Higher plane shifter
VW’s elevated wagon with AWD has the go to match its glamour
ONCE they were known as 4WDs. These days they’re SUVs and hardly anyone takes them off road.
Either way they represent the largest and fastest growing section of the market, and Aussie buyers just can’t get enough of them.
That’s a good thing for VW, which has just added yet another to the mix.
The Golf Alltrack is a pumped up version of the Golf wagon, a companion for the already high-riding sibling Tiguan and Skoda Scout cousin — each a Golf under the skin.
The 1.8-litre turbo in the Alltrack is a gem, seen previously in some Skodas including the Scout but now on debut behind a VW badge.
The four-cylinder’s clever fuel delivery incorporates old style multipoint injection with the latest direct cylinder injection. Add an electric waste gate for the turbo and the result is better fuel economy and more power, with peak torque accessible lower in the rev range.
The engine is hooked up to VW’s six-speed DSG twinclutch transmission, with paddle-shifters as an option.
It turns VW’s 4Motion parttime all-wheel drive, which transfers power to the rear wheels as needed, saving on fuel. There is also a new offroad mode that provides hill descent control.
ON THE ROAD
The glamorous looking wagon goes as well as it looks, with plenty of power for overtaking from the 132TSI engine (not to be confused with Tiguan’s 2.0litre with the same badge).
The car rides 20mm higher than a standard Golf wagon, with additional underbody protection, the obligatory grey fender flares and alloy-look skirts that combine to give it a chunkier, more macho appearance.
With a larger boot than Tiguan it’s ideal transport for weekends in the snow (bear in mind the Scout is slightly larger again).
The dash from 0-100km/h takes 7.8 seconds and fuel consumption is claimed to average 6.7L/100km (we got nothing like it on the launch).
The front seats, with manual lumbar adjustment, fit like a glove and are among the most comfortable we’ve ever sat in.
Despite the wagon’s increased ride height, body roll is minimal in corners and unlikely to intrude.
The car laps up the kilometres on the black top, with electric steering that is direct and precise.
The Alltrack is just as much at home on dirt roads where a little throttle irons out any drift through corners.
Rear legroom is limited and the boot accommodates only a space-saver spare, which isn’t the preferred option if you’re any distance from the road.
Leather trim and dual-zone climate aircon are standard, as are heated front seats.
The Alltrack gets VW’s new 6.5-inch infotainment screen, supporting Apple Car Play and Android Auto for smartphones, though the screen still looks small compared with rivals and examples in other markets.
It can tow a 1500kg load.
Priced from $37,990, the Golf Alltrack is going to run out the door. It’s a shame you have to spend $1300 more to get autonomous emergency braking in an option pack.