VW Golf Variant Alltrack in the road test: Can the Golf now also do off-road?
The Golf now also has an Alltrack variant, with all-wheel drive and rustic panelling. Is that enough to deliver genuine off-road qualities? We find out in an initial test drive.
Seven thousand seven hundred and thirty five is a beautiful number. It was once the post code of Ebersteinerhof in the Black Forest, and the German Institute for Standardization selected is as the designation for the standard applicable to rigid laminates. However, it also represents one of the few experiments performed by the VW Group to go awry: In 1990 and 1991, Volkswagen could only bring 7,735 of the Golf II Country into circulation, and then that was it. At the time hardly anyone wanted the raised Golf with its Syncro drive system, violent looking bumpers and spare wheel on the boot lid.Diesel with DSG and 4Motion
However, the unsuccessful Golf spin-off was a trend-setter, and now, almost 25 years later, it receives belated justice. For the new Alltrack is nothing but the continuation of the Country using modern methods, except that the exterior spare wheel has been done away with. Of course it can manage better off the beaten track than its predecessor. It features the 4Motion all-wheel drive system with central Haldex clutch as standard, while on the front and rear axle, electronic locks ensure that is makes good progress. In any case, this should be enough for mild terrain and nasty Winter conditions, which admittedly it did not face during the test drive.
The noble art of the all-wheel drive system, however, also requires that you do not notice its effect on dry asphalt. The Alltrack manages this exceptionally well, with the drive not that far removed from a normal Golf Variant - only the chassis seems to react a touch more harshly to small bumps. The drive systems with the 181 HP 2.0-TDI diesel is best combined with the standard DSG dual clutch transmission. Otherwise the Alltrack is first and foremost a Golf.
The VW Golf model range is extending upwardly in terms of price
The operating controls and interior are largely similar to the Golf VII, with an additional programme for off-road added to the drive profile menu. Alongside the 2.0 TDI, the Alltrack is available with a 109 and a 148 HP diesel, with the six-speed manual transmission as standard in each case. Added to this is the 178 HP petrol engine, which is also fitted with DSG as standard. All of this isn't cheap, with the most economical version starting at 30,200 Eurso, and the 2.0 TDI with 181 HP costing just over 35,000. But this seems to be part of the Golf strategy. The other versions presented at the same time also expand the range in an upward direction: the 296 HP R Variant (from 42,925 Euros) and the GTD Variant (from 31,975 Euros), which likewise features the 181 HP self-igniting engine.
Date13 July 2015