2017 VW Alltrack review with video


2017 VW Golf AlltrackBase price: $35,295 + taxes
As tested: $38,215 + taxes
Average fuel economy over our week of testing: 9.2 L/100 kms (26 MPG)
Competition: Audi Allroad, Subaru Crosstrek, Subaru Outback, Volvo V60, etc

The basics:

For years, Volkswagen staff say they’ve been getting requests for a beefier, more utilitarian wagon from customers. Enter the Alltrack. It’s based on the same platform as the Golf SportWagen but has increased ground clearance, more aggressive exterior styling and the brand’s 4Motion all wheel drive system comes standard. Consider this a direct shot across Subaru’s bow – trying to entice those loyal, outdoor-minded Subie owners. For a full review, take a look at our video above and then check-out our report card below for a rapid fire list of what we liked (and didn’t).

2017 VW Golf AlltrackPros:

– Something that’s rather refreshing about the Alltrack is that there’s just one trim to choose from with one engine choice. And it’s very well-equipped right out of the gate (all wheel drive, a back-up camera, push button start, heated seats, leather, moonroof, navigation, dual zone climate control, 18 inch alloys, roof rack rails, etc, etc)
– The 1.8-litre turbo that comes standard, while not quite as peppy as Subaru’s 2-litre turbo once up to cruising speed, doesn’t have the annoying turbo lag we’ve encountered in many similarly sized engines when accelerating hard off the line
– The more aggressive exterior lines, along with the fire engine red colour of our tester have been turning heads all week – with a far more striking appearance than the current Outback
– The leather seats that come standard are comfortable, the material is tough and they aren’t perforated. Long time readers will know this is a beef of mine as the pinhole perforations are really tough to wipe clean after a spill. Thank you, Volkswagen!
– General build quality feels really solid with excellent attention to small details throughout the cabin

2017 VW Golf AlltrackCons:
– At this price, there are certain features that many crossovers and small SUVs offer up that aren’t even options in the Alltrack (blind spot monitoring, an auto lift tailgate and driver’s seat memory)
– The suspension, while fairly composed when going through corners despite the additional 15 mm of ground clearance compared to the SportWagen, is rather harsh on rougher roads
– The fun to drive nature of the Alltrack had me wanting paddle shifters on the steering wheel in our tester. While a six speed automatic transmission is standard equipment for now, a six speed manual is expected by the end of 2016 as well. That would really bring this car to life!
– The interior and infotainment system is generally very well executed with the exception of a pixelated, cheap looking digital display in the middle of the instrument cluster. This brings a dated look while VW’s sister company, Audi, has released its industry leading virtual cockpit in the same location
2017 VW Golf Alltrack– While the trunk capacity is a respectable 860 litres, height isn’t as good as in many small SUVs, like the Forester. Larger dogs or tall items will be more squeezed with the lower roof line. The Alltrack is meant to fall somewhere between the Outback (1005 litre capacity) and the Crosstrek (630 litre capacity). So on that front, it strikes a perfect middle ground
– But even though the Outback is much larger, its fuel efficiency in the 2.5-litre boxer engine that comes standard on that car is better
– The back seat is also not nearly as spacious as the Outback and you will have a hard time fitting rear facing car seats without making the front seats quite unusable. Once children are front facing, this is much less of an issue

Family Wheels report card:

Family Wheels driver comfort score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels interior layout score: 4/5
Family Wheels infotainment system score: 4/5
Family Wheels interior noise score: 3/5 (72 dB at 100 kms/h)
Family Wheels performance score: 4/5
Family Wheels rear passenger score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels trunk test score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels fuel economy score: 3.5/5
Family Wheels build quality score: 4.5/5
Family Wheels value score: 3.5/5

Family Wheels overall score: 36/50= 72%

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