A niche product, but an alluring – if pricey one – all the same
- Rugged looks
- Spacious loadbay
- Practical touches
- Impressive quality
- Restricted engine range
- Expensive to buy
- More green-laner than off-roader
Even the briefest of glances in the direction of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack confirms that this is the familiar Audi A6 Allroad, Volvo V90 Cross Country and, of course, VW Passat Alltrack recipe writ small.
Being more compact, the Golf Estate-based Alltrack will be more cost-effective to run, but it operates in a niche with little competition, save primarily for its in-house cousins, the SEAT Leon X-Perience and Skoda Octavia Scout.
Apart from the obvious SUV-influenced looks which feature bare plastic bumper trims and a 15mm higher ride height, there’s some surprising capability here.
Volkswagen’s 4Motion four-wheel drive joins a system called EDS which aims to mirror the effect of locking the differentials in true, hardcore off-roader style. Essentially this means optimum traction at all times for rougher terrain.
The Alltrack also gets XDS+, which brakes the wheels on the inside of corners slightly to improve cornering performance on-road.
There’s also an Offroad drive mode, which activates the hill descent function (brakes the car automatically to retain control on steep descents) and modified throttle and ABS functions optimised for off-road driving.
A braked towing weight of up to 2,000kg additionally makes it a capable tow car.
Diesel-only engine line-up
There’s a choice of two engines – both diesels – starting with a 150hp 2.0-litre TDI and a 184hp version of the same engine. The former come with a six-speed manual gearbox, and the latter only with a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. A 110hp 1.6-litre TDI was available until the 2017 facelift.
No surprise that the 150hp 2.0-litre is the slower of the pair, completing the 0-62mph benchmark sprint in 8.9 seconds. It’s more economical and efficient, with a 56.5mpg claimed combined economy and 129g/km CO2 output.
Choose the auto-only 184hp version and not much changes, taking 7.8 seconds to sprint from 0-62mph and still returning 54.3mpg – though emissions of 137g/km push it into the next VED tax band.
Alltrack’s styling changes
The redesigned front and rear bumpers, coupled with the black plastic styling addenda, which characterises the Alltrack as an off-road type of vehicle, are highlighted by chrome tailpipes and a bespoke silver styling package.
Inside it’s based largely on the Golf Estate GT trim, so there’s a leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights following the 2017 facelift, Discover sat-nav with touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, and a driver alert system to sense when you’re getting tired. Plus there’s the obligatory smattering of Alltrack logos.
While the other Golfs received a facelift for 2017, most of the visual changes were lost on the Alltrack, save for keener eyes clocking the new lights and interior improvements. Most significant was the seven-speed DSG replacing the previous six-speeder on the 184hp version.
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack model history
- April 2015 – Orders open for the Alltrack with first deliveries in the August. All versions have diesel engines – 1.6-litre TDI with 110hp and 2.0-litre TDI producing 150hp and 184hp – suspension raised by 15mm and 4Motion four-wheel drive.
- June 2016 – Minor improvements across the range include an allergy filter for the dual-zone climate control.
- February 2017 – revised lights front and rear, an improved 8.0-inch multimedia system and the discontinuation of the 1.6-litre TDI version. The range-topping model’s six-speed DSG transmission is replaced by one with seven ratios.