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Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept Debut

A family-friendly coming attraction


2015 Volkswagen Golf Research Click to hide

What's New

It's a little hard to tell by U.S. sales numbers, but the Volkswagen Golf is the best-selling car the automaker produces, as it has been for years. One the secrets besides its practical shape? The fact that there are plenty of versions for everyone. Want a sporty car? Get a GTI. Want an economical car? Get a Golf TDI or the upcoming e-Golf.

Now, there's one for families, as the Golf Sportsvan is following up on the European Golf Plus' formula, which should allow it to cater to families and bring in more buyers who need flexibility without getting a full-on minivan.

Who It's For

Compact minivans make up a huge volume of sales numbers in Europe, and they're growing here, too. Want proof? While the Mazda5 doesn't sell diddly and the Kia Rondo is only sold in Canada, the Toyota Prius v and Ford C-Max are making a killing at showrooms nationwide. The Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan is for the same sort of pragmatic shopper who values space and efficiency but doesn't necessarily want to lug around a bigger vehicle.

Key Features

While shown as a concept vehicle, Volkswagen says it will be headed to production with:
  • XDS+, an electronic limited-slip differential borrowed from the 2015 Volkswagen GTI to get better performance handling.
  • A long list of available safety systems, including a braking feature that can detect an imminent collision and slow the car down automatically.
  • Cupholders that can accommodate massive bottles. We only mention this because the cupholders in most German vehicles are terrible.

What We Think

We like the idea of the Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Concept and think it could find success in the U.S. against the Ford C-Max. The only question we'd have left would be its pricing, as Volkswagen hasn't always played on the same level as more pedestrian rivals.

Still, there's no guarantee this would ever be sold in the U.S., even though Volkswagen desperately needs more family vehicles. There's nothing currently slotting in between the Passat and $50,000 Touareg unless you count the fleet-only Volkswagen Routan.

The company already nixed its plans to bring back the Microbus, and a midsize crossover isn't coming for another few years. Something like the Golf Sportsvan, if nothing else, would make for a compelling stopgap.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Frankfurt 2013

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