As any of you who’ve followed the earlier updates of our VW Golf Alltrack know, we’ve become pretty serious fans of VW’s tastefully styled, high-riding kinda-crossover. Although largely intended to live on pavement, it’s impressed the staff with an admirable combination of functionality and drivability under a variety of conditions. This time, we’ll take a closer look at the operating synergies of the Alltrack’s drivetrain.

Good power

Motivation for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is provided by the latest version of VW’s EA888 1.8-liter TSI turbocharged/direct-injected engine. Here, as it does in the Golf and Golf SportWagen, the responsive 4-cylinder makes 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and a healthy 199 lb-ft of torque that arrives at just 1,600 revs. Transmission choices include a standard 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic. But unlike the Golf and SportWagen which offer conventional autos, the Alltrack boasts the same DSG dual-clutch unit used in the hot GTI and hotter Golf R models. We’ve found VW’s paddle-shift DSG an ideal partner for the free-revving TSI engine, serving up quick, smooth and consistent cog changes that impart a tangible element of sporty flair to the Alltrack while letting it roll from 0-60 in slightly under 8.0 seconds. Given its versatile nature, we do find it somewhat surprising that VW hasn’t rated the Alltrack for towing.

Confident character

As its name implies, the Golf Alltrack also comes with all-wheel drive, in this case, VW’s trick 4Motion permanent system. Although the package boosts its curb weight by just over 250 pounds compared to a front-drive Sportwagen, the Alltrack handles that extra burden with nary a wimper. To bolster efficiency, 4Motion incorporates a computer controlled Haldex center clutch that lets the Alltrack function as a front-driver under low-load/dry-road conditions but can instantly send up to 50 percent of the driving force to the rear wheels in response to changing traction situations. Fully integrated with rear differential locks that are part of the Alltrack’s electronic stability control, the 4Motion system also can apply braking force to any individual wheel to optimize lateral power transfer as well as send torque to the tire(s) with the most grip.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2018

To say this has been an interesting weather year in California would be a serious understatement. But despite a host of differing road and atmospheric conditions in the LA area as well as during an extended trek to Dallas and back during the Christmas holidays, our Alltrack has always maintained its poised and confident character. As for its more adventurous side, we got our first chance to check out the Alltrack’s down-and-dirty chops in on a bona-fide off-roading venue during its introduction last fall in Washington State. With 6.9 inches of ground clearance, Hill Descent Control and a dedicated Off-Road mode, this feisty VW dispatched a series of challenging surfaces and situations with a similar degree of aplomb.

And frugal, too

In addition to boasting an engaging personality, our VW Alltrack also has proven to be commendably fuel efficient. It’s now racked up slightly more than 11,000 miles in KBB service, the majority in local commuting duties. To date, our long-termer has averaged a solid 25.1 mpg against the EPA’s 25-mpg combined rating. We’re looking forward to more of the same during in its remaining time with us.

See Past Reports for our Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack:


Long-Term Update: Practicality

Long-Term Update: Wagon love

Long-Term Update: VW vs Audi

More 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack…

See full review and pricing information for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack or build and price your own to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own, and more.


New Car Spotlight


Free Dealer Price Quote

Get the best price and be more prepared with your free, no-obligation price quote