VW Golf Alltrack review

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Rear view of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Volkswagen has adorned its long-running Golf with many body styles over the years, and now there’s the Alltrack, an all-wheel drive version of Golf wagon, which has already endeared itself to families and sports lovers through smart functionality and attention to detail in its body design.

The AWD system that VW calls 4MOTION has been upgraded for Alltrack to deliver a greater variety of selectable drive modes, including an off-road function with hill descent control, modified accelerator response and dirt road-optimised ABS. At the other end of the selection range is Eco-drive that includes engine stop/start and brake energy recuperation, as well as a coasting function.

Given Alltrack’s appetite for regular dirt road use, it also has 20mm more ground clearance than the standard Golf wagon and 205/55-profile tyres, while wheel arch mouldings and flared side sills give extra body protection. We found Alltrack to be notably composed on loose surfaces and unmade roads, with good ride quality. Yet there was no perceivable loss of handling on bitumen compared with the regular wagon.

Golf Alltrack has a new 1.8L turbo-petrol engine paired with a 6spd DSG automatic transmission. Official fuel consumption of 6.7L/100km is optimistic; our initial readings show it’s likely to be one or two litres higher in normal use.

Priced from $37,990, Alltrack is clearly no-entry model and comes with a list of safety features, equipment specification and the latest infotainment system. Notable in the safety package is a driver’s knee airbag and head protecting curtains front and rear, as well as driver fatigue monitoring, low tyre pressure monitoring and a reversing camera.

Entertainment via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are displayed in HD via the 6.5-inch media unit that also offers USB, SD card and AUX-in connectivity. Those looking for more can option either the Driver Assistance Package ($1300), which includes traffic monitoring with city emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and parking assistance, or the Sports Luxury Package at $2500 for dark-tinted windows, a panoramic glass sunroof, 18-inch alloys and gear-shift paddles.

VW continues to lead this market segment when it comes to smart cabin presentation and tactile material finish, which in this instance also flows through to the more basic aspects of the wagon. Impressive space, flexible configurations and thoughtful design features make it one of the best small wagons.

Talking points

  • A practical station wagon with attention to detail
  • First All-Wheel Drive version of the Golf wagon
  • Dirt roads-focused, but no compromise on bitumen

VW Golf Alltrack

Price: $37,990 + 4536 est. on road costs. Metallic paint: $500
Standard safety: 7 airbags, ABS/ESC, ISOFIX child seat mounts, driver fatigue warning, rear view camera, rain and light sensors, low tyre pressure indicator
Standard features: 4-motion all-wheel drive, electronic differential lock, dual zone climate control, satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, Heated / leather trimmed front seats
Mechanicals: 1798cc turbo-petrol engine. 6spd DSG auto. 4MOTION AWD with drive modes. 132kW, 280Nm.
Fuel consumption: GVG 6.7 L/100km, Co2 emissions 158g/km DSG, 95 RON-PULP, 55L
Options: Driver assistance package, $1300; Sports luxury package, $2500
Tyres: 205/55 R17, space saver spare wheel
Warranty: 36 months / unlimited km; capped price servicing, 12 months / 15,000km

Written by Ernest Litera
February 02, 2016