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Driven: Golf Alltrack bolsters VW wagon win

On track: Volkswagen's Golf Alltrack walks the line between Golf wagon and Tiguan with on-road dynamics and off-road ability.

Go anywhere Alltrack models to fuel more wagon interest says Volkswagen


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24 Sep 2015

VOLKSWAGEN has wheeled out its second local all-terrain wagon model and says the Golf Alltrack will continue the popularity of big-booted models that some other brands struggle to find homes for.

Priced from $37,990 before on-road costs, the Golf Alltrack 1.8 TFSI brings a more off-road-friendly all-wheel-drive system and greater ground clearance, as well as wagon boot space and looks that are attracting many Australian customers to the VW range.

Speaking at the launch of the new model, Volkswagen Group Australia communications general manager manager Karl Gehling told GoAuto that the Golf Alltrack would continue the strong uptake of Volkswagen wagon models.

“In our range, Golf wagon has been very successful and Passat wagon has been extremely successful and accounts for more than 50 per cent of our sales in Australia,” he said.

“They might not, as a total of our Australian market, be a substantial proportion of sales, but within the Volkswagen group, wagons are a significant part of our market share.

“When we released Passat Alltrack, 40 per cent of wagon sales were Alltrack and we are excited to see what the Golf Alltrack can do.”

While the Australian market experiences continued growth for high-riding SUVs, Mr Gehling said the company would be promoting the Alltrack lines as an alternative to full-fat SUVs.

“That’s what we are working on with Alltrack. For all the reasons people like the Golf wagon the Alltrack is an extension of that model with the added capability of 4Motion (four-wheel drive) and increased ride height.”

Australia’s first Alltrack was the Passat that arrived in 2013, with a new version expected early next year, and Mr Gehling explained more Alltrack variants would be welcomed if they became available.

“For our market we would certainly like more Alltrack variants but for the moment we are happy that we will have Golf and Passat.

“We will have the new Passat sedan and wagon next month and we will have the Alltrack version in the first quarter of next year so it’s nice for us to have both of them within a relatively short period.”

The new addition to the Golf stable picks up with the practicality of the wagon's 605 litre boot but then adds the company's 4Motion all-wheel drive system plus an extra 20mm to the standard car's ride height.

With the all-terrain modifications, Volkswagen says the Golf Alltrack has “off-road driving traits that are more typical of an SUV,” and will appeal to more adventurous Golf fans.

For now, just one variant of the Alltrack will be on offer with the 1.8 TFSI, which brings a 132kW/280Nm four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, coupled with a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.

Power is sent to all four corners through a Haldex final drive that VW calls 4Motion and is continuously variable to alter the amount of torque sent to each wheel depending on the conditions.

Like the more on-road focused Golf wagon, the Alltrack has several Driving Profile Selection modes, but with the addition of one extra Off-road mode to complement the mechanical changes.

When selected, the setting allows the ABS to build up a wedge of loose material under each wheel, improving stopping power when off-road. It also changes the ASR stability control behaviour to cope better with very slippery conditions and applies a different accelerator map.

The Alltrack also has automatic hill-descent when in Off-road mode, which allows the vehicle to negotiate steep downward slopes at a controlled speed without driver intervention. The technology is more typically found on accomplished SUV vehicles.

Adventurous owners will benefit from additional underbody protection if very undulating terrain is tackled.

Acceleration to 100km/h from standstill takes 7.8 seconds and top speed stands at 217km/h. The Alltrack uses 6.7 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and emits 158 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

On the outside, Alltrack versions of the Golf wagon are immediately identifiable with tougher black wheel-arch mouldings, redesigned front and rear bumpers, which reflect the beefier matte silver side sills and gloss silver mirror caps.

Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are ‘Valley’ design and are unique to the Alltrack, but 18-inch ‘Canyon’ versions can be optioned as part of a Sports Luxury pack.

The outdoorsy treatment continues on the inside with “tracks” dashboard and door trims to match the standard Vienna leather seats, which are heated in the front spots.

LEDs light the cabin with map-reading lights and ambient illumination throughout.

Its big boot is conveniently expandable to 1620 litres with remotely folding second row seats and a boot compartment cover that stows beneath the boot floor. The flat load area can swallow objects up to 1831mm long with the rear seats folded.

Volkswagen will roll out its new App-Connect system for all vehicles range wide, starting with the Alltrack, which allows passengers to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and access their smartphone features while on board.

Vehicle information and entertainment systems are controlled through the 6.5-inch Discover Media touchscreen which also offers Bluetooth, USB, SD card and auxiliary device connection.

Auto on/off bi-Xenon headlights complement the extensive range of driver assistance and safety systems which include, rearview camera with parking radar, differential lock, driver fatigue detection, seven airbags, Isofix anchors for two child seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror and rain-sensing wipers.

Two option packages are available for the Alltrack with a $1300 Driver Assistance pack that adds adaptive cruise control, City Emergency (autonomous) braking, self-parking and a proactive occupant protection system, which tensions the seatbelts and closes windows and sunroof when a collision is likely.

The Sport Luxury package costs $2500 and adds the larger alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, panoramic glass sunroof with sunblind and gear-shift paddles behind the steering wheel. Metallic paint adds $500.

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