NEW FOR 2015:

– All-new model.

Canada’s most affordable station wagon makes a return for model year 2015 completely renewed. As with the Golf hatchback, the Sportwagon transitions to VW Group’s modular MQB platform.

Although the Golf Sportwagon is less expensive than the model that it replaces, by no means has Volkswagen cut any corners. It retains its European road manners, offering confident handling and a comfortable ride. Buyers accustomed to Volkswagen’s upmarket cabins won’t be disappointed either, with materials and a level of fit and finish that surpasses the outgoing model not to mention just about everything else in the non-premium compact segment.

If there is one shortcoming, it is that the latest version loses some of its load-lugging ability: 860L versus the previous model’s 928L with the rear seats up.

The Golf Sportwagon is available with two engines. If you spot a TSI badge on the tailgate, a 1.8-litre turbocharged inline-four is under the hood. It develops 170 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. Models wearing the TDI badge receive VW’s new 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel motor. The power and torque figures look similar to last year’s model (150 hp and 236 lb-ft vs. 140 hp and 236 lb-ft), but its new design is notably smoother.

The TSI comes with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Diesel models use a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG). TDIs also receive a standard block heater, and substitute a space-saving torsion beam rear axle in place of the standard multi-link unit to accommodate the AdBlue exhaust treatment tank.

The entry-level Trendline TSI comes equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, Cross Differential System (XDS), heated front washer nozzles, power heated mirrors with integrated indicators, heated cloth seats, air conditioning, 115-volt power outlet (in trunk), trip computer, six-way manual driver’s seat with two-way power recline, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, leather-wrapped handbrake lever, second-row vents, tilt and telescoping steering column, lockable glove box, power windows with one-touch for all windows, 60/40 split folding rear seats, front seatback pockets, 5.8-inch infotainment system with AM/FM/CD player, eight speakers and aux-in jack, MDI media interface with iPod connectivity, satellite radio and more.

Trendline TDI adds standard foglights.

Comfortline models add fog lights with static cornering lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, and leatherette upholstery.

The Sight and Sound Package adds bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, and eight-speaker Fender sound system.

The Navigation Package adds navigation, proximity sensor, and headunit-mounted CD player.

The Convenience Package adds automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, light assist, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, and proximity key with pushbutton start.

Highline models build on the Comfortline with standard 12-way power driver’s seat, sports seat, leather upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels, ambient interior lighting, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlights, exterior chrome window surround, interior matte chrome trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with pushbutton start, light assist, panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, and chrome roof rails.

The optional Multimedia Package adds adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, navigation with proximity sensor and headunit-mounted CD player, eight-speaker Fender stereo, and forward collision warning.

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