I was one of the early buyers of this model, ordered it from the factory fully loaded and took delivery in October. I'm a guy who loves to drive, and having owned many other European models including Audi, Porsche, Land Rover, Volvo and Mercedes I find VW the right mix of quality, attention to detail, simplicity, technology and driving enjoyment. VW bought out my Jetta Sportwagen TDI, regrettably giving that up as I'm a fan of diesels but a bigger fan of the environment. I considered many other models including hybrids, however having owned Asian hybrids in the past, including Honda, Toyota and Subaru I find the cars absolutely boring to drive after a few months. Yes, I strongly considered the Subaru Outback as an alternative but find the current generation model bloated-looking and do not like the Lineartronic CVT transmission. My Alltrack is fully loaded and I enjoy the styling and especially the lighting option that sets the car apart. Acceleration, transmission and road-feel are all very good, definitely a step-up from the Jetta Sportwagen TDI. I do primarily city driving, and I'm averaging 21 mpg (my diesel averaged 25 mpg city driving). On the highway I've averaged 33 mpg. I did have issues with the compass which impacted the NAV (factory re-call) and the lane assist program functions, both repaired under warranty. I love wagons, but here in the US options are limited to Subaru, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo, the 4 latter models being significantly higher priced. As far as I'm concerned, the VW Golf Alltrack SEL with the driver assistance and lighting option package is a very similar wagon to the Audi Allroad, makes sense since they share many of the same parts. Also the Audi Allroad runs on premium, while the VW Alltrack runs on regular gas. To sum, I really love this wagon and just waiting for some Chicago snow to test the 4-Motion AWD!
Great road handling. Outstanding in snow/ice. I love the iPhone display on the car's display (car play). Not great acceleration, but I didn't expect or need that. Shifting gears is a little sluggish and there's a barely audible transmission noise shifting in the lower gears. I'm getting a little better mileage than I expected (22-25 around town) and 33-34 highway. Still early, but I love the car so far.
I'm glad I waited for this model to come out. I've owned a few VWs with the last one being a 2010 VW Golf 5 spd MT that was VERY reliable but lacked the 4 doors and storage space I needed for extracurricular activities (camping, kayaking, skiing). I had cross-shopped Subarus to see what I might be missing and almost bought one for my last car, but couldn't find a manual transmission anywhere and the newer ones have mostly phased them out for a CVT. The outback was nice, but when compared to the features I get with the Golf Alltrack and the manual transmission made it much more fun to drive! Also, cost a lot more for similar features. Now to the alltrack... I just did a 1,000 mile road trip and the car drives extremely smooth and when kept to about 70 mpg with a loaded car I was getting 35 mpg. The car has a perfect amount of storage space. The only negative would be the back seat is a little smaller than some others, but still good for a 6'0" person in the back as long as you don't try to put 5 people in the car. It's really much better for 4. For entertainment I can't get over how good CARPLAY is. It makes the car so much more enjoyable to use when trying to do navigation, listen/find music, voice text, etc... I previously had installed a high end Kenwood GPS system in my last car, but this is much better/easier to use. To wrap it up, the car handles very well, is smooth on the highway and pretty quiet, the entertainment system is easy to use and this is an overall great car. I can't wait til' ski season to try out the 4 wheel drive in the snow, but for the time being I'm just enjoying using the car and all it's features!
We did the diesel buyback on our 2009 Sportwagen TDI, so we needed a replacement. We selected the Alltrack because it is AWD and is available with a manual transmission. We don't care about the supposed off-road capabilities. But we do live in the Colorado mountains and don't like getting stuck in the snow. For that purpose, this car is the perfect compromise because you don't give up good handling, economy, and comfort, which is what you need over 95% of the time. With the manual transmission we are averaging 29mpg and expect to get in the 30s on trips (Fuelly.com shows that the DSG (automatic) Alltracks average about 3-4 mpg less). The stereo capabilities are impressive. We opted for the S model due to the added level of road noise, leaks, and breakage we experienced with the panoramic sunroof on our 2009 Sportwagen. This is my first VW without a sunroof since 1983 and I have no regrets about not having the panoramic sunroof. The manual transmission is geared toward fuel economy rather than performance, like a GTI, but it is still a pleasure to shift. Between hill hold, optionally giving it the gas when starting to prevent stalling, turning off the gas when coasting in gear, and maintaining the cruise control when shifting, shows that VW has carried manual transmissions to the next level. Our biggest gripe was that we were waiting for the manual Alltracks to arrive and we afraid they wouldn't show until after our buyback, leaving us without a car. Luckily the new car showed up two weeks before the buyback.
The car does not indicate what gear you are in until the clutch is fully disengaged and the car is moving. You could be at a traffic signal thinking you are in 1st but really in 3rd and you would not know until the light turns green and you stall out. Once stalled, due to the car being push button start, the driver must stomp on the brake quickly to restart the car. By that time you've been rear-ended. Thus, button start is not compatible with a manual transmission. The distracted driver electronics (i.e. driver assistance package) is also crap. A 1/2 hr test drive in city traffic netted only 19.7 mpg. No thanks, I'll keep my TDI.