Wagens Ho: The 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
The 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE.
The station wagon lives!  Left for dead 30-some years ago as minivans, then SUVs and now crossovers gobbled up the share of the market devoted to family haulers, a handful of wagons survive.  And, as Darwin would have it, they are the fittest members of the breed.

Among those, the 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, which may stand the best chance of any of them of convincing Millennials in their child-bearing years that crossovers aren't necessarily the best choice.

Rear 3/4 view of 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE
2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen SE.
After all, a car-based crossover is, in most cases, simply a jacked-up wagon.  Jack it back down and you still have the same people and cargo-carrying capacity.  You give up some road height, but you keep some bucks in the bank and gain miles per gallon and sharper, flatter handling.

Two-wheel drive models of the 2019 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen come in two trim levels, both with the same 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 147 horsepower and returning an EPA estimated 29 miles per gallon in the city and 37 on the highway.  There's also an all-wheel drive S with 4Motion model that packs a 1.8-liter turbo rated at 168 horsepower.

The two-wheel drive S starts at $21,895, and you can get a six-speed manual.  It's $22,995 for an eight-speed automatic.

The S with 4Motion's base price is $24,395 with a stick, $25,495 with a six-speed automatic.   And the top of the line is the SE at $29,995, which is also two-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic only.

Interior view of the 2019 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen SE
2019 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen SE interior.
Our tester was the SE in Silk Blue Metallic with a Titan Black interior (beige is also available at no cost).   The extra $8,100 above the cost of the S is made evident in a long list of features, all standard on the SE:

  • Power panoramic sunroof
  • LED headlights with AFS
  • Front foglights
  • Heated front seats
  • Leatherette seating surfaces
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Keyless access with pushbutton start
  • 115V outlet in rear cargo area
  • Eight-inch touchscreen with AM-FM-HD Radio, SiriusXM, CD Player, and VW Car-Net with Apple CarPlay
  • Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring
  • Active blind spot monitor
  • Rear traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keeping system
  • High beam control
There really are no options when you pick the SE.  It's $29,995 plus $895 destination, which comes to $30,890.   That's mid-pack small crossover money, but when you factor in gas savings and the fun-to-drive quotient, the SportWagen makes a strong case to downsize vertically.