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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
My girlfriend and I just bought a 2016 Sportwagen TSI SEL with 26,000 miles! I am new to the VW community but super excited to start participating. Over time I want to do a bunch of fun mods, but for now I just want to hear what you all suggest or recommend for mods/maintenance/things to look out for or know.

I've almost exclusively had Toyota/Honda products in the past, so if there are other people like me who've made the jump let me know if there are things I need to look out for that are very different. Thanks for having me, and I'm exited to get to know this community more!
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Welcome aboard. I've owned VWs since 1989 (yep, I'm an old-ish dude). My advice is keep up on the maintenance - oil changes, etc. If you take care of the car, it will usually last a long time. My experience is that VWs that are not well cared for will bite you in the butt.

As for mods, it is a blank canvas for you to decide. I can tell you what I would do, but you may think different. It depends on what you want out of the car, how much you are willing to spend, can you do your own work, etc. etc.

The best power for dollar mod is an ECU tune. Any of the major tuning companies will offer similar improvements. The Stage 1 tune really wakes up the motor quite a bit. I'd look at APR or Unitronic myself. Some people are using Integrated Engineering (IE). Best bet is to find a shop near you that offers ECU tuning.

After that - I would go wheels/tires, maybe lower it, rear sway bar, and headlight swap. But that's just me....
Enjoy the journey
 

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Woot woot! Welcome. Silk blue

First and foremost, realize and relish that you have an awesome car that can be whatever you want.

Your car has as much or more usable interior room than many SUVs, yet can still be driven for as many smiles as a sports car, but costs less to buy and gets better MPG than either. Win,win,win!

The best bang for your buck for mods IMO is a stage 1 ECU tune. If VW had that as an option from the factory for the same price...I don't know lol it's totally awesome and seems to be free from pretty much any downside.

Window tint, suspension, and wheels can transform your ride into whatever you like of course.

I really can't say enough about the amount of interior space. I was looking for some extra blankets yesterday and found 4 hidden under the rear floor (and a chair I was looking for) along with the spare tire and other emergency items and there was plenty of room for more stuff. 2 cozy people can easily camp in back on a twin size air mattress. It's certainly bigger than any "2 person" tent. There is room for a pair of winter boots or a storage drawer under each front seat.

The exterior cargo capacity is also amazing with a hitch and/or a roof rack.

Another beautiful day today.
Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
 

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Welcome to MK7 V-Dub Wagon life! In my opinion, the single best mod for the Golf Sportwagen is a rear sway bar upgrade. I've got the 25 mm Eibach rear sway bar. There's others including 26mm and 27 mm as well as GTI/ R rear sway bars (not as good, but some people get them dirt cheap like $25, so why not especially if you're doing the install yourself) I paid like $180 for mine and $45 labor to install. It's an easy install but I'm just lazy sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome aboard. I've owned VWs since 1989 (yep, I'm an old-ish dude). My advice is keep up on the maintenance - oil changes, etc. If you take care of the car, it will usually last a long time. My experience is that VWs that are not well cared for will bite you in the butt.

As for mods, it is a blank canvas for you to decide. I can tell you what I would do, but you may think different. It depends on what you want out of the car, how much you are willing to spend, can you do your own work, etc. etc.

The best power for dollar mod is an ECU tune. Any of the major tuning companies will offer similar improvements. The Stage 1 tune really wakes up the motor quite a bit. I'd look at APR or Unitronic myself. Some people are using Integrated Engineering (IE). Best bet is to find a shop near you that offers ECU tuning.

After that - I would go wheels/tires, maybe lower it, rear sway bar, and headlight swap. But that's just me....
Enjoy the journey
I will definitely be doing all fluids as soon as I can (it's a little too cold in Chicago for it right now). I have been eyeing the APR tunes and will being jumping on that once I do all maintenance items. Headlights are also on the short list (I can't stand reflector headlights).

I see a few recommendations for rear sway bars, has anyone noticed a harsher ride after swapping?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Woot woot! Welcome. Silk blue

First and foremost, realize and relish that you have an awesome car that can be whatever you want.

Your car has as much or more usable interior room than many SUVs, yet can still be driven for as many smiles as a sports car, but costs less to buy and gets better MPG than either. Win,win,win!

The best bang for your buck for mods IMO is a stage 1 ECU tune. If VW had that as an option from the factory for the same price...I don't know lol it's totally awesome and seems to be free from pretty much any downside.

Window tint, suspension, and wheels can transform your ride into whatever you like of course.

I really can't say enough about the amount of interior space. I was looking for some extra blankets yesterday and found 4 hidden under the rear floor (and a chair I was looking for) along with the spare tire and other emergency items and there was plenty of room for more stuff. 2 cozy people can easily camp in back on a twin size air mattress. It's certainly bigger than any "2 person" tent. There is room for a pair of winter boots or a storage drawer under each front seat.

The exterior cargo capacity is also amazing with a hitch and/or a roof rack.

Another beautiful day today.
Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
Thank you! I am a big fan of the color as well.
I'm excited for my first wagon experience :D.
We have a young dog so we'll definitely be pushing the interior space to the max. Hopefully we can take it back to Colorado for some camping this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to MK7 V-Dub Wagon life! In my opinion, the single best mod for the Golf Sportwagen is a rear sway bar upgrade. I've got the 25 mm Eibach rear sway bar. There's others including 26mm and 27 mm as well as GTI/ R rear sway bars (not as good, but some people get them dirt cheap like $25, so why not especially if you're doing the install yourself) I paid like $180 for mine and $45 labor to install. It's an easy install but I'm just lazy sometimes.
Thank you! Another recommendation for the rear sway bar, I will definitely get on that once things settle down. I have a Miata so I don't need this car to handle well, but in the short time I've driven it so far, I think it will be fun to find the limits (maybe autocross once or twice? ;))
 

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I see a few recommendations for rear sway bars, has anyone noticed a harsher ride after swapping?
No. Not from the rear sway bar alone. I got my 25 mm Eibach rear sway bar installed at the same time that I did Eibach Pro-Kit springs and Bilstein B8s. It felt stiffer in a sporty way, but not harsh per Se. More recently, I also did an ECS rear stress bar. Now that I must say really stiffens the ride to the point where I'm thinking harsh would be an appropriate way to describe the ride. It's not too bad but I admit, it's not for everyone. Rear sway bar on the other hand, isn't going to make your car harsh.
 
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Hey all,
My girlfriend and I just bought a 2016 Sportwagen TSI SEL with 26,000 miles! I am new to the VW community but super excited to start participating. Over time I want to do a bunch of fun mods, but for now I just want to hear what you all suggest or recommend for mods/maintenance/things to look out for or know.

I've almost exclusively had Toyota/Honda products in the past, so if there are other people like me who've made the jump let me know if there are things I need to look out for that are very different. Thanks for having me, and I'm exited to get to know this community more! View attachment 147553
Congrats on joining the club. is it automatic or manual? Especially since you got the base 1.8 Golf, there’s very little maintenance that wouldn’t be required on a Honda. Only thing would be carbon cleaning @ 80K miles. Other than that just look through the manufacturer maintenance schedule in your owners manual and do the 10K services.

Not sure if you’ve ever owned a turbo before, only piece of unique advice I have is when you turn the car on, cycle through the Driving Data screens on the MFD (info screen between the Tach/Speedo) to the Oil Temperature display (not to be confused with the coolant temperature gauge nested underneath the tach). The Oil Temp display will be 3 flat lines
“- - -“ until it reaches ~120 degrees. Don’t apply greater than 10-15, 20% throttle until your oil temp gets up to 160+ degrees and your turbo will last longer than your wastegate actuator 😉
 

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Congrats. I have owned VW since 92. Every time I thought I have left the mark only to come back with a newer model.
By the way, I owned a 2016 MkVII golf SE sportswagon. I had installed kwv1 coilover. This along with 18” VMR 710 wheels transformed the car’s looks and handling. Despite the ****ty roads in socal, the car ‘s ride wasn’t harsh at all.
Enjoy the car.
 

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I will definitely be doing all fluids as soon as I can (it's a little too cold in Chicago for it right now). I have been eyeing the APR tunes and will being jumping on that once I do all maintenance items. Headlights are also on the short list (I can't stand reflector headlights).

I see a few recommendations for rear sway bars, has anyone noticed a harsher ride after swapping?
If you’ve got the pockets for it, Osram produces OEM-quality aftermarket headlights for the MK7 Golf platform. They are not replicas of the OEM headlights, they are their own aftermarket design. However Osram is, themselves, an OEM light manufacturer. So their kit is the highest quality aftermarket kit for the MK7 platform. It is designed specifically for the Halogen equipped cars so it is plug and play. It may have some added functionalities that can be enabled via VCDS/OBDEleven coding.

Oh that’s another suggestion: VCDS + a Windows machine (can be a tablet or a ****ty old work computer, whatever allows you to DL + install Ross-Tech’s VagCom Diagnostic Software. It is a reverse engineered version of VW’s ODIS software their dealers use to plug cars in and feed ECU data to VW Wolfsburg. You can do almost anything a dealer can do in the ECU with VCDS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Congrats on joining the club. is it automatic or manual? Especially since you got the base 1.8 Golf, there’s very little maintenance that wouldn’t be required on a Honda. Only thing would be carbon cleaning @ 80K miles. Other than that just look through the manufacturer maintenance schedule in your owners manual and do the 10K services.

Not sure if you’ve ever owned a turbo before, only piece of unique advice I have is when you turn the car on, cycle through the Driving Data screens on the MFD (info screen between the Tach/Speedo) to the Oil Temperature display (not to be confused with the coolant temperature gauge nested underneath the tach). The Oil Temp display will be 3 flat lines
“- - -“ until it reaches ~120 degrees. Don’t apply greater than 10-15, 20% throttle until your oil temp gets up to 160+ degrees and your turbo will last longer than your wastegate actuator 😉
Thank you!
Sadly, it is an automatic. I would have loved to get the 6 speed but my partner and I share the car and she isn't huge on manual shifting.
This is my second turbo vehicle, but absolutely, I try to take it easy until everything is up to temp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Congrats. I have owned VW since 92. Every time I thought I have left the mark only to come back with a newer model.
By the way, I owned a 2016 MkVII golf SE sportswagon. I had installed kwv1 coilover. This along with 18” VMR 710 wheels transformed the car’s looks and handling. Despite the ****ty roads in socal, the car ‘s ride wasn’t harsh at all.
Enjoy the car.
I think I may need to wait for the original shocks to go to convince my partner to let me spend some serious cash on coilovers, but it's definitely on my mind. I almost put coilovers on my last vehicle and it was an SUV! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you’ve got the pockets for it, Osram produces OEM-quality aftermarket headlights for the MK7 Golf platform. They are not replicas of the OEM headlights, they are their own aftermarket design. However Osram is, themselves, an OEM light manufacturer. So their kit is the highest quality aftermarket kit for the MK7 platform. It is designed specifically for the Halogen equipped cars so it is plug and play. It may have some added functionalities that can be enabled via VCDS/OBDEleven coding.

Oh that’s another suggestion: VCDS + a Windows machine (can be a tablet or a ****ty old work computer, whatever allows you to DL + install Ross-Tech’s VagCom Diagnostic Software. It is a reverse engineered version of VW’s ODIS software their dealers use to plug cars in and feed ECU data to VW Wolfsburg. You can do almost anything a dealer can do in the ECU with VCDS.
Thanks for the suggestion on the Osram headlights, I'll have to look into them. I've heard other's mention Ed's headlights? I haven't dove too far into the options yet, but seeing Golf R headlights makes me itch with envy.
I'll look into the VCDS as well, I've read a bit on here already about the things you can change or modify with the software and I'm sure that'll come in handy sooner than later. Especially with some of the retrofits I want to do.
 

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I think I may need to wait for the original shocks to go to convince my partner to let me spend some serious cash on coilovers, but it's definitely on my mind. I almost put coilovers on my last vehicle and it was an SUV! :ROFLMAO:
I hear you . I bought mine used from a fellow vw enthusiast. He had traded his wagon for a Tiguan. So I jumped on the deal as they had only 11000 miles on them.
 

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Rear sway makes a cheap and easy difference and you shouldn't notice any harshness unless you are SUPER particular.

Is that your car in the picture? It doesn't appear to be an SEL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Rear sway makes a cheap and easy difference and you shouldn't notice any harshness unless you are SUPER particular.

Is that your car in the picture? It doesn't appear to be an SEL.
I'm definitely not but my partner may be. That said, she probably wouldn't notice. I may have to sneak it on...
And crap, you're right! It's the Limited Edition. I--wrongly--assumed that was just an SEL plus a badge.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion on the Osram headlights, I'll have to look into them. I've heard other's mention Ed's headlights? I haven't dove too far into the options yet, but seeing Golf R headlights makes me itch with envy.
I'll look into the VCDS as well, I've read a bit on here already about the things you can change or modify with the software and I'm sure that'll come in handy sooner than later. Especially with some of the retrofits I want to do.
Ed went out of business after like 10+ years due to the pandemic. Helix are the other main replica people used besides Ed’s. I’m not as up on that part of the market as I used to be. Go on golfmk7. Pretty active user base, more specific to the golf platform than VWVortex which is like 50% people who don’t seem to own VWs lol.
 
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