2016 Volkswagen Golf vs Golf GTI vs Golf SportWagen

What are the differences between the Golf models?

2016 Volkswagen Golf vs Golf GTI vs Golf SportWagen

The Golf family is continuing to expand, which may make it difficult for some shoppers to choose. Luckily, these cars aren’t a part of your family yet, so you don’t have to feel ashamed if you pick a favorite. Each model has its benefits, from the practical and compact Golf to the roomy Golf SportWagen. The Golf GTI throws a bit of fun and style into the mix for those who have an enthusiast’s spirit. So what are the differences between the 2016 Volkswagen Golf vs Golf GTI vs Golf SportWagen?

Which 2016 Volkswagen Golf is best for you?

As indicated, the three models differ a bit in the lifestyles they aim to fit into. The 2016 Volkswagen Golf is the most affordable and it’s a great car to start with whether you have a small family or you’re fresh out of college and looking for a smart option that won’t break the bank. Cargo space is excellent for a compact thanks to its hatchback design, but when comparing it directly to the 2016 Golf SportWagen, it won’t be quite as roomy. The 2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI is essentially the same as the standard Golf when it comes to its platform and body structure, but with sporty design elements and a much more potent powertrain.

  Starting MSRP MPG Cargo Space Interior Space Horsepower Torque
Golf $20,175 25 city / 37 hwy 22.8 cu. ft. 93.5 cu. ft. 170hp 184 lb-ft
Golf GTI $25,595 25 city / 34 hwy 22.8 cu. ft. 93.5 cu. ft. 210hp 258 lb-ft
Golf SportWagen $21,625 25 city / 36 hwy 30.4 cu. ft. 94.3 cu. ft. 170hp 184 lb-ft

More Comparisons: 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs 2016 Subaru Outback

As you can see from the table, the prices stay relatively similar, with the Golf GTI coming in with the highest price tag thanks to its powerful engine and sportier tuning. Its features also tend to center on its performance purpose, with a red accent, Austin alloy wheels, LED foglights, interior ambient lighting and Clark Plaid seats to improve the aesthetic, plus Driving Mode Selection, heated front seats, VW-App Connect and a rearview camera just for fun.

The Golf and Golf SportWagen are well-matched when it comes to standard features, with both offering heated side mirrors, VW App-Connect, 15-inch Lyon wheels, a rearview camera and standard cloth seating. The real difference comes down to interior space when comparing these two practical options.

2016 golf interior
2016 golf gti interior
2016 golf sportwagen interior

Read More: Complete Volkswagen Transmission Options

What about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf vs Golf GTI vs Golf SportWagen?

You may be wondering why we’re comparing these models when the new ones are so close to coming out. Though technically there are no major changes for the 2017 model year, most of the important information listed in the above table is not officially released. There’s no word on whether VW will be raising prices, but there are a few noteworthy changes for each model.

Both the Golf and Golf GTI will receive new trim levels and a few cuts for the 2017 model year. Performance Package features will be standard on the GTI starting at the new second trim, the Sport, while the Golf adds on a Wolfsburg Edition trim that has a number of standard driver assistance and convenience features.

Big news for the Golf SportWagen is that a more rugged model, the 2017 Golf Alltrack, will be added to the lineup, while the standard SportWagen will gain an AWD option starting on the S trim level.

Driver Assistance Packages will also be updated for both the SportWagen and GTI, providing more safety options for drivers. 2017 models will certainly provide more value and convenience features, but if you’re deciding between the models the main purpose behind each model remains the same.

Which Golf family member tugs at your heart strings? Share your thoughts with a comment below. Otherwise be sure to check back here at the Compass Volkswagen Blog for more information on other upcoming models.