2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

Once again, I spend a few hours with a wagon and wonder why Americans hate wagons so much. One of the great things about the strong influence of the Germans in Volkswagen's U.S. product offerings is the availability of honest-to-goodness station wagons. And the actual name of the vehicle even includes the "W" word! Too many other automakers would try to pass this car off as some sort of lifestyle or activity vehicle and go to great lengths to avoid calling it a wagon. VW embraces its heritage and calls a wagon a wagon. Refreshing.

Thankfully, the Jetta wagon drives well. There aren't any compromises to ride quality or performance that come with the transition from sedan to wagon. I'm typically sad to find a 2.5-liter in the engine bay of any VW, but the five-cylinder somehow feels at home in this wagon. I'd really like a six-speed transmission to drop the revs while cruising at 80 mph, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the extra gear is needed.

I'm with Marc, the TDI wagon will be the one to have and possibly the ultimate road trip vehicle. Huge highway cruising range (40+ mpg) and tons of room for your luggage and any souvenirs you find while on the road. Wagons rock.

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