Its finally here! A year after debuting in Europe, the rugged and mild off-roading Volkswagen Golf Alltrack has finally arrived on North American shores. The 2017 U.S. Spec Golf Alltrack is on display at 2016 New York International Auto Show.
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack shares its MQB platform with rest of the Golf family siblings. If you break it down to basics, the Golf Alltrack is just a jacked up Golf SportWagen with additional ground clearance, body cladding on the front and rear bumpers, fender wells, side skirts, and an all-wheel-drive drivetrain.
When compared to the standard Golf SportWagen, the Golf Alltrack gets unique front and rear bumpers with skid plates which, not only look rugged, but actually protect the undercarriage during light off-roading. The front bumper is fitted with fog lights and a unique honeycomb grille. It also has an “Alltrack” badge on the right side, so that people don’t confuse it with the regular Golf Sportwagen. The rear bumper is also specific to the Golf Alltrack and has cutouts for dual exhaust pipes instead of the left side cutouts for the twin exhaust pipes found on the Golf Sportwagen.
In the base S and mid-level SE trim, the Golf Alltrack is fitted with 17 inch aluminum-alloy wheels, while the top of the range SEL is fitted with 18 inch wheels. For a more premium look, the Golf Alltrack is fitted with silver roof rails, matte silver mirror caps, and rear diffuser.
If you have sat in the Golf SportWagen or any other seventh generation Golf model, the interior of the Golf Alltrack should be a very familiar sight. Leatherette seating is standard with a brown leatherette option in addition to aluminum pedal covers, door sills with Alltrack branding, and ambient lighting. This results in a more premium look and feel.
The Golf Alltrack is powered by VW’s dependable and ubiquitous EA888 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine which produces a respectable 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft torque. At launch, the engine will be exclusively paired to Volkswagen’s quick-shifting six-speed DSG automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission will become standard at a later date.
Customers who buy a Golf Alltrack will also benefit from VW’s legendary 4Motion all-wheel-drive. Under normal driving conditions, power from the engine is sent primarily to the front wheels to conserve fuel. However, when the computer detects any loss of traction, 50% of the power will be routed to the rear wheels via a fifth generation Haldex coupling system, which is activated via an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
In addition to the Haldex coupling acting longitudinally, electronic locking differentials at the front and rear axles act laterally in concert with the electronic stability control system.
Inside, the Golf Alltrack’s standard infotainment features a 6.5 inch color touchscreen with proximity sensor, backup camera, and VW Car-Net App-Connect.
The Drive Mode selector now includes a new “off-road mode” which includes hill descent control, optimizing traction control response during mild off-roading. When activated, the off-road menu screen displays the compass, the steering angle, and an altitude indicator.
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, like its Golf SportWagen cousin, has the same amount of cargo carrying capacity as a compact crossover. With the rear seats up, the Alltrack boasts 30.4 cubic feet of space and when the 60:40 split seats are folded, the cargo volume increases to 66.5 cubic feet.
The split-folding rear seats can be easily lowered via levers on the side of the cargo bay.
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack comes standard with six airbags along with a host of electronic safety systems.
Alltrack models are equipped with standard electronic stability control, automatic post-collision braking, and an intelligent crash response system. Additional driving assistance systems include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane assist, and front and rear park distance control with park assist.
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack will go on sale this fall as a 2017 model. Expect the pricing of the three Golf Alltrack trim levels to be slightly higher than their Golf SportWagen stablemates. If you are planing on attending the 2016 New York Auto Show, make sure to stop by the Volkswagen display and checkout the Golf Alltrack in person.
Trust me, you will not be disappointed with what you see.
*Rahul Raman is the Founder of CARS 360 Mke, an automotive news outlet. He is a regular contributor to Automoblog and the author of our First Look series.