Confirmed for this market nearly a year ago, the 2017 Golf Alltrack rolled onto the automaker’s stand in New York prior to its arrival in showrooms this fall. As VW indicated last spring, this higher-riding, all-wheel drive version of the Golf SportWagen adds visual and functional elements that impart a go-anywhere character that Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy of Volkswagen of America, Inc. says will “meet the active lifestyle needs of our customers."

Geared for adventure

Cosmetic touches that distinguish the new Golf Alltrack from the base SportWagen include a unique honeycomb grille, integrated fog lamps and protective cladding on the bumpers side sills and wheel arches plus silver detailing on the roof rails and other bits. The mirror caps and rear diffuser are also matte-finish. The S and SE variants have 17-inch alloys while the top-line SEL has18-inch wheels. All share an additional inch of ground clearance.

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Inside, the seats are covered in Leatherette – including an Alltrack-specific brown option – as well as aluminum pedal covers and door sills with “Alltrack” branding and ambient lighting. Other standard features include a 6.5-inch capacitive color touchscreen with proximity sensor, rearview camera, and VW Car-Net App-Connect connectivity as well as a Drive Mode selector with “Off-Road Mode” that has hill descent control while optimizing the traction control for off-road terrain. The Off-Road interface also displays a compass, steering angle indicator and altimeter when driving off-road. Like the SportWagen, the Alltrack offers a generous 30.4 cu ft of cargo space that can be expanded to an SUV-like 66.5 cu ft when the 60/40 split rear bench is flat-folded.

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The new Golf Alltrack is fitted with a 170-horsepower 1.8-liter TSI turbocharged 4-cylinder engine backed by a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, although VW says a 6-speed manual will be offered sometime after the initial launch. Motive force heads to each corner via VW’s 4Motion AWD system that uses a Haldex-5 center differential. While normally operating in front-drive mode, it can instantaneously ship up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle whenever it senses any wheel slip. The system interfaces with an electronic differential lock on each axle that works with the stability control system to vector torque left to right using the ABS brakes. Pricing for the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack will be released closer to its on-sale date.

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