Golf SportWagen only offers AWD in S-trim level for '17?

Help me figure this out.

I was aimlessly poking around Car & Driver last night and came across this article about AWD as an option on the VW Golf SportWagen for ‘17. I was surprised to see it’s only being offered on the S model and not the SE, or the more luxurious SEL model. Sure, I’m happy we can say that there’s a VW wagon with AWD and a stick, but there are a few things really bothering me.

I can’t help but wonder why AWD isn’t being offered on the upper level models. Admitedly, I didn’t take any time ( ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )to research this, but when was the last time that an AWD option was relegated to the bottom of the pack? It’s not like the SE and SEL are performance variants and there’s a reason to not offer AWD because their FWD has been so well developed (ie. M cars sticking with RWD instead of X drive...for now).

I grew up in the Mid-Atlantic/North East. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Well, I think I know a thing or two about the type of people who drive AWD cars for the occasional snow storm. I’m thinking of suburban parents, the outdoorsy type, and parents buying AWD for their teens because they think AWD = invincibility. To some extent, these people are still buying their cars as status symbols. Does the base-level with 15 inch wheels and cloth seats qualify as a status symbol? I don’t think so. Where’s my HID’s, in-dash nav, driver assistants, leatherette, panoramic moon roof? Where are the nicer & bigger alloys?

Come on, I’m not wrong...right?! Here’s the S:

2017 VW Golf SportWagen S

Here’s the SEL:

2017 VW Golf SportWagen SEL

Okay,’re probably thinking “Well, there’s always the new Alltrack.” Yeah, I think you’re right...but, then what’s the point here? The Alltrack is going to attract the outdoorsy type, those more strongly considering an Outback and it is offering it’s AWD in upper level trims. Those upper level trims are going to be carrying a lot fo the features buyers wants. Oh, and how could I forget? The Alltrack offers a stick in a trim other than the base.

So...I ask you this Volkswagen: Why can’t you let me have the option of buying an SEL with all of the options I love on my current car (2012 Autobahn GTI) and AWD? Why can’t I have a manual on my SEL? Why are you going to make the AWD Sportwagen compete with your own car - the Alltrack? Lastly, why can’t it look like your freaking concept? I’d drive the damn thing...and I’d mostly stop asking for the Golf R wagon!

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