The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Review: For decades, the Volkswagen Golf came as a hatchback, with either two or four side doors. Its sibling, the Jetta sedan, was offered in wagon form. Now if you want a compact station wagon from the German giant, it wears the Golf nameplate, while Jettas are now sedans only. Does this all sound familiar? The Alltrack is a direct shot at a very successful competitor, the company that invented the tall wagon - Subaru. “Alltrack” sounds a lot like “Outback,” doesn’t it?
The Alltrack is new variant, standing slightly taller, with an additional .06 inch of ground clearance. Featuring Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive, it slots in just above a wagon, and just below a crossover, making it ideal for nearly everything a driver could want. With 94.3 cubic feet of passenger volume and 30.4 cubic feet of cargo space, the new Alltrack exudes practicality.
Inside, this is not a luxury vehicle, especially in the S level trim of my Blue Silk Metallic test vehicle. Step up to the SE and SEL for a host of welcome upgrades, but even at the entry point, you’ll touch leather when you steer and shift gears. My tester wore pretty blue paint, but inside, was mostly somber gray with silver accents. The Marrakesh Brown trim on the seats and doors provided some warmth, and the metal pedals added some sparkle down low up front.
Minor complaints: the power window buttons had hard edges, and the surprisingly sturdy rear cargo cover balked when I tried to remove it.
The Alltrack is a member of a shrinking pool of rides that let you select your own gears while stepping on a clutch with your left foot. However, early production is automatic-only, so my tester came with the DSG double-clutch unit instead of the six-speed stick.
Automatics are all pretty sophisticated these days. The DSG uses two clutches, one for gears 1, 3, 5 and the other for 2, 4 ,6. This means the next gear is already set up when it’s time for the change, so shifts are nearly instant. I experienced a little lurching forward on occasion, but otherwise the DSG was well mannered. However, if you must have the manual, you’ll just have to wait a while.
Off-Road Mode, standard on all trim levels, lets you take mild off road jaunts on a variety of terrains, including driving down steep grades.
The sole powerplant for the Alltrack is the 1.8L turbo shared with the regular Golf and Sportwagen. It churns out 170 horsepower and 199 lb.-ft. of torque to move 3,422 pounds, which is decent if not rocket fast. Four-wheel independent suspension keeps things sorted out.
The EPA gives the Alltrack with 4Motion ratings of 22 mpg City, 30 Highway, and 25 Combined. You get the same numbers if you select the more restrained and closer-to-the-earth Sportwagen. I averaged a respectable 25.2 mpg during my test week, which is an OK number, but nothing to get excited about. Green scores are a fine 8 for Smog but a mid pack 5 for Greenhouse Gas.
The S model makes the Alltrack quite affordable, but I missed certain things. The key is just a regular plastic-wrapped metal item that you stick into an ignition switch and turn, which feels kind of retro in 2017. That explains why there’s no button on the outside door handle to let you into the car, you need to take the key out and press a button on it. The climate controls are manual too, which isn’t really that big a deal but feels cut-rate.
But don’t despair. The SE and SEL are glad to provide the extra goodies. My tester, with no options, came to just $27,770 including shipping. The SEL top level will set you back $33,770. You’ll enjoy a panoramic sunroof, Fender Premium Audio, and keyless entry in the SE. Step up to the SEL for 18-inch wheels (replacing the 17’s), V-Tex leatherette seats, and Discover Media touchscreen navigation.
The new design is conservative and somewhat subdued, but there is no overdoing it either, a relief in this era of exuberant over styling. Inside and out, the Alltrack looks well thought out and very confident. Subaru would probably prefer that you didn’t know that. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: The Volkswagen Golf model lineup has a new Alltrack edition for 2017. Anything that distracts prospective customers’ attention away from the diesel emissions scandal is a win for consumers and a big win for VW’s management. The Golf story, including the new Alltrack, is a happy tale. Since 1975, the Golf has meant affordable, practical performance for VW worldwide.
The Jetta wagon has many fans, and its successor is the new, and much improved Golf Sportwagen and Alltrack. If you want the safety of all-wheel drive, the practicality of a small wagon and some extra driving enjoyment, the Alltrack is a fine and affordable choice. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. This Bottom Line Review is provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: Alltrack is a fine and affordable choice
Topic: The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Word Count: 964
Photo Caption: The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Photo Credits: Volkswagen Internet Media
Series #: 2017 - 31
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2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
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2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack