to closely mimic the current SportWagen pricing. That means a starting price of around $21,000 to $22,000 for the lower-tier gas model. Prices could hit close to $26k if you go heavy on the options. Going for the oil-burner gets more expensive, with a starting price that will hover near $27,000. Traditionally, the TDI comes loaded with many of the more desirable options as standard. If you maxed the option sheet, the price will climb, but I wouldn’t expect it to cross the $28,500 barrier.
The 4Motion system will likely carry a $750 to $1,000 premium. Paying $30,000 for a Golf sounds a bit nuts, but when you consider it is a fully featured, fully optioned, wagon with more space than many small SUVs, and a fuel economy rating around 40 mpg, it makes a bit more sense.
When it comes to sporty wagons, there is basically zero competition for Volkswagen. The only real game in the market used to be Subaru, but the Outback has become much more of a crossover than a true wagon, and Subaru has killed most of the hatched variants of the Impreza.
On a base-to-base level, the 5-door Impreza is cheaper than the Volkswagen, and it comes standard with AWD in every trim, but it is far from matching the German’s build quality or performance. Fuel economy falls closer to parity on paper, but real world driving would likely favor the torque-heavy SportWagen.
The SportWagen is also trumps in space. As a more traditional five-door hatch, the Impreza can’t match the interior volume that the VW can manage.
Once you start looking at the TDI powered SportWagen, suddenly the market becomes very empty.
If you really want to find a competitor for the TDI SportWagen, you actually have to look at the Volkswagen Group’s very own Audi A3. Audi just announced at New York that the diesel powered A3 wagon was returning.
The real issue here will come down to price, refinement and personal preference. The A3 TDI features the exact same platform and engine as the SportWagen. The Audi will have a nicer interior, and the Quattro AWD system will be a difference maker, but on the whole they will drive exactly the same.
Interior space will be close to identical, but the Audi will offer nicer options. Along with that improved interior and nicer options list with a big price hike. Spec for spec, the Volkswagen will likely hold a $3,000 advantage over the Audi. It will be interesting to see if the if there is any sales cannibalization between the two cars.
All in all, the new SportWagen is a huge improvement for all potential US buyers. For the first time in over a decade, there is going to be a modern and fully featured wagon at a reasonable price point. With the Outback moving into SUV territory an AWD SportWagen could fill a big gap in the market. Even if we don’t get a 4Motion version, the new engines will increase the performance and fuel economy of every SportWagen sold. A better car is a better, and I think Volkswagen may have a pretty big hit on its hands if it markets this thing correctly.