Review by Jonathan Yarkony
Odometer: 7,111 km
Observed Fuel Consumption: 6.9 L/100 km
Costs: Approx. $730.34 (Gas Approx. $574.46; Winter tire installation $155.88)
Three months were not enough.
Okay, maybe it was enough for the purposes of evaluating the Volkswagen Golf Wagon Highline TDI Clean Diesel DSG (now you know why I rarely write out the whole trim name…), but not for my own selfish needs. As my last report showed, I am already a devotee of Volkswagen wagons, so this ultra-efficient diesel wagon was a huge reprieve at the pumps after a series of high-horsepower guzzlers (427 Vette, Boss Mustang, RS 5… let’s take a moment for you all to feel sorry for me and my exorbitant gas bills, which we pay for ourselves, in case you were under any delusions that manufacturers foot the bill for our antics).
2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI Diesel. Click image to enlarge
Beyond the efficiency, this wagon was perfect for our family needs. The car is about the smallest possible vehicle I could imagine being happy with at this point, space-wise, but both me and my wife prefer the driving characteristics and ease of parking of small cars. Its wheelbase is no longer than a Golf hatchback’s, with only a few added inches out back to provide a wide, deep cargo bay with room enough for stroller plus presents, groceries, or my hockey bag. Although we did not take it for any road trips, we’ve managed in my Jetta Wagon, so this new Golf Wagon would only add to the space and ease of packing.
Our adventures in the Golf Wagon TDI amounted to nothing more than ordinary life. Commute from Brampton to Etobicoke (outskirts of Toronto) and back every day. Some days, a detour to the mother-in-law’s or to drop our daughter off at daycare. Some days, a trip across town to pick up a test vehicle for Social Editor Mike Schlee. I guess the birth of our son was slightly outside of the usual routine, and it presented the Golf with its biggest challenge: a reverse facing child safety seat. But it passed that test, too, and my wife never complained, and even I managed to squeeze in front of it for the occasional trip when she drove. The only limitation was that it is a challenge to fit an adult between two car seats in the second row – it can be done, but it is painful and uncomfortable, though it should be noted that the larger CR-V we have since moved into is no better.
The front seats, where we spent most of our time, are near perfect. The adjustable height, power adjustable recline on the driver’s seat, and tilt/telescopic steering wheel can be configured to fit the extremes of myself (5’10”) and my wife (5’), and even Mike Schlee (6’1”) found the seat ideal in his brief stint during our exchange of long-term cars.