new video loaded: Driven | 2017 VW Golf Sportwagen Alltrack
Driven | 2017 VW Golf Sportwagen Alltrack
Taking a page from Volvo and Subaru, Volkswagen makes an existing model more capable off-road, producing a polished wagon good for town and country.
The Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen, yes, it used to be the JettaSportwagen, is a practical vehicle. Not too big, not too small it’s the right size for conquering concrete canyons and fetching the kids. Normally following directions like this in one…(ON CAMERA) Go through the water, make a hard left at the tree…is unwise. But this is the new Alltrack version. It has all-wheel drive, rides a bit higher, and dresses a little like Ranger Rick.(ON CAMERA) The recipe has been used before with great success. Volvo took the V70 wagon and turned it into the XC70 or Cross Country as it’s commonly known. Subaru? Same thing. The Legacy wagon became the Outback, a blockbuster.Inside and out Volkswagen’s quietly handsome approach is less Eddie Bauer, more Banana Republic. Cladding is subdued. Its ride height is only raised .6 inches. The 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder makes the same power as standard Sportwagens. (SOUND UP) That would be 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque and no there will not be a diesel. For now, there’s a six-speed dual clutch automatic, a six-speed manual arrives in early 2017. There are different drive modes. FYI, the standard Sportwagen can be had with all-wheel drive.Alltrack is quick enough (SOUND UP) I’ll estimate 0-60 at just under eight seconds (ON CAMERA) Unlike Subaru’s continuously variable transmission that can have an elastic kind of dynamic to it, this dual clutch offers crisp shifts. Snick, snick, snick shifts. Using technical jargon there. Like Golf, Alltrack has a refined upscale driving nature with steering that firms up nicely at speed especially in Sport mode.(ON CAMERA) There’s an advantage to not jacking the Alltrack more, it handles much the same as a standard SportWagen. That’s a good thing.Most miles are driven on clear dry roads so this setup should work well for many drivers, unless a high seating position is important.My two days with Golf Alltrack happened at VWs press event in Seattle. Shipping auto writers across Puget Sound on a ferry, we are promised some rougher roads on Bainbridge Island after some highway miles, which are quiet and comfortable for this class. (SOUND UP GRAVEL ROAD)The all-wheel drive system, which normally cruises about town in front-drive mode, seamlessly routes power to the rear when needed. The brakes can pulse independently at each wheel for better stability and control. It’s noticeably secure especially on gravel.E.P.A. rated fuel economy is 22 city, 30 highway, which is okay, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Subaru Forester are slightly more efficient.Remember, Alltrack isn’t raised much, giving up a couple inches of ground clearance to Outback. (SOUND UP) (ON CAMERA) There’s no question Volkswagen cherry picked this course. Thought it would be more tame though. I’m impressed.Call up off-roading information on the screen. Ask yourself, and be truthful- would you take your own personal car on terrain this tough? Most likely not. I figured there would be some undercarriage scraping. There was none. A quick check of the interior finds Volkswagen hasn’t strayed form it’s clean conservative design. Materials look rich. Storage is lined so things don’t rattle. Synthetic leather, the good kind, is standard. The user interface is improved with snappy action. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. (ON CAMERA) In back, space is fine for two average sized campers. Foot and knee room is certainly adequate. The center position made a little less usable by the large driveshaft tunnel.The glass roof that is standard on all but the base model is impressive back here. The lack of a power port isn’t though. All the expected storage cubbies are here. Cup holders too, if no one’s stuck in the middle. (ON CAMERA) Perhaps you haul a lot of sports gear. Maybe you’re delivering a season’s worth of TP to the campsite. I won’t judge.Bring along the electric pump if you’re camping with an inflatable mattress. Alltracks cargo bay is nice and square making it easy to shove eight bundles of the two-ply in back. Prices begin at $27,770. Top shelf SEL models rise to over 35 grand with major options. Volkswagens SUV line up is becoming long in the tooth, this is the first of three crossovers it’s coming to the US in the next year or so. Alltrack isn’t a new approach, but Volkswagen is on the right trail.
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