While it’s no secret that crossovers have replaced wagons as the preferred people-movers of the family set, we actually didn’t see this move coming. In our neck of the woods, there are still plenty of these babies out on the roads. But in the official press release announcing the end of the models, Volkswagen was pretty clear that the reason for their demise is that Americans really just aren’t feeling wagons anymore:
Over the past several years, demand among American consumers has shifted from wagons to SUVs. Through the first half of 2019, SUVs account for 47 percent of the industry sales, and more than 50 percent of Volkswagen sales. Thanks to strong sales of the Atlas and Tiguan, Volkswagen has had the highest year-over-year percentage growth among mainstream automotive brands in the first six months of 2019.
Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like the enthusiast-favorite Golf GTI is going anywhere. It’s a fantastic hot hatch that perpetually sets the bar in the segment.
That said, the SportWagen offered some of the same great driving dynamics, with the versatility and cargo space of a wagon. Here’s what AutoNation Drive resident hot shoe Mike Musto had to say when he tested one back in May:
With front-wheel drive and a new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with direct injection, the Sportwagen provides more driving pleasure than you’d have thought capable from 148 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, acceleration is brisk, with the engine revving freely to its 6,000-rpm redline. The sprint to 60 mph comes up in an estimated 7.5 seconds, with 80-mph cruising being a non-issue. Passing power from 50 mph was also authoritative — just don’t go thinking that you’re going to win any races and you’ll be in good shape.
While losing VW’s wagon doesn’t have the same cultural resonance as the Beetle being put out to pasture did, it’s still a bummer for enthusiasts.
So yes, it’s a sad day for folks who like sporty, practical wagons. But fortunately, time hasn’t run out just yet. If you’ve been wanting to put a Golf SportWagen or Golf Alltrack in your garage, head to your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealer today!