The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack provides familiar Golf goodness along with all-wheel drive, rugged styling and a cavernous cargo area. It's a compelling alternative to similarly priced crossovers. If you like the idea of a Golf wagon but want more of an SUV vibe, this is your option.
The formula is simple: Take the regular Golf wagon (aka the SportWagen), give it all-wheel drive, a slightly raised suspension for extra ground clearance, and a few traction-enhancing features, and wrap it all up in some tough-looking body cladding. The result is an all-terrain wagon with 66.5 cubic feet of space to carry stuff with the rear seats folded. That's the kind of space usually afforded by compact crossover SUVs. Factor in the Alltrack's smooth turbocharged four-cylinder engine and ergonomically sound interior, and you're looking at an excellent choice for the crossover-averse or anyone who just prefers the sleeker wagon look.
The base model comes well-equipped, but we'd get an SE with the Driver Assist package. That brings a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and even a self-parking system. In early 2017, you can also get an Alltrack SE with a manual transmission.
The manual is great news, of course, for those who enjoy shifting their own gears. The bad news? You can't get the manual on the loaded SEL trim. Still, we're glad VW took the time to throw its stick-shift loyalists a bone, and the SE is nicely outfitted in its own right.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack comes in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL. The base S is actually pretty well-equipped and offers most all you need if you're just seeking good adventure-life wheels, including roof rails, heated seats and side mirrors, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and smartphone integration. Stepping up to the SE brings a big sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, and a better sound system. Meanwhile, the SEL dials it up with nicer wheels, power seats and a navigation system.
The base S starts with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (170 horsepower, 199 pound-feet of torque) and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, dubbed DSG in Volkswagen-speak. Purists can raise a cheer: A six-speed manual transmission will also be available starting in early 2017. Regardless of transmission, power reaches all four wheels through the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.
Standard features include 15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, LED daytime running lights, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors, silver roof rails, air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks, a leather-trimmed tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats with manual adjustment and power recline, 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through, and ambient cabin lighting.
Also standard are a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, VW's Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration and Car-Net Security and Service telematics, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base audio system includes eight speakers, a CD player, satellite and HD radio, and auxiliary audio, USB and SD card inputs.
Options include the Driver Assist package, which bundles adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and steering guidance for parallel and perpendicular parking.
Moving up to the SE adds automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated windshield washer nozzles, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a 115-volt outlet in the cargo area, and a Fender Premium audio system (adds a subwoofer and upgraded sound). The Driver Assist package and a manual transmission are also optional.
The top-level SEL builds on SE features with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, a 12-way power driver seat, and upgraded infotainment with touchscreen navigation. A Driver Assistance and Lighting package is optional and includes that same features as the Driver Assist package as well as adaptive xenon headlights that bend in the direction of the car's turn and automatic high beams.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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