By on May 9, 2019

This variant of the Golf family inhabits a grey area in which it’s not quite a crossover but is also not quite a station wagon. VW will still happily sell you one of those, sans this model’s taller suspenders and black over-the-wheel trim. The Alltrack is kinda like a SportWagen that’s clomping around in dad’s big boots.

As always, we’re suckers for a good wagon. Let’s see what it has to offer in base S trim.

For starters, shelling out more of your hard-earned Freedom Dollars on a snazzier trim of Golf Alltrack will not net you a more powerful engine. All examples are motivated by a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four that makes an acceptable 168 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque (achtung Wolfsburg! Surely you could have found one more unit of twist!).

In a fit of practicality, a six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment. A station wagon equipped with all-wheel drive and a stickshift? Paint it brown and you’ve created the stereotypical journalist’s dream ride.

Brown paint, however, is not on the options list. An attractive Tornado Red is shown here at no cost, though one can also get a Barney Night Blue and any number of greyscale shades. There is also a fantastic Great Falls Green which I am certain is selected by 0.00001 percent of the population. If you find a six-speed Alltrack in this color on BHPH lot 15 years from now, snap it up. It’ll likely be one of 10 produced.

At this $26,895 price point, the Alltrack’s heated front seats are clad in V-Tex leatherette, taken from only the finest of fake cows. Beige and black are available. A/C is standard, as you’d expect, and economies of scale ensure the inclusion of a leather-wrapped wheel and gearshift. Backing up is easy with a rear traffic alert system, while blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning tools do their best to keep you out of the ditch. Our northern friends will appreciate the heated windshield washer nozzles.

Foglights, heated side mirrors, and 17-inch alloys largely keep your cheapskate ways a secret. The base model Alltrack might inhabit a grey area in terms of classification but, compared to its brothers, its value proposition is pretty clear.

[Images: Volkswagen]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less. Or not.

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35 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2019 Golf Alltrack S 1.8T...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    Your first sentence makes no sense. The Alltrack is not occupying a grey area- it is clearly a station wagon. A minimal lift and cladding doesn’t change that.

    Also if VW’s Night Blue reminds you of Barney in any way your TV needed its color settings adjusted growing up.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Auto journalists see “crossoverness” lurking in every new vehicle in much the same way as CNN sees “racism” in every Trump tweet.

      Granted, this stuff is dopamine to some obsessive portion of the audience. But to everyone else it’s a piece of gristle in the steak.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yeah, it’s like my XC70.

      It’s a station wagon. It’s OBVIOUSLY a station wagon.

      Plastic panels and a couple inches of height don’t change that.

  • avatar
    jh26036

    I test drove one of these a few weeks back in 6MT, it’s a real nice car with excellent packaging in all trim levels but missing the all important 2.0T from the GTI. The 1.8T felt taxed even with only me in the car. Sure, you can do the whole APR thing but I am old now, I like my cars stock.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      I’ve driven a few and never thought the car was underpowered. Sure, it isn’t GTI fast, but it still gets to 60 in under 7 1/2 seconds. I will admit that the 2.0T would be a welcome addition. VW would probably give it the Miller cycle version that is in the Tiguan though.

    • 0 avatar
      mwkime

      I’m sorry that you’re old

      (2017 Alltrack owner, IS20 / APR downpipe / APR TCU and ECU tunes – about as fast as a golf r. with mods it was still a couple grand shy of msrp)

  • avatar
    DedBull

    This is exactly the car I want, in the aforementioned Great Falls Green, but you missed the Marrakesh Brown interior choice. Make mine a 6MT please. I can ill afford a second car payment, but if my car is totaled for hail damage like my wife’s was I might just have to seriously consider it. Otherwise in 5 years I will be on a unicorn hunt for my above combination.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    I’ve got the non-Alltrack version of this – Golf wagon with 4motion. An incredibly useful vehicle and with Blizzaks on the corners everybit the snow/icemobile that the Quattros I had in the 90s were. The engine can be thrashy and has sort of a narrow power band, but for what I paid for the car, I’m very pleased with the overall package.
    I would have sprung the extra couple Gs for the Alltrack IF it were a serious attempt and not a poseur – The Alltrack would be a much better proposal if it had:
    1. a lock-able center and rear diff (like the original quattro system)
    2. adjustable ride height (like the first gen Allroad)
    3. available real skid plating (not plastic) as an option (like Porsche once did -maybe still does?- for the Cayenne).

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Golf Sportwagen 4motion manual…

      It would be a great commuter for me if the wife’s car was more suited to long trips.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Regal TourX 2.0T with torque vectoring AWD is discounted to this price and is smooth and quiet. Plus allot larger inside and out.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          At the low end, the Alltrack has a way better interior. The TourX cloth looks terrible and the interior materials looks and feel worse than the Alltrack. The Essence model is really a step up from Preferred.

          • 0 avatar
            stevelovescars

            Funny, I thought the interior materials on the Golf were really let down by the cheap painted plastic around the center stack and shifter. It looks even worse in the base Golf in light gray compared to the darker gray in the Alltrack, but I just imagined it looking chipped and scratched about a week after driving off the lot. Compared to that, the Buick seemed much nicer.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I hate the base Buick interior. However, I don’t like many GM interiors. I like the inside of pretty much every Golf because its always simple and straight forward. Ergonomics are good and everything is where it should be. A MKVII still reminds me of an MKV or MKIV. It has been consistent for a long time.

      • 0 avatar
        retrocrank

        I’ve made the trip NYC to Col’s OH several times (and back),stopping just for gas. It’s a comfortable road trip car.
        Mine’s a ‘17, interior is nice. Not at all cheap looking or feeling (albeit not 90s Audi nice).

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Does their traction control system not effectively get you traction to all four wheels no-matter-what with brake-control to stop spin, the same way a Wrangler does?

      Lockable diffs are for rock-climbers, in 2019, with traction control systems around.

      (You can get aftermarket plates, I’m sure, even if they have to be custom.

      Equally, though … NOBODY is the market for that car, which is why it’s not factory. I sort of like the idea, but I also accept that NOBODY wants that, market-wise.

      As for the 1G Allroad and adjustable ride height, that would be an “oh, GOD NO” for anyone who remembers their failure rate and just, why?)

      • 0 avatar
        retrocrank

        I get that there are exactly 7 of us who want the options I described. But having driven gen 1 and 2 Quattro systems in heavy winters, the ability to lock diffs sometime is the difference between going up an iced hill or not. Ride height means not being so plow dependent. Skid plates for River Road at Big Bend….

      • 0 avatar
        retrocrank

        I get that there are exactly 7 of us who want the options I described. But having driven gen 1 and 2 Quattro systems in heavy winters, the ability to lock diffs sometime is the difference between going up an iced hill or not. Ride height means not being so plow dependent. Skid plates for River Road at Big Bend….

  • avatar
    darex

    MINI Clubman S All4 comes with MT and in just-as-ugly “Eggplant”.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yes, but then you’re stuck driving a Mini Clubman.

      Also, it costs significantly more.

      (“Oh, heated seats are EXTRA? F*ck you, BMW.”)

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        Don’t know how much VW is dealing on the Golf wagon, but a search on Autotrader finds lots of new and demonstrator Clubman S models for up to $10K off sticker, although it might be tricky to find a manual version.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Neat, we spent yesterday talking about the non-value proposition available to you the VW lot, the Arteon. Now we have the real value to be had at a VW lot.

    While this car is most likely smaller inside, it seems to me offer infinitely more usable space for almost 20k less.

    My BIL has one of these. Loves it. He is a hipster with the requisite bushy beard, skinny jean, boots, flannel shirt and of course law degree who traded his F150 ego boost cause he was using too much gas. No MT for him though.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    The best color combo this vehicle has is the Great Falls Green exterior with the Marrakesh Brown interior. In fact, it’s one of the best color combos you can get on a car right now.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I wasn’t a big fan of Great Falls Green when I was VW shopping, but the Dark Moss Green I saw on a Tiguan was awesome. I’ve never seen that color anywhere but a VW showroom though. Much darker than Great Falls.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        Dark Moss green is also great. The Tiguan has an orange color that I really like as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          There is one thing for which I give kudos to VW–they offer a much broader choice of colors in the showroom than almost any other brand on the market.

        • 0 avatar
          DedBull

          We are picking up a Tiguan today in the Habenero Orange. It is a $295 premium (the only premium color) but my wife fell in love with it immediately. I like it too, it’ll be the talk of our small town.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I really like the Tiguan. I want an Alltrack, but the Tiguan checks most of the boxes. It has more room as well.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I loved that Habenero Orange too. There are few colors that work well on a GTI because of all the red trim (which kept me away from the Green, looking like an Xmas ornament), but I could have rocked that orange.

          • 0 avatar
            conundrum

            The Tiguan has the gasper of a Budack cycle engine. Wait until you give it the gas for a bit of a go and listen to the wheezing complaints and lack of revs. Nasty thing in my opinion, but hard to discern if all you have for a test drive is a gentle tootle about town.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    My wife and I were very tempted by the Alltrack when it first came out as it offered a car with a roomy load floor–more roomy than most CUVs because it was more station wagon than people hauler (I like more square footage behind the seats for the load floor as it allows for larger items than one with more cubic footage but less length and width. A perfect example of this would be a five-person family in one of those taller CUVs trying to load baby carriage and purchases into a load are of only about 1-foot depth, four foot width and, because of the tilted seat backs, only about 6″ of depth at the top of the seats. It didn’t help that they were very poor at space management because they couldn’t even fit all their purchases back there, much less the baby carriage. I helped as I could and got their purchases loaded, then managed to get the baby carriage to ride right behind the headrests.

    The family bought the beast because it claimed so much cubic footage for the cargo area, not realizing that meant with the rear seats folded. You look at the Alltrack and you see much more space behind that back seat than that family had in their much taller CUV.

    In my case, it was Volkswagen’s (lack of) reliability that had us choose something else. We haven’t regretted our decision.

  • avatar
    GTL

    I have a ’17 SE model which (at the time) added panoramic moon roof, Fender stereo, and fog lights; unfortunately an MT wasn’t available in an SE, but the DSG is just the next step down.

    Great car, flexible usage, comfortable and fun to drive; pushed all my buttons at the time and still does.

  • avatar
    Dan

    No haggle stealership here’s posted prices, all automatics

    Regular Golf: 19K
    Wagon Golf: 22,7
    Alltrak Golf: 25

    Ace of base?

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    What’s behind the boas against colorful cars? I’d certainly choose the green. I saw the small Mercedes crossover in a rich metallic green yesterday and it was marvelous. I’ve sensed a majoritarian tendency here lately to diss any automotive outlier, and it’s neither informative or amusing.


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