By on April 5, 2012

Volkswagen purists rejoice; here’s a European Passat wagon with a 2.0L diesel, a DSG gearbox, all-wheel drive and the prestige of not being an American-built VW.

The AllTrack is officially a concept for our purposes, but VW will sell you one if you live in the Schengen Zone. Look for an American version to have a gasoline option as well as the 140 horsepower TDI motor. The AllTrack would conceivably be a strong rival to the Subaru Outback while also helping VW out with the big gaping crossover hole in their lineup. I wonder if they’ll offer it with a manual?

The biggest sticking point here seems to be that the AllTrack is ostensibly built in Europe, off of a car that isn’t sold here. Will it be imported or will Chattanooga somehow be retrofitted to build a unique model?

Thanks to AutoGuide.com for the photos

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28 Comments on “New York 2012: Volkswagen Passat AllTrack Satisfies The Diesel Wagon Crowd...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    If you build it, they will come. This is now on my watch list. Wagon. Check. AWD. Check. Diesel efficiency. Check. Better reliability than a GM first generation U-Body minivan. Check.

    Build the sucker – and don’t gouge for the diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      They are certainly going to gouge for the diesel. Golf, Jetta, Passat. They gouge on all of them.

      Ticks me off, but with the HPFP issue bouncing around the web, I don’t know if I would get a TDI now even if it was priced closer to the gas.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    If this car was meant to be an olive branch to to the mythical wagon-enthusiast crowd who keeps demanding a real sporty wagon, I don’t understand the lack of a manual transmission option.

    Personally, no manual transmission is deal-breaker for me no matter how ideal the car is. I honestly, don’t care if it has a diesel engine or not. Wagon/AWD/manual….that’s my holy trinity….and I’m still waiting for someone other than Subaru to offer me that package.

    • 0 avatar
      graham

      Agreed on the manual being a must-have if the “enthusiast” wagon crowd is to be pleased, of which I consider myself to be a member.

      As to your holy trinity quest, BMW would have been happy to sell you a 3-Series Sport Wagon with a manual transmission, AWD and no pesky iDrive. I have a 2012 328xiT 6-speed manual, AWD with M-Tech package and iDrive-delete. It replaced my 2004 WRX Wagon, and was the only thing that even came close to it in terms of driving enjoyment and practicality. The new F30 3-Series wagon hasn’t been announced for US sale yet, but indications are that BMW will continue to import it to the US, although a manual transmission is always a question mark these days.

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        well I’ll be damned…how the hell did I miss that. I swear every time I checked the BMW website for a wagon, it only listed automatics. How are you liking it?

      • 0 avatar
        graham

        @Nostrathomas: I’m liking it a lot! Definitely a keeper. And the BMW website was never very clear about the manual availability–when using the online config tool you had to select the manual as a no-cost “option” buried on the last page.

    • 0 avatar
      jco

      I really hate to be a pain, but the DSG is a manual transmission. having a computer operating the clutch(es) doesn’t change that. it just removes the 3rd pedal. I get what you’re saying, but you can still shift for yourself. the computer, especially in S mode, barely makes itself noticed. it isn’t a laggy slush box.

      • 0 avatar
        Nostrathomas

        Sorry, I just don’t consider anything without a 3rd pedal to be a manual transmission. I know it’s not an automatic slushbox, but still, just not the same. It’s the clutch part that makes it fun….well that and the actual stick action.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Manual doesn’t correspond to a design. Manual means you control the mechanical components with your hand and without automation. I don’t care if a flappy paddle car has one clutch, two, or none. It isn’t a manual because all you’re doing with the paddles is making requests that the computer executes at its own discretion. Reality is that nobody bothers with the paddles after the first week of ownership anyway. Even F1 drivers let the computers shift for them until regulations were introduced to make them use the farcial paddles. All production sequential transmission used in automobiles are automatics. How they go about it doesn’t make any of them less automatic than any others. How about the Fords that don’t even bother with shift paddles? IIRC, the EOS DSG also does away with the pretense of driver control.

      • 0 avatar
        jco

        I’m waiting for a dsg-style box with a Ferrari/Lamborghini style gated shifter. use the gates to flick through the gears, push it to the top/side/etc to go back to auto mode.

        in the modern era of drive by wire, an actual manual still feels synthetic to me, anyways. but again, I do understand your point.

      • 0 avatar
        Pig_Iron

        An “automated layshaft transmission” was what we were taught to call them back in school – 20 odd years ago. The Hondamatic was the the first big commercial one I remember, but it had only one set of cogs, and a torque converter.

        My dad had one in Civic, and it was an abomination – so I was the one who ended up driving it. It was so ghastly; I dreamed they would evolve into these modern dual clutch, double layshaft wonders that are out now.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      The DSG is a manual transmission. In fact the DSG is a BETTER manual transmission. The only thing you can’t do with the DSG that you could with a manual is a grotesque clutch-frying tire burnout.

      I don’t imagine you are buying a TDI stationwagon for that purpose.

      • 0 avatar
        graham

        DSG and the like may technically be automatically actuated manual transmissions, but at heart they are a slush box with finger paddles and I think that’s what CJinSD was referring to. The fact that they can be programmed to shift faster and rev-match on downshifts, etc. is irrelevent to me and most likely 99.9% of people who buy cars equipped with them. I prefer the tactical process of depressing the clutch and moving the shift lever to change gears, and no DSG can replicate that.

    • 0 avatar
      tdidriver

      I’m with you on the manual trans being a deal breaker. My wish is Wagon/AWD/Manual/Diesel and under $35k. I’ll keep dreaming for now.

  • avatar
    ReturnofSAM

    Is previous gen European platform more or less desirable than the current US platform Passat?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Yours for the low, low, low price of…40 large. Any bets?

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I will take one if it comes with a gas motor and a stick. This should not be a big lift for VW, as they used to offer the last generation Passat wagon with a stick through the 2008 model year.

    And let’s face it: a new wagon is always a tough sell, and the BEST way to get gobs of free advertizing for one on the blogosphere would be to put a stick in it.

    The alltrak should really be a no brainer for VW. Subaru sold something like 67,000 Outbacks last year, and it’s arguably one of the uglier cars on the road today. I see no reason why a VW version with better handling and fuel economy couldn’t take a huge chunk of that away.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree and I would have thought Subaru and VW customer demographics are similar.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Our closest dealer sells both VW and Subaru, but the VW side definitely seems to have a more distinctly “upscale” clientele so I’m not sure what you meant by “similar demographics”.

        And guess which service department side is always crowded and noisy?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        onxy – by similar demographics I meant the clique about chic, crunchy, Birkenstock wearing customers. Subaru had a definite image before they became more mainstream. VW customers have also had the image of being a little different – hence the sales of diesels, manuals, turbos before they started to be more mainstream (not that diesel is quite there yet).

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    What a dilemma. I LOVE diesels, and while perhaps Subaru could be persuaded to offer its diesel here, the Outback has become too much of a chick/mommy-mobile. But VW’s “quality” (indeed the European brands’ “quality in general) scares the heck out of me …

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I thought the picture was of a Volvo XC70.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I would totally buy this stationwagon…. if only it wasn’t made by VW.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i’m not interested in diesel, DSG or AWD or VWs… i do like the idea of a high-ish performance wagon with an eye on economy

    granted the day an RWD manual wagon appears will probably be even slimmer than this thing

    i do have a place for smallish FWD wagons like the Golf or Cruze wagons… with little turbo fours that can be flashed they have some performance with economy…

  • avatar
    PlentyofCars

    Is this a Haldex or Audi/Torsen AWD ??

  • avatar

    The DSGs in America are rated to tow exactly zero pounds. Give me a manual please.


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