The current version of the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen made its official debut at the New York International Auto Show of 2007 although there had been a Jetta Station around during the early Noughties. Volkswagen pulled that less-than-successful attempt to create a mid-sized wagon off the market in 2005, and have come back strong with a more polished version aimed at filling the gap between their hatchback Golf and the larger than life Tiguan SUV models.
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The 2012 Jetta SportWagen is a five seater that comes with a choice of two engines, with the S and SE versions powered by a 2.5-liter five cylinder engine generating 170 horsepower and 177 pound per feet of torque paired with a six speed manual transmission as standard on the S version, with the option of fitting a six-speed automatic for those who opt for the S version while the SE provides it as standard.
Volkswagen's top two liter turbo diesel four-cylinder is standard fare for the SportWagen TDI, providing the power of 140 horses and generating 236 pounds per feet of torque. Once again Volkswagen's six speeds manual transmission is standard in the TDI although their DSG six speed automated manual transmission is gaining some pretty favorable reviews. Even more so because of the Sport mode that it contains for those who still seek some spice in their driving.
With its sturdy look and feel and solid as a rock suspension, the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is a car designed for comfort and practicality and not especially for speed, although the TDI can travel along in the right circumstances.
The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen's design takes a lot of its practical styling from the Golf and not from the Jetta sedan, which is no coincidence as the SportWagen is related in name only to its flashier sister. For the meantime, Volkswagen is still opting for the slightly staid practicality of the Golf in its Jetta SportWagen design.
As far as passenger comfort is concerned there is loads of headroom available for the driver and their front seat passenger, while backseat passengers may find things just a little tighter. That possible shortcoming might be made up by the Jetta SportWagen's generous cargo carrying capacity, with 32.8 cubic feet of storage space available with the back seats up and 66.9 cubic feet with them down. The SportWagen comes with a 60/40 split folding rear seatback.