2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline
2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline. Click image to enlarge
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Volkswagen Canada

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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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2010 Volkswagen Golf wagon

North Vancouver, British Columbia – Last year, the Volkswagen Jetta Wagon was re-introduced to the Canadian market after a three-year hiatus. This year, it’s been replaced by the Golf Wagon, now based on the sixth-generation Golf introduced for 2010. The switch to the Golf nameplate was more about marketing than engineering: Golf/Rabbit hatchbacks, Jetta sedans and Jetta wagons have all shared the same platform, suspension and powertrain choices for decades, but for 2010, Volkswagen Canada has repositioned their small wagon as a more affordable “people’s wagon” and aligned it with Volkswagen’s Golf model range in Europe, Asia and South America.

Interestingly, the 2010 Golf Wagon is still called the Jetta (SportWagen) in the United States. Americans just have to do it their way, don’t they!

2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline
2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline. Click image to enlarge

For Canadian consumers, the best thing about the switch from Jetta to Golf nameplates is a reduction in price: 2010 Golf Wagon Trendline wagons with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine start at $22,675, an $800 price reduction from the 2009 Jetta Wagon. The base Trendline TDI diesel wagon has been discontinued for 2010, but the mid-grade Comfortline TDI wagon with the 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder diesel engine is now $26,875, a $1,400 price drop from the 2009 Jetta Wagon Comfortline TDI. Similarly, the top-of-the-line 2010 Golf Wagon Highline TDI is now $30,475, a $1,200 price reduction from 2009.

I’m happy to report that there’s not a huge difference in price between the TDI Wagon sold in the United States and the one sold in Canada. In the U.S., the 2010 Jetta Sportwagen TDI starts at US$25,365 with standard equipment similar to the Golf Wagon TDI Comfortline except for its V-tex seats and standard touch-screen. So there’s no need to sneak across the border to buy one!

2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline
2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline. Click image to enlarge

Along with the new Golf Wagon’s revised styling, redesigned cabin and improved interior materials, and new six-speed manual transmission (replacing the five-speed), the 2010 TDI Wagon includes the same turbocharged 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder engine (with standard engine block heater on TDI models) that develops 140 horsepower at 4,000 r.p.m. and a generous 236 lb-ft of torque at just 1,750 r.p.m.

Base Golf TDI Comfortline wagons ($26,875) include standard 16-inch all-season tires and alloy wheels, electronic stability control, front fog lights, roof rails, rear wiper and washer, and remote power door locks. Inside, are standard automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake lever; height adjustable front seats with power rake and manual lumbar adjusters and three-step seat heaters, fabric upholstery, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo and eight speakers; power windows with auto up/down feature; 60/40 folding rear seatbacks with centre pass-through; anti-theft alarm, cruise control, power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, heated windshield washer nozzles, rear cargo privacy cover, and six airbags.

2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline
2010 VW Golf Wagon TDI Highline. Click image to enlarge

The Golf Wagon TDI Highline model ($30,475) adds leather seats, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, touch-screen and premium radio with ten speakers, six-CD/MP3 changer, Sirius satellite radio, iPod interface and auxiliary input jack; trip computer and information display; rear side airbags, chrome window and grille trim, and panoramic sunroof.

The subject of this review is a 2010 Golf Wagon TDI Highline model. With a base price of $30,475 plus $1,400 for the optional six-speed automatic Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), $1,300 Freight and $100 a/c tax, the as-tested price came to $33,335.

Interior impressions

Let’s start with the wagon end of the Golf Wagon. With 928 litres (32.8 cu. ft.) behind the rear seats, the Golf Wagon’s cargo area is the roomiest in its class, beating the Toyota Matrix, Hyundai Elantra Touring, Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback and Subaru Impreza (compact wagons disguised as hatchbacks) and retro wagons like the Chevy HHR, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Jeep Patriot.

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