Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Economical range of diesel engines…
  • But they’re less economical than in the Golf Estate
  • Most powerful is automatic-only

If you’re expecting Volkswagen Golf Alltrack performance to be a highlight you could be disappointed. For a start there are no petrol engines offered in the UK, so a choice of two diesel is your limit.

Diesel-centric engine range

Initially helping it stand out from the 2.0-litre only SEAT Leon X-Perience and Skoda Octavia Scout, with which it shares much of its technology, was the option of a 1.6-litre TDI with 110hp, but this was discontinued at the start of 2017.

It was no great loss because it wasn’t the most efficient in the range, despite being the slowest.

Most popular is the 2.0-litre TDI with 150hp and 340Nm of torque. It dispenses with the benchmark 0-62mph test in just 8.9 seconds and claims a theoretical top speed of 129mph.

That extra performance and flexibility comes into its own on the open road as this engine is only available with the easy-shifting six-speed manual gearbox with well-spread ratios.

Those who require the car to change gear for them will need to invest in the most powerful 2.0-litre TDI – with 184hp and 380Nm of torque – for its seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Quicker than its less-powerful sibling, this engine allows the four-wheel drive Alltrack to complete the 0-62mph sprint in 7.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 136mph.

  • Confidence-boosting levels of traction
  • Doesn’t really excite the driver, though
  • Softer springs to cope with mild off-roading

Most of the time there’s no appreciable difference between the way the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack handles and any other Golf Estate. That’s to say it is never particularly exciting, dramatic or engaging but perfectly neat, safe, secure and confidence-inspiring.

A standard XDS electronic differential at the front means turn-in is relatively sharp, with an agile and responsive front end that reacts quickly to the steering.

The steering wheel may not be overloaded with informative feedback, but the supreme traction offered by the 4Motion four-wheel drive system means you’re never left questioning where this car’s limits are.

A switchable Drive Mode Select function allows you to adapt the response of the steering and engine between comfort, Sport, Normal, Eco and individually tailored modes.

That said, there is more bodyroll than in a regular Golf Estate, courtesy of springs that place the car’s body 25mm higher, while being a softer set-up to deal with any off-road obstacles.

If you do take it off-road, the Alltrack comes with a an extra Offroad function in the Drive Profile selector, which includes a hill-descent control that regulates your speed when descending slopes – without you having to touch the pedals at all.