With hatchback, wagon, cabriolet, GTI and R ranges, with all their variants, the Golf is the everyman of the Volkswagen world. Now the Alltrack has been added to a seemingly ever-growing family of the best seller.
With the latest VW 4Motion all-wheel drive system and a new generation Haldex coupling the Alltrack can take the small wagon on unsealed roads where two-wheel drives are not encouraged to venture.
Even so, with the addition of a new 1.8-litre TSI turbocharged petrol engine coupled to a six-speed DSG automatic transmission, the Alltrack loses nothing in performance and fuel efficiency on, or off, the bitumen.
We spent time with an Alltrack 132TSI priced at $37,990, plus on-road costs, to which had been added a Driver Assistance Package and Luxury Sports Package, pushing the price up to $42,290.
The Driver Assistance Package consisted of adaptive cruise control, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake function, Park Assist parking bay and parallel parking assistance and Proactive occupant protection system, while the Sports Luxury Package added alloy wheels with 225/45 R18 tyres, tinted rear side window and rear window glass, panoramic glass sunroof with wind deflector and sunblind, plus steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles.
Stylish doesn’t seem the word for the Golf Alltrack, but neither does the alternative – utilitarian. Being a hybrid of a station wagon and sports utility vehicle, styling comes down on the side of practicality on or off road, starting with up to 20 mm ride height above a standard Golf Wagon.
Wheel arch mouldings and flared side sills offer additional body protection, while newly designed bumpers with Bi-Xenon headlights, incorporating dynamic cornering function, make the vehicle instantly recognisable from the front.
Add to this standard 17-inch Valley alloy wheels, specifically created for the vehicle, and unique rear badging, from every angle there’s no mistaking the Golf Alltrack.
Alltrack has premium quality material and fitout, including Vienna leather upholstery, a leather multi-function steering wheel and gearshift knob, plus ambient lighting in the door trim and LED reading lights.
With seating for up to five adults, the Alltrack does not suffer from the small SUV syndrome – little luggage space. The cargo area measures 1055 mm up to the back of the rear seats and 1831mm up to the back of the front seats.
The space is well kitted out with a luggage partition net, shopping bag and load restraint hooks, interior lights and a 12-Volt socket in the boot.
The Golf Alltrack features the latest in Volkswagen infotainment technology, with a bonus of the innovative App-Connect system, which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems, which allow drivers to access content from the latest-generation smartphones for music, messaging and navigation.
This integrated technology is displayed in high definition via the 6.5-inch screen of a Discover Media unit, which offers satellite navigation, plus USB, SD card and AUX-in connectivity.
ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
The Alltrack sees for the first time a 1.8-litre TSI turbo-charged petrol engine in the Golf. The direct-injection four-cylinder turbocharged motor with BlueMotion Technology stumps up 132 kW from 4500 rpm and develops an impressive 280Nm of torque from a low 1350rpm through to 4500rpm.
The Golf Alltrack 1.8 TSI comes with a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard.
Multi-Collision Braking System which automatically initiates braking of the vehicle that has had an accident in order to mitigate a subsequent collision.
As with the many new vehicles these days a rear view camera comes standard. There are also parking distance sensors, Electronic Stabilisation Program and a low tyre pressure indicator.
Performance figures say much about the versatility of the vehicle with the maker stating a top speed of 217 km/h and acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds.
This contrasts with claimed fuel consumption of 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined urban / highway cycle, which equates to 158 g/km of carbon dioxide.
Fuel consumption in Normal driving mode reached as high as 14 litres per 100 kilometres on one occasion in the suburbs, while a sustained highway run got that down to 6 litres per 100 kilometres.
The test vehicle’s six-speed DSG transmission was found to be somewhat slow to engage, making for a tentative takeoff at times, and worse, a tendency to roll when starting off on an incline. Left-foot braking was the answer to the latter.
A driving profile system, managed by a button on the centre console, now comes with an Off-road’ mode as well as the pre-existing Normal, Sport and Eco. The ‘Off-road’ driving profile activates the hill descent function, modified accelerator pedal characteristics and the off-road configuration of the ABS.
Without tracking fuel consumption, the Eco mode held back the Alltrack’s performance considerably, while Sport added considerably spice to the drive, heightened even further by the use of the steering wheel-mounted paddles.
The result was the Golf Alltrack showed itself to be a car with a wide range of characteristics, most of them pleasing.
The Golf Alltrack combines the practicality of the Golf wagon, with unique features of the Alltrack model line, including leather trim, higher ride height, additional body protection and all-wheel drive. Already it’s turned out to be an award winner in the highly competitive small SUV sector.
AT A GLANCE
Golf Alltrack 1.8-litre turbo-petrol DSG five-door wagon: $37,990 (automatic)
Note: This price does not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Volkswagen dealer for the drive-away price.
Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution, Brake Assist
Electronic Stabilisation Program
Brake energy recuperation
Multi-Function Display with trip time and length, average and current speed, average and current fuel consumption, distance to empty and ambient temperature and vehicle status
Audio, telephone and navigation menus
Multi-function three-spoke leather covered flat bottomed height-and-reach adjustable steering wheel
Discover Media audio and satellite navigation system
6.5in colour touch screen display with smartphone-style HMI and proximity sensor
AM/FM radio, CD player and 2 x SD card slots for music and navigation data, 2-D and 3-D (bird’s eye) map views
Compatible with MP3, WMA and AAC music files, jpeg image viewer, car menu with convenience and service settings
App-Connect USB interface for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink in front centre console
Auxiliary input audio socket
Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming
Driver Assistance Package
Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist with City Emergency Brake function, Park Assist, Proactive occupant protection system
Sport Luxury Package
Alloy wheels (Canyon) 18×7½in with 225/45 R18 tyres., dark tinted rear side window and rear window glass, 65pc light absorbing panoramic glass sunroof, electrically slide and tilt adjustable with integrated wind deflector and sunblind, steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles
SPECIFICATIONS (Volkswagen Golf Alltrack 1.8-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.798 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 132 kW @ 4500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 280 Nm @ 1350 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 95 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.7 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 158 g/km
DRIVELINE: Six-speed DSG automatic, 4Motion all-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4578 mm
Wheelbase: 2630 mm
Width: 1799 mm
Height: 1799 mm
Turning Circle: 10.9 metres
Kerb Mass: 1479 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Three years / 100,000 km