Wheels

Up, down, all around

Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

New Volkswagen all business during the week, an extreme outdoor sport enthusiast on the weekend

It is not often a station wagon is described as fun, but Volkswagen is looking to change that. The 2017 Golf Alltrack is a new vehicle from Volkswagen—bridging the span between the Golf Sportwagen and the Audi Allroad. The Alltrack shares many of the Sportwagen’s features, but with the Audi’s refinement. This is a car made for discriminating drivers, who need to get their kit around but still want some fun on the weekend.

With the Alltrack, Volkswagen seems to have set its eyes on Subaru’s claim on the sport wagon category. This entry makes a surprisingly good case. Though a bit smaller, the Alltrack does everything its customers need—and does it with enthusiasm, spirit and panache.

The turbocharged 1.8-litre engine jumps to attention when called upon— providing crisp response and a torque pull that was more than a little surprising. But this drive train feels solid and never out-of-control despite the size of this car. The 4-Motion all-wheel drive does a lot of decision-making on its own—driving the front wheels under normal conditions, seconding the rear axle into action when needed in the amount required.

A touch of the Driver Profile Selector screen enables the driver to slip into sport mode—stiffening the suspension and allowing the 1.8 litres to rev higher between shifts; offroad mode frees up each wheel to respond to its circumstances ensuring a solid footing up and down the most rugged terrain, while another option enables the driver to customize these driving characteristics to their own comfort and thrill tolerance.

The Alltrack comes with oodles of safety features, including parking assist and lane departure warning.

The Alltrack I test drove was all comfort and business tooling around Belleville’s streets—and while I didn’t push it beyond respectable decorum, this car gives off the unmistakable aura of an athlete ready to pounce with the slightest encouragement.

AT A GLANCE
BODY STYLE: Compact Station Wagon DRIVE METHOD: 4Motion AWD
ENGINE: 1.8L inline four cylinder, 16V, TSI (turbo)
(170hp, 199 lb/ft@1,600 – 4,400rpm)
DRIVETRAIN: Six-speed automatic DSG with Tiptronic
FUEL ECONOMY: Highway: 8.0L/100km City: 10.6L/100km
WHEELBASE: 103.54 in LENGTH: 180.24 WIDTH: 70.83 in HEIGHT: 59.45 in
CURB WEIGHT: 1,552kg
SEATING CAPACITY: 5
PRICING: MSRP: $35,295 plus freight, PDI and taxes.
As tested: $38,065 plus freight, PDI and taxes. See dealer for details.