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2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs 2016 Subaru Outback

It seems the station wagon is making a comeback, and it isn’t difficult to see why. For some time, the segment fell away as consumers began to view the models as dowdy vehicles representing the drabbest bits of domestic life. Gone are the wood panels and boring driving style, as top automakers offer options that appeal just as much to family life as they do to outdoorsy types. Those looking for the perfect option in the segment would be wise to compare the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs 2016 Subaru Outback, as both automakers offer excellent options. It’s clear that Subaru hopes to grab the attention of those who like to leave the safety of paved roads, as it’s frequently photographed in woodsy settings. Volkswagen takes a more modest approach, with a model that clearly has the space to tote along necessary gear, but is just as smart to drive during your daily commute.

2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen vs 2016 Subaru Outback


MSRP $24,995
25 city/36 hwy MPG 25 city/33 hwy
Yes Apple CarPlay / Android Auto No
8 Speakers 4

Benefits of driving the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen

So the real question becomes, how do you choose between the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen and the Subaru Outback? One thing the current Outback has that the SportWagen does not is standard AWD, but Volkswagen promises this will change for the next model year. Still, there are certain benefits to driving a front-wheel drive model like the Golf SportWagen. You can see that the power figures for the Golf SportWagen are on-par with what Subaru is offering. Horsepower dips ever so lightly, but this is more than made up for by the engine torque.

With equal power figures, you’d expect equal fuel economy, but the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen offers more efficiency when it comes to highway driving. For those who plan to put some serious mileage on their vehicle, between family vacations, outdoor adventures and sporting events, this could make a big difference between the models.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and whether you prefer the elegant design of the SportWagen or the rugged styling of the Outback is entirely up to personal taste. What isn’t up for debate are the technology features. The SportWagen has an eight-speaker sound system, so rear passengers won’t be left in silence, while the Outback has just four speakers. More importantly, VW upgraded the infotainment system in the SportWagen to have the new MIB II with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink compatibility. Subaru’s STARLINK system doesn’t work with any of these popular platforms, leaving much to be desired when it comes to connectivity.

At the end of the day, choosing between two models comes down to how you actually feel when you sit in the driver’s seat. Stop by Compass Volkswagen, serving the Middletown, Goshen, Monroe, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Montgomery and Blooming Grove areas, to take the 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for a test drive.