2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Review

Pros & Cons

  • It's a wagon with light-duty off-road capability
  • Crossover-rivaling cargo bay
  • User-friendly control layout
  • Turbo four-cylinder engine is refined and reasonably capable
  • Automatic transmission sometimes slow to shift in low-speed driving
  • Touchscreen's simple graphics feel behind the times
  • Relatively snug backseat
Other years
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack for Sale
2017
List Price Range
$15,440 - $22,583

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Which Golf Alltrack does Edmunds recommend?

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.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

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.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack models

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.

Driving

The Alltrack's about 300 pounds heavier than a Golf SportWagen with front-wheel drive, so the turbo engine doesn't feel quite as punchy. Handling also suffers a bit with the slightly higher ride height. It's still a confidence-inspiring road car, though, and it's also decent in light off-road use.

Acceleration

There's smooth propulsion from VW's rewarding 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, but 170 horsepower isn't that much for more than 3,400 pounds of wagon. It's hardly slow, but the Alltrack isn't in a particular hurry, either. The dual-clutch automatic transmission can feel sluggish from a stop.

Braking

We observed an uncharacteristically firm brake pedal feel for a VW product, which is a good thing. These brakes don't draw much attention to themselves — that's a good thing — and they feel capable and predictable at all speeds.

Steering

There's little in the way of on-center slop in this steering system, giving the Alltrack a responsive character from the helm. We wouldn't call this steering engaging, exactly, but most drivers should find it perfectly adequate.

Handling

The Alltrack leans a fair amount when you drive around turns. We've been disappointed by the regular Golf SportWagen in this regard, and the Alltrack's elevated ride height doesn't help matters. There's nothing sloppy about the Alltrack's handling, but like the steering, it doesn't really engage the driver.

Drivability

Once you're underway, the DSG dual-clutch transmission is masterful, upshifting so quickly and smoothly that the tachometer needle may be your only indication. It sometimes feels indecisive in parking situations, but that's normal for the breed. The engine is a little sleepy below 2,500 rpm.

Off-road

With 6.7 inches of ground clearance, the Alltrack won't be challenging the Subaru Outback (8.7 inches) for off-road-wagon supremacy. Even so, we took the Alltrack on a fairly rigorous rocky trail without destroying the underside. There's likely more capability here than most buyers will need.

Comfort

Though the crossover-inspired styling may imply a cushy ride, that's not the case. German cars tend to be tautly sprung, and the Alltrack is no exception, so it can feel somewhat stiff and out of sorts on broken pavement. Seats are a strong point, however, and overall refinement is excellent.

Seat comfort

There's a big difference between the base S trim's bare-bones front chairs and the SEL's well-bolstered power seats, though the base versions are comfortable enough. In the usual Germanic fashion, the cushioning is on the firm side.

Ride comfort

The SEL comes standard with 18-inch wheels that look nice but don't help the ride any. Small impacts can register vividly in the cabin, and the ride quality is more taut overall than the SUV-lite looks suggest. The shocks feel supple over big dips; it's the little stuff that can be unsettling.

Noise & vibration

In limited testing, we've found that road noise can sometimes be intrusive. Engine refinement is great, though. As usual, VW has taken the time to give this turbocharged four luxury-grade manners. A smooth operator.

Climate control

Three knobs keep things blissfully simple. The air-conditioning system had no trouble keeping the cabin cool on a warm summer day, enormous panoramic sunroof notwithstanding. The specific dual-zone controls are very intuitive.

Interior

A large greenhouse with ample glass and a simple, sensible control layout make the Alltrack's cabin a pleasant, user-friendly environment. We'd ask only for roomier rear quarters with a higher bench, which you'll find in many similarly priced crossovers.

Ease of use

Seemingly every control is where you expect it to be, and if it's not, you quickly see the logic in where it ended up. Gauges are straightforward and highly legible. Nothing fancy, just strong fundamentals.

Getting in/getting out

Front passengers will have no complaints, but those in back might have something to carp about. The rear doors have a relatively narrow opening, and if the front seat is pushed back for long legs, there's not much room for the rear passenger to squeeze behind.

Driving position

Everything falls readily to hand in the Alltrack, which is unsurprising because it's basically the same praiseworthy interior you'll find in an ordinary Golf. The wheel telescoping range is very generous for taller drivers, as is the seat-height range.

Roominess

Rear passenger space is at a premium relative not just to the crossovers the Alltrack competes against, but also to the Subaru Outback. With a tall driver settled in, the rear passenger's shins may rub against the driver seatback. The front compartment, on the other hand, is airy and spacious.

Visibility

Excellent in all directions, thanks to the Alltrack's tall greenhouse, plentiful glass and relatively slim pillars for a modern car. With the panoramic sunroof, you've got great skyward visibility, too.

Quality

The rear door panels use hard plastic right up to the windowsill, unlike the softly trimmed panels in front. Likewise, the lower dashboard wears a hard, shiny plastic covering that's not up to VW's usual quality standards. Everything seems nicely put together, though; no squeaks or rattles.

Utility

Impressive cargo space puts the Alltrack in a league with many small crossovers, and it's a cinch to fold the rear seatbacks flat while you're loading cargo. We also like the nifty two-position sliding cargo cover. There's just not much room for odds and ends when you're riding up front.

Small-item storage

To VW's credit, the flip-door ashtray area in front of the shift lever has been converted into a phone shelf with a USB port and aux jack — it's super-convenient for stashing and connecting your phone. Otherwise, though, the center console only offers two cupholders and a shallow armrest bin.

Cargo space

The Alltrack's 30.4 cubic feet of standard cargo space seats is SUV-grade stuff, as is the 66.5-cube maximum when you fold the rear seatbacks down. Those seatbacks conveniently flip forward via release handles on either side of the cargo area, so there's no need to walk around to the backseat.

Technology

If the Alltrack has a clear weak spot, tech is it. The central touchscreen's graphics are surprisingly rudimentary for this day and age, and the navigation voice is robotic. On the bright side, the voice-control system is well-executed.

Audio & navigation

Low-resolution touchscreen graphics set the Alltrack apart from most cars in its price range (and plenty of cheaper ones). It's as if VW dumbed things down to entice shoppers to buy an Audi. Also, plenty of navigation voices on the market don't sound like robots. VW has some catching up to do.

Smartphone integration

Sophisticated smartphone capability is anchored by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, plus compatibility with commonly used apps such as Pandora, Spotify and TuneIn internet radio We had no issues connecting an iPhone 6, whether by ordinary Bluetooth connection or Apple CarPlay.

Driver aids

The optional Driver Assist package for S and SE trims adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous braking and parking steering assistance. Common aids such as blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning are curiously absent, though.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Just what I wanted.
Jonathan Berg,01/01/2017
TSI S 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
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.
2017 VW Golf Attrack DELIVERS!!
iSchneggs,02/05/2018
TSI SE 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
**4-year update, at 45k miles: Same experience per below. Summary: a very dependable, comfortable, reliable, and solid AWD auto experience! Recommended? YES!! **3-year update, at 35k miles: Same experience per below. Aside from below mentioned headlight swap-out, no problems to report. I really, really like driving this car, I like getting great gas mileage, and my confidence in snow, slush, and icy conditions is terrific! Still an A+!! purchase!! **2-year update, at 28k miles: Same as the 1-year update below. Two issues have come up though: 1.the passenger-side headlight had condensation in it, and after inspection by the dealership to ensure no accidental collision affected the gasket, a new one has been ordered under warranty; and 2.two each remote control batteries were installed as one of the remote controls has been without power, two times over the last 12 months [maybe a short? or a button being pressed in my wife's purse?] Regardless - I'm still really enjoying the balanced nature of this car. **1-year update: Same as below at 6-month: A+ performance, product, with no maintenance issues. **6- month update: Still going strong! Performed an 'engine top oil change' at ~7500 miles which took 15 minutes. No hint of problems so far. I'm getting about 35 mpg on highway; better than expected. I wish there were industry standard configurations for things like where cruise control, wipers, etc are located - as going from one car brand to the other becomes less than ideal. Also - the AWD mechanisms got me through a harsh winter of snow and ice. Very pleased: A+ product so far!** After owning a 1997 Subie Outback, 2002 Subie WRX, 2009 Subie Forester XT, and also a 2016 Subie Outback, I'm delighted to be driving my Alltrack! More nimble, tighter, and confidence-inspiring than a typical Subaru. The controls and dials all feel very high quality [eg: all 4 windows have an auto-up/down click]. I was nervous about vinyl-based V-Tex seats, but I've found them to be equivalent to my Subie Outback having real leather in terms of feel and looks. The AWD electronics and center locking differential are AMAZING, and help keep the car pointed true, even in 10 inches of Erie/ Buffalo snow! Yes - the back seat is snug for 6 footers, and the 1.8L engine is tuned for practicality rather than exhilaration, but this car appears to have a lot going for it! The sun roof is HUGE and well sealed. Terrific gas mileage for an AWD vehicle. I wish the lawyers at VW would allow this car to gain towing specs, as there's no logical reason that USA drivers should not be able to tow [Alltracks sold in other countries have tow ratings and recommendations]. The DSG transmission is an engineering marvel, is smooth, efficient, friendly, and enables those of us who used to drive standards a superior way to control the engine's revs. NOW - if my reliability is on par with Subaru, which I'm speculating it will, I'll be THRILLED! [note: 3 out of my 4 past Subarus had great reliability, however, needed a complete engine overhaul due to warped heads and compromised head gaskets at between 140k and 150k miles - a KNOWN and significant Subaru problem. Also, my Forester required a new engine after the Turbo disintegrated into the engine at 58k miles]. All in all - a really solid car!
All that I wanted...
SilinDC,06/13/2017
TSI S 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
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!
This is a good car
Lee,06/22/2017
TSI S 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
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. Update 06/27/18: My wife has driven the Alltrack about 2000 miles/month, so it now has over 30,000 miles in 15 months. I can not recall any issues. It has worked well for commuting and hauling. Using Thule square bar racks, stops, and straps, we have carried 8x4 plywood and drywall sheets, 7 foot tall bookcases, and most anything that doesn't fit inside. Being lower than SUVs makes it relatively easy to get big things on and off the roof rack. We use fuelly.com to track all gas usage and my wife continues to average 29-30 mpg in commuting and city driving. The oil filter being on top makes it a breeze to change the oil. We got a duplicate set of the stock wheels off craigslist and mounted 225/50-17 Artic Altimax snow tires on them. We live in the Colorado mountains and the Alltrack handles it well with its AWD and snow tires. The manual transmission is a pleasure to drive and makes the car faster than it should be given the weight and engine size. 12/28/18: Edmunds wanted an update but there is not much to say. The car has over 40,000 miles and consistently gets 29mpg for commuting and around town use. The rear passenger window switch in the group of four in driver's door doesn't work, the one on the door does. Its off warranty now so I will replace it.

Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Gas
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Gas
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed automated manual
Gas
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
170 hp @ 4500 rpm
See all Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Golf Alltrack models:

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System
Applies the brakes immediately after a collision to stop movement and avoid a secondary impact.
Family Guardian
Enables you to set speed and other boundaries for new drivers. A component of the Car-Net Security & Service.
Forward Collision Warning
Issues visual and aural alerts if a collision seems likely. Applies brakes autonomously if necessary to mitigate impact.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover13.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Overview

The Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is offered in the following submodels: Golf Alltrack Wagon. Available styles include TSI SE 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), TSI S 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), TSI SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), TSI S 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and TSI SE 4dr Wagon AWD (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI S is priced between $15,440 and$20,000 with odometer readings between 11681 and63874 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SE is priced between $17,998 and$22,583 with odometer readings between 20319 and53115 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL is priced between $19,199 and$21,685 with odometer readings between 15571 and57164 miles.

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Which used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltracks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack for sale near. There are currently 16 used and CPO 2017 Golf Alltracks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $15,440 and mileage as low as 11681 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

Can't find a used 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltracks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Golf Alltrack for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $24,160.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $19,838.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Golf Alltrack for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $23,409.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $12,501.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Golf Alltrack lease specials