2018 Volkswagen SportWagen

Roseville, Calif. – Vehicles with a penchant for utility are quite popular these days. People on the go love the storage and the ability, whether it’s lugging around kids or gear. Either way, vehicles like this are a valued commodity.

Volkswagen has many configurations of its popular Golf model. It has the Golf hatchback, the Alltrack Wagon, the SportWagen, the GTI hatchback, and the R hatchback. Volkswagen even has a Gold with electric capability, the e-Golf hatchback. A common denominator in all these vehicles are their versatility. Although not large visually, the Golf models share an affinity for being able to carry a fairly sizable load.

Although sport utility vehicles are still arguably the vehicle of choice as a hauler, don’t discount the compact wagons and hatchbacks as at least the next-best thing.

2018 Volkswagen SportWagen

* Performance: turbocharged 1.8-liter, four cylinder, 170 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 24-33 mpg
* Price estimate: $22,600 to $31,300
* Warranty: 6 years/72,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/72,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 7 years/unlimited

Volkswagen has designed its SportWagen to be a foot longer than its hatchbacks. It not only has a solid hauling capability, the SportWagon also has a peppy turbocharged engine that is fairly good on gas (ranging from 24-33 mpg), offers good comfort, and starts at a reasonable price – roughly $22,600.

Based off the Golf model, the SportWagen exterior has a little European flair with a long roof and upright, squared-off body. The 2018 Volkswagen SportWagen has a new front-end styling, something VW did with all its Golf models this year. The new look is cleaner and gives the cars a more modern appeal. All models have LED daytime-running lights and LED taillights.

Available in three trim levels (S, SE and SEL), the SportWagen shares both a suspension and engine with the Golf. The lone engine is a turbo 1.8-liter, inline-4 that generates 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The SportWagen comes with an easy to shift manual transmission or an automatic transmission. It’s capable of going 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds.

While not residing in the sporty category, the SportWagen won’t leave its driver bored with the overall performance and how it drives. It’s quick, responsive and has plenty of acceleration when needed in freeway driving. If you like shifting gears, the manual is recommended because it offers that fun factor that we all love in our cars.

The SportWagen is firm and has a tight suspension that allows the car to handle well going around tight turns and navigating challenging, curvy roads.

What many car buyers will like most about the SportWagen is the interior. Its spacious in all the right places, especially in the cargo area that has the type of room that is better than some small SUVs. It provides 30.4 cubic-feet of cargo space and that more than doubles to 66.5 cubic-feet when the rear seat is folded down.

Front seat occupants have good leg and head room. Rear seat folks won’t mind the seating in the back where even tall people will feel comfortable. Volkswagen uses good, solid material throughout the SportWagen. The vehicle is on the modest side when it comes to technology, but we’re a fan of its smart dashboard layout.

Versatility is the 2018 Volkswagen SportWagen’s main calling card, yet it has other enviable qualities that make it a good choice for car buyers.