2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

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starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

179.6” x 58.3”


Front-wheel drive



The good:

  • Diesel efficiency
  • Premium cabin materials
  • Hatchback practicality

The bad:

  • Lack of tire grip
  • Front seat comfort
  • Base stereo

7 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Wagons for 2024

Notable features

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability now offered
  • New active safety and convenience features available
  • Hatchback or wagon body style
  • Gas or diesel power
  • Manual or automatic transmission

2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen Golf is available as a two- or four-door hatchback, or as a wagon. Power comes from a gas or diesel four-cylinder engine, and the five-seat Golf competes with the Mazda3 hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT and Mini Cooper. Volkswagen’s performance-oriented Golf GTI and Golf R are related, as is the e-Golf electric car.

(Skip to details on the: Golf GTI, Golf R, e-Golf)
New for 2016
A newly available multimedia system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring on the car’s dashboard screen. The S trim level gains a backup camera while the SE adds keyless access with push-button start.

A Driver Assistance Package for SE and SEL trim levels includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, lane departure warning, a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, and automated parallel and perpendicular parking.  
Significant Standard Features

  • 170-horsepower, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Split-folding rear seat with pass-through
  • Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
  • Air conditioning
  • Touch-screen stereo with iPod connectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Required in every new car: front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system

Significant Available Features

  • 150-hp, turbo-diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
  • Heated front seats
  • Fender premium stereo
  • Navigation system
  • Keyless access with push-button start
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Power sunroof

Golf GTI
The Volkswagen GTI is a high-performance sibling of the Golf. It comes as a two- or four-door hatchback and has room for five people. Competitors include the Ford Focus ST, Subaru WRX, Honda Civic Si and Mini Cooper S.
What’s Special

  • 210-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Thin honeycomb grille with red stripe
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Dual tailpipes 
  • Plaid cloth upholstery; leather available
  • Performance Package raises engine output to 220 hp and includes larger brakes and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential
  • Available adaptive suspension 
  • Backup camera now standard

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Golf R
The Golf R is a range-topping performance hatchback based on the Golf and Golf GTI. It competes with the Subaru WRX STi and Ford Focus ST and employs all-wheel drive — a key difference from the front-drive Golf and Golf GTI. Drivers can choose a new six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
What’s Special

  • 292-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Xenon headlights with horseshoe-style LED daytime running lights
  • Quad exhaust pipes
  • Adaptive suspension

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Volkswagen joined the growing list of automakers offering all-electric cars with the debut of the e-Golf last year. Based on the Golf four-door hatchback, the e-Golf has an EPA-estimated range of 83 miles.
What’s Special

  • New value-oriented SE trim level
  • Unique grille with blue accents
  • Touch-screen that offers a deeper look at the electric powertrain’s operation
  • 115-hp electric motor
  • Lithium-ion battery pack that’s located in the floor under the seats
  • Available 7.2-kilowatt onboard charger can replenish the battery in less than four hours
  • Three regenerative-braking programs

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Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior 4.8
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value 4.9
  • Exterior 4.7
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews


Dope Car! Word up, the bomb!!

Love this car. It’s drives well. I have owned for two years and it’s very reliable and affordable to maintain. It’s always fun to drive. Great cargo room. Great stereo and audio features. Great gas mileage. I really really love it. Best car ever. I have had outback’s, Prius, accords, civics, and carollos and this car is the best. So happy with it. I am waiting for a new fresher model to come out but not in a rush.


Great example of a disappearing breed.

We are unabashed fans of station wagons built on sport sedan platforms, and we are distressed to see this best-of-all-worlds configuration disappearing from the US market, even though it remains deservedly popular in Europe. We bought a 2016 Sportwagen one year ago; our other car is a 2001 VW Passat wagon, which we plan to keep running as long as we reasonably can. The Sportwagen excels on fuel efficiency, handles very well, and offers more-than-adequate performance. Although it is almost as large outside as the Passat, it offers noticeably less usable cargo volume, albeit still sufficient for most purposes. Sideward and rearward visibility are better than average, but no match for the Passat wagon, which is almost unbeatable in this category. Styling is elegantly clean, simple, and timeless. We have had no problems yet, and we happily note that the engine has a generous 6 qt. oil capacity, versus the Passat's 3.7 qts., which I expand to 4.25 by using an oversized Mann oil filter. The larger oil capacity should reduce the incidence of infamous oil "sludge" (technically, baked-on coke). German cars offer a superb driving experience, but they need to be maintained fastidiously; they do not thrive on neglect the way a Toyota might.


Most fun car I've owned. Many gears to chose from.

I am Six feet. So, there isn't really any leg room in the passenger seats. It is a good wagon for two people and a big load of gear such as camping. I have slept in it. will have to fashion screens for the windows for air circulation. The camera is a very good feature as is the TPM system. I like knowing when to schedule service.

See all 25 consumer reviews


Based on the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen base trim.
Combined side rating front seat
Combined side rating rear seat
Frontal barrier crash rating driver
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger
Overall frontal barrier crash rating
Overall rating
Overall side crash rating
Risk of rollover
Rollover rating
Side barrier rating
Side barrier rating driver
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
Side pole rating driver front seat


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volkswagen
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
144 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
MY 2016-MY 2017 vehicles/75,000 miles; MY 2018- MY 2019 vehicles/72,000 miles; MY 2020 and newer vehicles/75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Vehicles purchased on or after 1/5/21: MY 2017 & older, 2 yrs/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2018-19, 1 yr/12,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty; MY 2020 & newer, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever is 1st) limited warranty
Dealer certification required
100-plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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