SHARE

Long live the station wagon, amirite? Crossovers reign supreme and manufacturers offer fewer and fewer wagons. I’m not an intent crossover hater; I think they can do a lot of things mostly well. But there’s something special about a low-to-the-ground long-roof car. Even the most planted crossover will feel like driving standing up compared to a low-slung car. And yet, the wagon (and related hatchback) seem to be a dying breed, as we quickly march to an EV’ified crossover’ized future. Sigh. 

  • Car: 2019 Volkswagen Golf Wagon
  • Location: Denver, CO area (roughly)
  • Photog: Raghavan Bala
  • Camera: Fujifilm X100V

Raghavan’s owned a series of enthusiast cars, from an RX-7 to a track-prepped Miata, but none of them were very practical for friends, family, and fun stuff. A staunch front-wheel drive and automatic transmission hater, pickings were kind of slim for someone searching for a four-door car with seating for real people. Initially, his search led him to a base-model Subaru XV Crosstrek. That car was OK, but the lack of power and irritating steering led him out of that, and into another rare beast: a Golf Wagon.

Raghavan’s Modded VW Golf Makes a Strong Case for Cool Wagons
Image: Raghavan Bala
Raghavan’s Modded VW Golf Makes a Strong Case for Cool Wagons
Image: Raghavan Bala

For the seventh-generation Golf Wagon (formerly called Jetta Wagon or Golf Sportwagen in the US market), VW opted to share as many parts as the Outback-esque Golf Alltrack. The same 1.8-liter turbocharged engine, same manual transmission option, and most notably the same AWD drivetrain. Raghavan opted for the base model here, he didn’t like the black plastic cladding, raised ride height, or the unnecessary options the Alltrack offered.

Yep, this one’s AWD, quicker, and a more robust aftermarket scene than the Subaru Crosstrek’s. Raghavan’s done a few mods:

  • Stronger Clutch
  • Porsche Macan Front Calipers
  • MK6 Golf Rotors
  • GTI Rear Brakes
  • Set of Nifty wheels and Coilovers
Raghavan’s Modded VW Golf Makes a Strong Case for Cool Wagons
Image: Raghavan Bala

The result is pretty damn dope. So far, he’s enjoying this one far more than his XV Crosstrek.


MORE TO READ