Featured Articles

2009 VW Jetta Sportwagon

Posted in SUV, Volkswagen by Geoff | August 28th, 2008 | 6 Responses |

2009 Volkswagen Sportwagon
2009 Volkswagen Sportwagon

*Post Corrected-Thanks Joe and Chris!* After my criticism of bloated luxury trucks and SUVs, and my endorsement of the new Cadillac Sportwagon concept, one reader lashed out at me that there was NOTHING else for him to drive his kids around in than a Escalade-sized SUV.  Actually my comment was directed at the gas complainers who drive the more ridiculous SUVs with DVD players in the bumpers and gold encrusted floor mats. Without knowing how many children this reader has, I’m guessing he has never heard of this thing called a Van.  Sometimes also referred to as a Minivan.  Chrysler has only been making them for 25 years. At any rate, while Americans with space-needs and common sense continue to move away from SUV’s and back towards wagon-type vehicles there are actually only a few choices presently to choose from.  Unfortunately,most of the wagons currently offered in the U.S. are of the more expensive foreign variety: Audi, Volvo, BMW and Subaru.  Gone is the diminutive but useful Ford Focus or Suzuki Forenza wagons. The lone entry remaining is from VW, who has steadfastly offered a wagon for many years while SUVs dominated the market. For at least the short-term, the 2009 VW Jetta Sportwagon stands alone. 

Sportwagon boasts 33 cubic feet of hauling space
Sportwagon boasts 33 cubic feet of hauling space

Volkswagen’s embracing of the wagon is a refreshing contrast to all of the crossovers and various SUV-posers that have been and continue to be cranked out.  Consumers have gravitated towards Vehicles that are neither as stable or efficient on the highway, roomy as car or even capable of driving off of anything more treacherous than a gravel road in far more numbers than is logical.  The reason being that in the U.S. there is stigma and adversion to driving anything called a wagon.  (Much like the angry reader who bristled at the suggestion) I guess to do so would mean you are either branded a hippie or Mike Brady.  In Europe a station wagon is viewed as an upscale version of the sedan and are created as such.  The Jetta wagon is no different. 

Sportwagon Interior
Sportwagon Interior

Even in wagon form the ride is tight and more oriented towards aggressive handling than on pillowy, coma-inducing comfort. The new Jetta is not large at an inch less than 15 feet long, but has a nice size 33-cubic-foot cargo area that is more than enough for most drivers. Three engines choices are available, with either five-speed manual gearboxes or six-speed automatic transmissions. The base engine, on the 2.5L S and SE models, has five cylinders and delivers 170 horsepower. The 2.0T SEL is powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 200 horsepower, and there’s also a TDI four-cylinder diesel engine with 140 horsepower.  The new Jetta’s diesel is compliant with emissions for sale in all 50 states and is predicted to account for half of all the Jetta Sportwagens sold in the U.S.  To begin with though, the Jetta wagon is only available with the 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter motor. With only 3,285 pounds of vehicle to move, the engine is more than capable. Testers have remarked positively about its acceleration and smooth transmission and clutch.  Unlike many crossovers, its highway manners are good and handled the duties with a minimum of wind, road and mechanical noise.

Standard equipment includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes, side-curtain air bags, electronic brake-pressure distribution, active front-seat headrests, air conditioning, cruise control, remote central locking, AM/FM audio system with six-disc CD changer, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and power windows and outside mirrors.  Other available options include a navigation system, upgraded sound system, automatic climate control, panoramic sun roof and Sirius satellite radio. The base price of the Sport is $18,999 and estimated at 29 mpg on the highway using regular gas.

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

6 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Wow. If you’re going to come back at your readers you should TRY to sound intelligent anyway.

    First of all, I clearly stated that 7 seats was not enough. There may be a minivan out there that seats more than 7 (I’m thinking Honda or Toyota had one, but I’m not sure), but I know that my Dodge Grand Caravan does only seat 7. So minivans (look at that, not only have I HEARD of them, but I OWN one) don’t actually suit MY needs. Other than a 12 or 15 passenger van (that only are made with larger engines than my gas guzzling SUV) there isn’t much left for me to drive.

    As far as the Caddy Wagon, my point was that I wouldn’t spend 40K+ on that, it’s just not worth it to me. I’d buy another Suburban (you can get one right now–new for under 30k with the employee program that GM has going on) before I spent the money on a CTS wagon. I’d spend 40k+ for a Benz or BMW wagon, they are sharp cars, but the CTS doesn’t look right as a wagon. I’m not anti-wagon, I’m anti crap.

    Now to your Jetta– that’s a nice car for the money if it suits your needs, but “the more expensive foreign variety: …Subaru” Forester 2.5X is 19,995 which sounds like it’s actually 2k less than this Jetta.

    So Geoff, to summerize, just in case you’re confused, go back and read my first sentence. Good day.

  2. Darren says:

    Actually Joe, the Forester (which my family owns) is not considered part of the same class of vehicle as those other cars. It is usually compared to the Rav4 and CR-V.

  3. Darren says:

    I’m sick of SUV-drivers who feel ENTITLED to huge pollution making machines. If you’ve got the money, that’s your decision I guess, but don’t complain or act like you don’t have any other options except the biggest product out of Detroit you can find. How many people ACTUALLY need to seat MORE than 7 people on a regular basis? With the cost of gas it probably is more affordable to buy a foreign wagon at this point.

  4. Chris says:

    Check your figures. The 2.5 does not deliver 35mpgs. Its EPA highway figure is 29. The diesel, however, has yet to be reported as doing any worse than 40mpg on the highway, even with the automatic.

    FWIW, I totally agree with your “gas complainer” comment. But I think its the marketers, not americans, who scoff the wrong direction. The annual acceptance of modest, 1 mpg, gains in fuel efficiency in SUVs, or almost all cars, that frustrates. Its taken years for gas to go through the $2 range and hit $4 per gallon. Developing fuel efficiency has been lost on putting in a little more horsepower and torque for our congested roadways.

    They were wrong and are idiots for it.

  5. Geoff says:

    Good catch Chris. The EPA can’t seem to get their story straight. Even after they have modified their numbers, VW spokesman, Keith Price disputes the EPA’s estimates and called for a revision. I’ll definitely add a disclaimer to VW’s “rose-colored” numbers. For what it’s worth, according to several owners under “real world” driving of 75 mph the Jetta is getting 35 mpg and 39 mpg at 55 mph. Getting back to the EPA, reports are that they are underestimating diesel mileage by as much as 18%!

  6. Geoff says:

    Joe and Darren

    According to the VW website, the Sportwagon is listed at a base price of $18,999-making it a grand cheaper than the Forester. (Which is or isn’t in the same class depending on who you believe). haha