The eighth generation of the iconic Golf has it all. This goes also for lovers of station wagons, as VW offers the Variant with a wide range of drivetrains, and on top of that the so-called Alltrack, which can be defined as a fully equipped of the Variant with AWD, a higher stance for mild offroad driving and a 147 kW/200 PS 2 litre Diesel engine coupled to a 7 speed DSG. The result is superb performance, handling, roominess, comfort, all in still a rather compact and very stylish package.
We drove this Moonstone coloured beauty, and were very impressed indeed…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Fast and frugal
Volkswagen defines the Golf Alltrack is a crossover of Golf Variant and SUV. Admittedly, it has a higher ground clearance, and it actually handles still a bit sharper than an SUV. On the motorway, it is also aerodynamic, and offers plenty of speed: not less than 229 km/h.
All this with very good overall economy, showing what modern diesels can do. NEDC fuel consumption is only 4.9 to 4.8 l/100 km. This means that ranges of around 1,000 kilometres are possible between two refuelling stops. Indeed, on our first motorway drive when collecting the car, we achieved without trouble an average consumption of 4,5 litres/100 km. CO2 emissions are quoted at 130 g/km.
Modern this engine truly is. This TDI engine (400 Nm torque) is one of the cleanest of its kind worldwide. This is achieved by the use of innovative twin-dosing technology: here, double AdBlue injection in two SCR catalytic converters arranged one after the other convert nitrogen oxides (NOx) into hydrogen and harmless nitrogen. What surprised us most was the utter silence and smoothness of this engine. Even when starting from cold, it is inaudible almost without the slightest hint of the usual diesel clatter. It just shows how perfect diesel engines have become.
Just wait friends, diesel fuel will still be around for a very, very long time. World trade is still powered by diesel trucks, and they will drive even when there is an electricity power collapse…
So it still makes sense to offer a Diesel engine in a do-all versatile 4WD compact like the Alltrack? It certainly does, and for the moment, it is offered even exclusively with a diesel engine, with its excellent towing capacity in mind. It seems however that for markets outside Germany petrol engined versions will be available with the Alltrack configuration.
As the flagship of the Golf Variant models, the Alltrack offers exclusive standard equipment that cannot be configured in this combination for other models in the product line. The all-round all-terrain cladding is finished in matt black. Accents in matt chrome look are also used on the side sills and in the front bumper. These visually match the alloy wheels and the silver roof railings. As the only Variant model, the Alltrack is also equipped as standard with an LED light strip in the radiator grille (between the LED Plus headlights) and LED fog lights in an X formation. Looks very nice indeed!
The other standard equipment of the Golf Alltrack includes interior background lighting (adjustable in 30 colours), elegant interior accents (Nature Cross Brushed), the so-called “Discover Media”navigation system including App-Connect Wireless (smartphone integration) and DAB+ (digital radio reception), heated comfort seats at the front with Alltrack lettering in the backrests, a multifunction steering wheel in leather and stainless steel pedals.
Our test car was also equipped with a panoramic opening roof, which however stopped to function during our test, luckily in a tilted backward position, so the car was not too vulnerable to eventual pouring rain.
In addition, all Golf Variant models feature details such as the lane keeping system Lane Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking Front Assist with City Emergency Braking System and Pedestrian Monitoring, an oncoming vehicle braking when turning function, Driver Alert System, the electronic differential lock XDS and the Car2X local warning system.
Also always on board: the Digital Cockpit Pro (digital instruments), the We Connect and We Connect Plus online services and functions, the Air Care Climatronic automatic air conditioner, the keyless comfort start function Keyless Start, a Bluetooth mobile phone interface, comfort seats as well as LED headlights and LED tail light clusters including automatic headlight control. Need we say more?
Behind the wheel, one is impressed by the premium feeling this Golf exudes. The engine and drivetrain are supersmooth as they are silent and powerful, the steering is precise, the handling is agile, with slightly more roll as the Alltrack stands 15 mm higher on its wheels.
The seating position is superb, with plenty of adjustment fore and aft, and one enjoys the excellent seats which give very good lateral support. Also in the back there is ample room for passengers and their luggage. Standard the boot size with the rear backrests up is already over 600 liters, and it is well over 1600 litres with both backrests folded down.
As we hinted earlier, the Alltrack is also quite useful as a towing vehicle: you can pull up to 2000 kg, and the 4WD comes in very fitting when pulling your trailer over offroad terrain.
All these excellent dynamic qualities put this Alltrack in a top position when compared to SUV’s, and it is quite judicious for VW to offer in the Golf range this versatile and usefully spacious Alltrack and Variant range.
A very impressive car indeed, with premium class performance, spaciousness, superb finish and equipment, and excellent agility and handling. It combines genuine driving pleasure with outstanding versatility, considering its excellent towing abilities and vast useable boot space.
Last but not least there is the excellent economy, with a state of the art and very “clean” diesel engine, which seems to have solved the NOx pollution problem. Who knows, these “clean” diesels might be still the proper (intermediate) answer in the rocky path towards zero emission mobility, as these diesels have lower CO2 emission values than their petrol engined counterparts, and on top of that, possess greater thermal efficiency…
Hans Knol ten Bensel