Introducing a new off-road-friendly, shrunken-SUV flavour to the popular Golf range, the Alltrack undercuts its most logical rival, Skoda’s Octavia Scout 132TSI ($38,590) with which the crossover Volkswagen shares much of its mechanical DNA, including powertrain and underpinnings.
This plastic-clad, high-riding, all-wheel-drive version represents a $10K premium over the entry Golf 1.4-litre 92TSI Trendline Wagon.
The Alltrack sees the debut of a 1.8-litre single-turbo petrol four developing 132kW and 240Nm of torque. It’s matched exclusively to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Both have already debuted in Skoda’s Octavia Scout and various Audi models.
The 4Motion variable all-wheel-drive system predominantly sends drive to the front the wheels, though up to 50 per cent of torque can be sent to the rear wheels via a Haldex 5 hydraulic clutch system.
Off-road capability is supplemented with XDS electronic differential lock functionality, which apportions torque to individual wheels when required via selective wheel braking. The Alltrack comes with a dedicated Offroad drive mode calibration, which includes hill descent functionality. The ride height has been increased by 20mm for greater ground clearance.
Standard features include 17-inch wheels, leather-appointed seats, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a reverse-view camera, static cornering lights, and infotainment encompassing a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, the Discover Media sat-nav system, and App-Connect USB for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.
The Alltrack also boasts a host of family friendly conveniences such as LED reading lights, rear air vents, extendable luggage partition net and cover, remote rear seat release and rear underfloor storage.
There are two option packages available. At $2500, the Sport Luxury pack adds 18-inch Canyon wheels with 225mm tyres (standard 17s wear 205mm), paddleshifters, rear and rear-side privacy glass and an electric panoramic sunroof. At $1300, a Driver Assistance pack brings adaptive cruise control, front assist with City Emergency Braking, park assist and a suite of active and passive safety systems called the Proactive Occupant Protection System.
The Alltrack is available in six colours, including Pure White, Tornado Red, Reflex Silver, Limestone Grey, Night Blue and Deep Black. All versions get Black Vienna leather appointed trim.
The upmarket positioning sees the jacked-up Golf wagon command a handsome premium over less-logical rivals than Skoda’s Scout, which includes the segment-larger Subaru Outback and a long list of small high-spec all-wheel-drive SUVs (such as Mazda’s CX-3 AWD 2.0 Akari, at $35,290).