4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Golf on stilts offers excellent rough-road ability

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (20 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £36,050 - £36,050
Lease from new From £401 p/m View lease deals
Used price £25,585 - £28,160
Used monthly cost From £639 per month
Fuel Economy 48.7 - 50.4 mpg
Road tax cost £155
Insurance group 26 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Strong engine
  • Good size
  • Genuine 4x4 capability

CONS

  • Pricey
  • Fiddly Golf Mk8 switches; too few USBs
  • Missing the dynamic brilliance of the best Golfs

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack rivals

Written by Colin Overland on

Is the VW Golf Alltrack any good?

Yes, very good, so long as you’re sure about what exactly it is you’re getting. Like previous Golf Alltracks, it’s a Golf Estate orientated slightly more towards off-road (or simply bad-road) driving, with all the pros and cons that entails.

The 2021 Alltrack is estate-only, and comes to the UK with just one trim level and one engine and transmission option. You get a 2.0-litre diesel, driving all four wheels through a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch transmission and electronic diff lock. And you get a good amount of electronic safety kit, but not much frippery, luxury or flashiness.

It’s the sort of thing the VW Group used to do a huge amount of, but much of that energy has now been diverted into SUVs. You can still get a Skoda Octavia Estate in 4x4 form, but it’s a semi-sporty vRS, not the old Scout. And you can get a choice of Audi A4 Allroads, but they’re plusher and more expensive than the Alltrack.

What's it like inside?

The Alltrack cabin will be familiar to anyone who’s driven any Golf Mk8, complete with fiddly touchscreen and awkward switchgear. It has the same layout, and for the front occupants it’s the same size as the hatchback. If you can really tell that it sits 15mm higher than other Golfs, you might be interested to learn that Spider-Man wants his Spidey-Senses back, please.

The rear occupants get more space than in the hatch, and more than the previous estate. And the boot is a decent size: 1,642 litres when the rear seats are folded down, and accessed through a well shaped opening. And compared to SUVs, reaching in doesn’t involve any acrobatics.

The Alltrack has its own trim level, and it suits the car well: cloth upholstery, semi-sports seats in the front, Isofix compatability for two child seats in the back. The rear seats split 60:40, and there are two cupholders in the fold-down central armrest.

What's it like to drive?

Pretty good. The 2.0-litre diesel is a strong, punchy engine, offering good pulling power for heavily laden journeys, or lively acceleration when you’re driving for the pleasure of it.

Our test car had the optional Dynamic Chassis Control, which for £785 brings Normal, Comfort, Sport and Individual suspension settings, and 18-inch wheels rather than the standard 17s, for an extra £450. The result is very good ride quality, soaking up most bumps in a very untroubled manner, and sure steering.

If you’re a Golf fan, you’ll probably notice that the overall ‘feel’ of the Alltrack is not typical Golf. The steering’s a little heavier, and on a semi-conscious level the different weight distribution caused by the extra height and the estate’s longer wheelbase somehow loses a little of that Golf magic. But we’re talking very fine margins here – it’s a good car to drive.

Pretty quick, too. Floor the accelerator and you’ll be away from the lights very promptly. And yet, even with some lively driving, we were getting fuel economy in the high 40s, which translates to a realistic range between fills of well over 500 miles.

What models and trims are available?

Just the one version. It comes with three-zone climate control, electric windows front and rear, electrically heated and adjustable mirrors, 30 ambient lighting colours with front and rear footwell illumination, Adaptive Cruise Control, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via the Car-Net all, DAB radio, a USB-C charging socket and USB-C connector, Bluetooth, wireless phone charging and a 12v charger.

The options list include a panoramic sunroof and towbar.

Anything else I should know?

At a glance, the Alltrack might seem to be in competition with semi-ruggedised estates such as the Toyota Corolla Trek and Ford Focus Active. But in reality, they are much more half-hearted, token stabs at bringing a bit of extra practicality without going the full SUV hog.

The Alltrack, by contrast, has a proper 4x4 system, complete with Off Road Mode. We tried it on a muddy farm track and found that it coped well (although, not having the Toyota and Ford there for direct comparisons, they may have coped too).

Read on for our verdict on the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack rivals

Other Volkswagen Golf models: