The Golf Alltrack is a subtly beautiful machine. We think it needs its body moved by about 1.4 inches and the separation of its cladding to be about perfect. Indeed, the second generation Tiguan is still months away, and VW’s long-awaited three-row mid-sizer, both are likely 2018 versions, doesn’t yet have a name.
Instead we get the 2017 Golf Alltrack, which is just an all-wheel-steer Volkswagen Golf SportWagen with a bit of an elevate, some unmerited cladding, and a name—if not a precise reciting stolen from Toyota’s past. Without a walk in the chairing point or a lifted roof, the Alltrack feels not even a small like a crossover. The elevate assets to just 1.4 inches, most of it approaching from gangling wheels and tires, though VW says the Alltrack does have longer springs and plates. Its selectable off-road steer method among Normal, Sport, Custom and Off-Road acted hill-descent control and futzes with the valve and transmission calibrations, yet it’s conveyed mostly for jumping along two-tracks, which we did.
We could acknowledge the Alltrack’s high endurance for furrowed anchorages, coextensive with its increased ground interval. What we didn’t feel—thankfully—was any other momentous grade from any other regular Golf. The light and specific driving, the awesome body command and the route the automobile flows from one line to the next all endured this crossover-ication just satisfactory. The same is actual for the cleanable styling, hard make grade and aesthetic indoor, none of which were changed in any fashion worthy further note. Our try-out car decided 3497 pounds, 260 more than the last front-steer SportWagen to pass our standards.
But the additional mass made small grade at the try-out line. Launch command and the additional set of steer wheels aided the Alltrack nip the SportWagen by three-tenths of an second in the zero-to-60 mph race, at 7.5 seconds, though we decided both vehicles at 15.9 through the quarter-mile. Slightly beamy latex aided the Alltrack move a decent 0.84 g on the skidpad, beating the SportWagen’s 0.82. The stopping performance was worse than the SportWagen’s by six feet, with the Alltrack stopping in 172 feet from 70 mph.
Fuel system is about the only other measurable location in which the Alltrack comes up abbreviated, with our spied distance of just 25 mpg lagging the 26 we gained in the last front-steer SportWagen. VW balanced for the diminished fuel system by increasing the tank magnitude in the Alltrack by 1.3 gallons. Of more value is an improved powertrain, which marries the base Golf’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four with the Golf R’s driveline. That means the Alltrack gets Volkswagen’s six-speed dual-grasping automatic transmission instead of a conventioanl automatic transmission.
While this DSG is no longer the groundbreaking transmission it was in 2003, it still provides more-consistent shifting and delivers a sportier character. As in the R, an electronically regulated grasping manages the front-to-rear force split. The computer can registerly the brakes individually to direct torque to the left- or right-side wheels on either shaft. The Alltrack doesn’t steer much like the Golf R acknowledgments to a 122-hp insufficiency.
Ultimately, Volkswagen is not aiming those looking for a less fast rally wagon, but it’s wishing its Alltrack might persuade some of the armies of Subaru customers to forget about Dieselgate and drop by their local VW dealerships. There, they will find not only the Alltrack, but also a Golf SportWagen with newly accessible all-wheel drive. That one can be had only in debased cut stages, thereby protecting the expensive arena for the Alltrack.
While the Alltrack starts at just $26,670, that’s for a six-speed-manual transmission model, which will not be here until early 2017. Our filled inquirer, on the other extremity, were $35,705, which seems like quite a lot of cash for an automobile supplying only 170 horsepower. Yet it comes with every manner of driver-assistance feature and VW’s brand-new information system, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aid, needs to pursue thought crossover customers. If they plummet for this Alltrack trickery, they’ll actually be getting a perfect automobile, the only serious nonaccomplishment being its solo USB port.