By on September 6, 2019

2018 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen, Image: VW Group

While Volkswagen won’t offer any 2020 model-year Golf SportWagens or Alltracks in the U.S., a broader customer base in Canada means the two models will soldier on for an extra year. It’s possible a next-generation successor might appear, too.

While Canadians are just as attracted to trucks and SUVs as Americans, small cars — and especially the two wagon variants — make up a much larger slice of the VW pie north of the 49th parallel. As soon as the automaker announced the discontinuation of North American-market Golf wagons, VW’s Canadian arm pulled together a plan.

Basically, stockpiling as many of ’em as it can.

According to Automotive News, the plan involves assembling enough 2019 SportWagens and Alltracks to cover buyers’ wishes for another full year. The automaker will crank out Canadian-market 2019 models until the end of the year.

Despite falling sales of Golf-badged models in Canada, the number of vehicles sold in relation to the entire VW portfolio isn’t insignificant. In the U.S., Golfs of all stripes make up about 10 percent of VW sales. Up north, it’s around 27 percent.

Key differences between the two groups of consumers is why Canadians have far greater choice re: engines and transmissions in the new Mazda 3.

“We see opportunity to continue this,” said VW Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff. “VW Canada does not exist in a vacuum. We’re very tied to [the United States], and when product decisions are made, one side affects the other.”

Tetzlaff explained that, despite the relatively limited numbers, the Golf wagons have a “loyal customer base,” which is why the company’s Canuck arm is attempting to secure approval for an eighth-generation model expected to land next year. Already, the next-gen base Golf hatchback — a model facing discontinuation in the U.S. — has been greenlit for the Canadian market.

While Americans can still expect hotter GTI and R variants, the entry-level model bit the dust amid cratering sales. In Canada, the base Golf made up 71 percent of the nameplate’s sales, Tetzlaff said.

“With respect for the SportWagen and the Alltrack, that’s still up in the air.”

[Images: Volkswagen of America]

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17 Comments on “Small Car Love Gives Volkswagen’s Golf Wagons a Reprieve North of the Border...”


  • avatar
    TMA1

    Let me guess, the only wagon version the US will be getting is the GTI version. Right? Right?

  • avatar
    Crosley

    This is like the only vehicle VW makes that I could maybe see myself buying.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Canadians share a similar love for pickups but we depart from our southern neighbours in our preference in small vehicles. 97% of Canadians live within 100 km of the border and that is where most of our large cities are situated. In my estimation, that explains the small car love. A pickup in downtown Vancouver is literally a huge PITA.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      @ Lou_BC

      Don’t take a Suburban – with Alberta plates – into downtown Vancouver.

      The only way I ever managed to change lanes was to slowly ease over and make the guy giving me the finger decide to have a crash that day or not.

    • 0 avatar

      Two reasons for no wagons in the US.

      SUV/CUV don’t count as cars for CAFE, they are trucks….so why fight ? Give them a flat floor and “bingo” its a truck. Bigger is better for sales for most of the US too.

      US EPA requires that powertrain + body be certified as one unit. Other places allow powertrain separate then bolt it into whatever you want. This kills all the limited sale models…manual transmissions…..and wagons. If engine A with transmissions A and M in three body styles are two certifications, in the US they are six certifications. At that level and given the high cost, you are dropping the lowest selling body style (wagon) and dropping the lowest selling transmission (Manual). At the end you have things like the Acura TSX wagon with one engine and one transmission…..

      Canadians also spend more for the cars than in the States.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No the mfgs can choose to certify a powertrain and use those numbers for other vehicles that are substantially similar. That was one of the reasons for the roll back on the C-Max numbers, Ford tested in the more aerodynamic Fusion and used the loop hole to not test the C-Max which due to the different aero does not do as good.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB2

    My Canadian-spec ’19 GLI here in Canada is your US top-spec with all the options. The only choice I had was colour. That and ‘driver assistance package’ which was a moot point since it was probably on 100% of Canadian cars anyway.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Golf wagons are small cars now?

  • avatar
    baggins

    The Golf Wagon is very practical car, but not fashionable in the US. $5+ dollar gas might perk up interest a bit.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Didn’t Unifor tell Canadaians not to buy Mexican made Vehicles?
    At least the glow of the Check Engine lights will help guide Canadians to their VW dealerships during those long winter nights.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I actually saw a Golf wagon the other day, a red one like that in the photos. I had to do a double-take.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    If they can do this for Canadians, why can’t they bring in the new Touareg!

  • avatar
    JRoth

    Timely! I just discovered something weird about my new Alltrack, and I was wondering if anyone here could explain it: according to C&D, the drive ratios for 4th and 5th gear in the 6-speed manual are 0.91 and 0.90. Is this some sort of misinformation, or is there some reason for having 2 gears that are basically identical?

    For the record, 3rd is given as 1.32, and 6th is 0.76.


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