New Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Revealed: Powerful Engines and Offroad Mode

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack 7 photos
Photo: Volkswagen
Volkswagen Golf AlltrackVolkswagen Golf AlltrackVolkswagen Golf AlltrackVolkswagen Golf AlltrackVolkswagen Golf AlltrackVolkswagen Golf Alltrack
Volkswagen has surprised us today by revealing a new model called the Golf Alltrack before its imminent debut at the Paris Motor Show. The company already has a practical Golf estate with all-wheel drive and an Alltrack version of the Passat, which is only slightly bigger. But considering both sister brands, SEAT and Skoda, offer the such estate crossovers, perhaps we should act so shocked.
The Golf Alltrack is based on the same idea pioneered all those years ago by the Audi allroad quattro. You take one estate, raise the suspension a bit, add protective body cladding and voila – instant adventure vehicle.

This is the fifth body style offed in the MQB-based Golf range, after the 3-door, 5-door, estate and SV. And that's not including the four hot hatch versions they've got going on. So what makes the Alltrack special?

First of all, it offers up to 20mm of extra ground clearance and is protected by extra body cladding. The Golf 7 was never a sexy car, but in red with silver scuff plates and beefy 17-inch alloys… maybe, just maybe.

Haldex-based all-wheel drive is nothing new, but the Golf Alltrack also packs an extra "Offroad" driving profile that activates a hill descent function, changes the accelerator pedal characteristics and off-road configuration of the ABS system (modified ABS cut-in interval when braking forms desirable wedge of gravel in front of wheels for better traction).

Four engine choices: power, economy or both

Compared to a regular Golf, the Alltrack's engine choices offer much slimmer pickings. But the company has wisely selected the four mills that almost all buyers will want. At the bottom of the range, we have the 1.6-liter TDI, pushing out only 110 PS. After that, you get a choice of two 2.0 TDIs, either with 150 PS or 184 PS. Finally, there's the single petrol, the 1.8 TSI pushing out 180 PS. The two versions with 180 PS and 184 PS transfer their power to the all-wheel drive system via a standard six-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG), while the other two… well they just don't.

The base 1.6 TDI the slow, cheap model in the range, claiming 0 to 100 km/h in 12.1 seconds and a top speed of 187 km/h (116 mph). Most people are probably going to buy the 150 PS diesel, but we can't help but be impressed by its top-spec brother that uses a hot hatch engine. It's also worth a quick note that this is the first time a Golf has been fitted with the EA888 1.8 TSI. It's brisk, taking 7.8 seconds to reach 100 km/h, which is in the same territory as a Golf GTD. This agility contrasts with an economical fuel consumption figure of 41.5 mpg (6.8 l/100 km).

My sisters, my enemies

As we've already established, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack arrives after sister brands Skoda and SEAT have launched their versions. The Czech car is called the Octavia Scout and is already at its second generation, a very successful model we might add. SEAT's crossover estate is called the Leon X-Perience and sees the Spanish brand sailing though uncharted waters.

The Golf Alltrack is sure to be the one with the most premium qualities and probably the best ride. Most crossover estate are in the bigger, more expensive D-segment (Passat Alltrack, Opel Insignia Cross Country and so on). However, Toyota is developing its own C-segment rival based on the Auris.

Final verdict

The Golf Alltrack walks a beaten path and doesn't bring any major innovations. However, it looks cool in red and for the first time we can say we prefer a Golf model over its SEAT counterpart in the cosmetics department. Its sporty nature and powerful engines might just be enough to make you forget about buying an SUV.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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