New 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Wagon New 2018
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Wagon

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

All-new just last year, the 2018 VW Golf Alltrack is a sporty compact wagon with a fuel-efficient turbocharged engine and standard all-wheel drive (AWD). With additional ground clearance, rugged SUV styling and an off-road driving mode, the new Alltrack is fun to drive and ready for adventure. Main competitors include the Subaru Outback, the Subaru Crosstrek and the more expensive Audi Allroad. Three trim levels are available, S, SE and SEL with prices starting around $26,500. Each comes with a sprightly 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which it shares with the Golf hatchback and Golf SportWagen. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard in the S and SE models, but a slick-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters is available for an additional $1,100. The automatic is standard on the top-of-the-range Alltrack SEL, which costs over $36,000.


You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a stylish, affordable and fun all-wheel-drive wagon to get you through snowy winters and get your mountain bike to the trailhead, you’ll like the 2018 VW Golf Alltrack. A real alternative to the gaggle of small SUVs, the Alltrack delivers an upscale, premium feel as well as impressive fuel efficiency. Plus it’s ranked a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some may find the 2018 VW Alltrack to be too small for their needs. The Subaru Outback is larger and it offers more ground clearance. Audi’s stylish Allroad is far more expensive, but it’s also larger than the Alltrack and packs significantly more power. Hardcore off-roaders should be shopping trucks with a 2-speed transfer case, which these wagons do not offer.

What's New for 2018

For 2018 the Golf Alltrack gets new LED taillights, LED daytime-running lights and automatic headlights as well as a longer warranty. Base S models also get a larger 6.5-inch touch screen and connectivity upgrades. The SE trim level has been updated with an 8-inch touch screen and a long list of new standard safety systems including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The new Golf Alltrack is rewarding and surprisingly adept on-road and off. On pavement, it drives much like a standard Golf SportWagen: quick, nimble and compliant. The 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is mostly smooth. We like its traditional shift points more than the continuously variable transmission (CVT) used by Subaru. The 2018 Alltrack is fun to throw into corners, and its steering firms up nicely after initial softness at lower speeds. The new VW Alltrack is well-suited for dirt roads and is capable of light off-roading. Treated as a rally car, the Alltrack is a blast to fling around, and it can make an amateur look like a pro. Pushed hard, the Alltrack will slide just enough for grins until traction and stability controls kick in. The Haldex 4Motion AWD system aptly puts power to the wheel where it's needed, and the built-in hill-descent control helps ease the car down steeper grades.

Favorite Features

For 2018 the VW Golf Alltrack with the SE trim level comes standard with Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, as well as Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert. The top SEL trim level adds Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, parking sensors and Park Assist, which will practically park the wagon for you.

Standard on the 2018 VW Golf Alltrack SEL, this premium sound system packs 400 watts of power through nine speakers and a subwoofer mounted in the cargo area. The award-winning system, created by Fender and Panasonic, is one of the best audio systems in the class with incredible depth and detail.

Vehicle Details


Volkswagen is known for its well-built, high-quality and comfortable interiors, and the cabin of the 2018 VW Alltrack lives up to those expectations. The wagon seats five and offers 35.6 inches of rear legroom, with is plenty unless you’re well over 6-feet tall. The front seats are supportive, the driving position is perfect and there’s an adjustable center armrest. The climate and audio systems are easy to use. Behind its rear seat the cargo area measures an ample 30.4 cubic feet of space. When more is needed, you can fold its rear seat, which is split 60/40, and increase the cargo capacity to 66.5 cubic feet, which rivals many small SUVs.


Although it’s based on the VW Golf SportWagen, the Alltrack’s raised suspension, unique front and rear bumpers, and dark body cladding along its side sills and wheel arches give it a tough, rugged look. It isn’t over the top, like it’s looking to charge through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it doesn’t look like a traditional wagon either. For 2018 VW has added LED taillights and LED daytime-running lights for a more modern look. S and SE trim levels get 17-inch wheels and tires, while the top Alltrack SEL rolls on 18s. Silver mirrors and roof rails are standard and the lower-window chrome molding adds some upscale flair.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2018 VW Golf Alltrack comes in three trims: S, SE and SEL. The least expensive Alltrack S is well equipped and completely recommendable. It includes faux-leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and windshield-washer nozzles, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, 8-way partially power-operated driver's seat, rearview camera and a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system with AM/FM/CD player with HD Radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The standard Car-Net system works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone apps. All-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels and features an off-road mode and hill-descent control.

Notable Optional Equipment

For a better equipped 2018 VW Alltrack we recommend stepping up to the mid-trim SE, which brings keyless entry, push-button start, an 8-inch touch screen, a power panoramic sunroof, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking as well as Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert. The top-line Alltrack SEL variant adds dual-zone climate control, Fender premium audio system and upgraded infotainment-system navigation with off-road data, plus 18-inch wheels and a 12-way-power driver's seat. The Alltrack SEL also gets Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, parking sensors and Park Assist, which will practically park the wagon for you.

Under the Hood

While the Subaru Outback offers a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder engines, the 2018 Golf Alltrack offers only one, but it shines: VW's 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. Putting out 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, this invigorating engine easily pushes the new Alltrack and happily drinks regular unleaded. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the S and SE trim levels, but the dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission, which is standard on the Alltrack SEL, is offered for an additional $1,100. At up to 32 mpg on the highway, the Golf Alltrack has respectable fuel economy, but unlike the Subaru Outback, the Alltrack is not rated to tow. All-wheel drive is standard on all models.

1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4
170 horsepower @ 4,500 rpm
199 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/33 mpg (manual), 22/30 mpg (automatic)


Pricing Notes

Including the $850 destination charge, the new 2018 VW Golf Alltrack has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,805 for a base model with a 6-speed manual transmission. The SE, which adds many desirable safety systems, costs $30,615. The available dual-clutch 6-speed automatic adds $1,100 to both trim levels. The SEL model starts over $36,000, which is still about $9,000 less than an Audi Allroad. At these prices, the Golf Alltrack starts just above its main rival, the Subaru Outback. Those looking to spend less could opt for the smaller Subaru Crosstrek, or a less-rugged Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, which offers all-wheel drive. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new VW. Volkswagens tend to trail others in holding their value, and the Golf Alltrack trails the Subaru Outback in this regard.

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