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Yes, You Can Buy a Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen With a Stick and AWD

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Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf S
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author photo by Will Kinton June 2017

Volkswagen recently started selling their new Golf Alltrack -- a slightly lifted, all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf Sportwagen designed to compete with the Subaru Crosstrek. I drove an Alltrack, and I thought it was pretty good all around -- but what if you wanted an all-wheel-drive Volkswagen wagon that isn't lifted?

As it turns out, Volkswagen currently sells an all-wheel-drive-equipped Sportwagen -- but nobody really seems to be aware of it. If you go on VW's website, it's shown as an additional trim level above the base "S" trim: "S with 4MOTION." Isn't that neat?

Unfortunately, the only trim available for an all-wheel-drive Sportwagen is the base trim -- so if you want the power to go to all four wheels, you're stuck with pretty generic cloth seats and the more basic infotainment system without navigation. You also don't get any options like a panoramic sunroof. On the other hand, you still get that holy grail of enthusiast vehicles: the manual transmission.

Yes indeed, Volkswagen is actually making an all-wheel-drive Golf Sportwagen with a manual transmission. For as much as we've been told that both of those things are on their deathbed, it seems they've gone out of their way to give us this -- and they haven't told anyone about it!

After thinking about it for a while, I'm starting to wonder if VW's only reason for making a manual AWD Golf Sportwagen is to give something to enthusiasts. After all, I don't suspect your average car buyer would rather have a regular Sportwagen over a lifted Alltrack these days -- especially with a stick shift. But an enthusiast would.

I don't expect these to sell very well, but they're out there; I saw one just the other day, which is what prompted me to check the Volkswagen configurator and discover all this. But because they'll probably always be pretty rare, I wonder if these manual AWD wagons will hold their value better than a normal Golf Sportwagen. Either that, or they'll be completely unsellable.

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Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf S
Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Yes, You Can Buy a Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen With a Stick and AWD - Autotrader