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VW Alltrack makes quick work of paved and unpaved roads

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Beach Wheels

By Jeff Mitchell

Recently I enjoyed a week testing a 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SE and found myself really liking the little wagon quite a bit. I think you will too.

The Alltrack is a Golf that’s been stretched and lifted for extra ground clearance and has been designed to tackle both paved and unpaved road surfaces alike.

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Designed to compete with Subaru’s Outback, Mitsubishi’s Outlander and Kia’s Sportage, the Alltrack is designed to appeal to VW-prone customers who want their wagons to be a bit tougher on the occasional jaunts off the paved road,

My tester, which came in a beautiful “Tornado” red metallic exterior with black leather seating. The vehicle is built on the standard Golf platform and features coil springs and telescoping dampers. VW engineers have also included an anti-roll bar up front and a multilink suspension in the rear.

Under the hood is a 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission;

According to Volkswagen, my Alltrack tester sits 0.6 inches higher than the VW Sportwagen and gets an additional driving mode over its more street-oriented suburban sibling. Additionally, the Alltrack has hill descent control and an anti-lock braking system to assist you while or wet or snowy trails.

On the road, the Alltrack is very responsive to both throttle and steering wheel inputs. Cornering is precise with a minimum of body roll. My tester provided a fun, peppy ride.

On the outside, my Alltrack has handsome front fascia and sits on stylish 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Inside, my Alltrack had a little more than 30 cubic feet of cargo space and almost 70 with the rear seats folded down. The vehicle will accommodate five adults but, trust me, four is better. Plus, those sitting in the back seat won’t enjoy themselves for too long if they’re taller than 6 feet.

On the dash, you’ll find an 8-inch nav-media touch screen that is fairly intuitive to use.

Offroad I found the Alltrack confidence-inspiring. It took getting over some ground debris, mud and some gravel without breaking a sweat. On paved surfaces, the Alltrack still has much of its Sportwagon brother’s DNA. I found its handling tight and precise with a minimum of body roll.

Mileage on my Alltrack was rated at 25 mpg combined city and highway. In the city alone 22 and 30 mpg out on the highway exclusively.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price on my tester, as trimmed out, came in $32,490. While I haven’t been able to confirm this, I’m told that VW won’t be bringing the Alltrack back for 2020. If true, retailers will very likely be willing to deal on these well-made wagons.

The Alltrack is a smart, fun, capable little vehicle that loves the trail as much as it does the pavement. My tester’s overall fit and finish was excellent. Even if you never plan on getting off-road the Alltrack is still a great all-weather family hauler.

Jeff Mitchell is a South Bay automotive journalist. Reach him at j.edward.mitchell@gmail.com

 

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