2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack: Hit the (Minor) Trails and Bring the Family

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2017 volkswagen golf alltrack hit the minor trails and bring the family

Volkswagen has revealed the production version of its 2017 Golf Alltrack, a wagon for people who worry they won’t be able to clear that shallow ditch in a regular Golf.

Based on the Golf Sportwagen, the Alltrack pairs that body and drivetrain with 4Motion all-wheel drive, lower body cladding, and close to an inch of extra ground clearance.

The Alltrack gets a more aggressive facial treatment than its vanilla brethren, with honeycomb mesh filling the grille and lower fascia, plus standard foglights.

The all-wheel drive system in the Alltrack uses a Haldex-5 coupling that sends 50 percent of the engine’s torque rearward if the vehicle detects front wheel slippage. Electronic differential locks send power to the opposite end of the axle for individual wheel slippage.

Very adventurous owners will inevitably test the Alltrack’s hill descent control mode, which we assume should only be attempted on slanted meadows, or in, say, San Francisco.

Powering the Alltrack is Volkswagen’s well-regarded 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, making 170 horsepower and an increased 199 pounds-feet of torque. Offered initially with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission when it goes on sale this fall, a six-speed manual will be offered later.

The usual safety features come along for the ride, but high-end items like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are listed as optional equipment.

Volkswagen hasn’t released fuel economy figures for the Alltrack, but the two-wheel drive SportWagen is rated at 35 miles per gallon on the highway for the automatic transmission model and 36 mpg highway for the manual.

[Images: Volkswagen of America]

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  • on Mar 22, 2016

    Looks like a more fuel efficient alternative to the Tiguan.

  • Tedward Tedward on Mar 22, 2016

    This is interesting for a number of reasons. I saw this car last year and they were showing a German model with a torque converter 6 Speed, basically a base wagon with auto. Switching to dsg and a 6 manual means vw is mixing r drivetrain bits with the 1.8, something only audi has done so far with the a3. Until I read this I was only interested in the eventual normal ride height version expecting the manual there. It might be my next family wagon. The euro car also had the fold away tow hitch. Regardless of vw's ratings I see jsw's and gsw's all the time with installed hitches. Also 35/36 mpg is epa rating on the fwd car with the 1.8, we'll see if that is the case with more tire exposed, awd, and the shorter ratio 6 Speed transmission. I'm skeptical. Why the comment hate on this vs the outback? It's smaller, but it will have a much nicer interior, a way better engine, better gearbox by far, and easily outhandle the outback. Demuro rightly called out the outback as worse to drive than most cuv's despite its wagon shape.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tedward Tedward on Mar 22, 2016

      Kyree Yeah I was considering the transmission plus haldex as one unit. At least for homologation purposes. This bodes really well for future awd vw's. It might even mean they are shedding the 5, although I doubt that. I had an opportunity to ask someone who would know once and they claimed the difference between the two transmissions was several mpg (in the 5's favor), but this was at the beginning of the mkvi generation. I believe the 6 has longer ratios now. The golf twin channel turbos have a wider powerband than the old borg Warners did, so that might be a factor in the switch. Also vw has shed the 2.5 and 2.0 so I bet fleet mileage isn't really a concern if it ever was. VW should make a gti wagon variant or offer the 1.8 6 Speed at se trim. Tdi's available or otherwise. It almost smacks of protecting the tdi by keeping the 1.8 down the way they do it now.

  • MRF 95 T-Bird I bet it has some electrical gremlins as well. Nonetheless it might make an interesting El Camino pickup truck conversation with one of those kits.
  • GrumpyOldMan "A manual transmission is offered, as is a single-clutch auto. "What is a single clutch auto?
  • ToolGuy It is raining super-hard outside right now.
  • Analoggrotto It's getting awful hard to tell these Mercedes apart from one another.
  • Analoggrotto Ah the Fisher Price car for the uncoolest of uncool dad-bods.