Station wagons are a rarity here. If you look at our buyer's guide section, you can count the number of wagons being offered here with one hand. There's the Volkswagen Santana GTS, Mazda6 Sport Wagon, Subaru Levorg, and, well, that's it. Sure you can place an order for one if you ask the luxury European brands nicely, but that's a different story.
There is one station wagon that was sold here that proved a little popular though. A few years ago, Volkswagen Philippines sold the Golf GTS, which is known abroad as either the Golf Variant or Golf SportWagen. While Volkswagen Philippines brought in a limited amount of units, it proved to be a quick seller, practically flying off the dealership lots. Why wouldn't it sell well? For less than Php 1.5 million, you had a European station wagon with loads of practicality and an efficient turbodiesel engine.
Since the Golf GTS sold out, Volkswagen Philippines hasn't brought in a wagon of that size. Yes, there's the Santana GTS, but it's one size class smaller than the Golf. Now, Volkswagen has rolled out the next-generation Golf Variant, and we know a lot of customers would want to see it back here.
What's not to like about the new Golf Variant? It rides on a new chassis and the look is largely based on the MK.8 Golf. It has the slim headlights from the hatchback, along with the sharper front end. It has a longer wheelbase so there's more space inside, too. Volkswagen even gave the wagon more distinction from the hatch with a wider tailgate and a unique pair of headlights.
Inside, the dashboard looks a lot like the one in the hatchback, but that's no bad thing. Volkswagen nailed the cabin with its wraparound dashboard and digital displays. The minimalist design works well with the theme of the Golf, and there's a lot of technology available as well. It even has that tiny electro-mechanical gear selector from the hatchback that frees up a lot of space in the center console.
The engine specs are unknown at the moment but expect it to be the same as the hatchback. There's a choice of 1.0 and 1.5-liter turbo-gas engines, along with turbodiesels. What we'd like to see here is the 2.0-liter TDI with 150 PS and 350 Nm of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission would sweeten the deal.
But until Volkswagen Philippines sources their models from Germany or Mexico again, it's unlikely we'll ever see the new Golf Variant in the country. Still, we'd like to see the all-new Golf wagon here someday. Besides, who wouldn't want a reasonably-priced German station wagon that gets good fuel mileage?
Does anyone want to start writing a petition to Volkswagen Philippines?