We thought Dieselgate would kill off fun Volkswagens.
Amid the disaster zone that was Volkswagen’s bottom line, after the diesel payoffs laid the prospect that the automaker would play the hand of the stereotypical German and strategically cut out the weakest automotive links to save a few bucks. As we know from some of Germany’s darker times, that clinical method of cleansing only views efficiency as important without regarding emotion, at least that's why the Golf R400 was killed. It also explains why we were certain that cars like the Golf R Wagon would be on the short list for the chopping block.
And then, our spy photographers stopped our hearts from sinking too far by capturing the new facelift out for a test drive. It’s okay if you don’t know about the Golf R Wagon since Volkswagen isn’t cool enough to bring the R moniker to the SportWagen we see in the US. For reference, think of it as an Audi RS6 Avant lite or a Volkswagen Golf R but for the active family that needs SUV storage space. As lovers of wagons, especially those of the sporting variety, the Golf R Wagon certainly makes our list of favorite SUV alternatives. Packing a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger, the Golf R Wagon makes 295 horsepower that’s sent to all four wheels after distillation by a 6-speed dual clutch transmission.
While it’s hard to tell if power levels have been raised for the facelift, it’s easy to spot that there’s something going on with the bumpers. The rear remains covered up but the front is a bit more exposed, allowing us to see how Volkswagen decided to preserve the Golf R Wagon’s aggressive but not in-your-face styling. The rear will likely see the same sort of look applied to it by Volkswagen’s plastic surgeons. Pay attention because this new face and rear is likely similar to what you’ll see on the new Golf R. While the previous iteration was already a brisk accelerator, we'd like to see more power come to the facelift. Hopefully the manual we get in our standard Golf SportWagens will migrate to the Golf R Wagon to make things spicier in Europe.