By: Roger Rivero
The weekend has come! Dad and mom worried about the report they watched on television about the millions of obese children in North America – more than 13, of whom 1.25 million are diabetics – discuss what to do to keep the kids away from the TV and games for a couple of days. Excursion, fishing, let’s get out of town! And it is here, where the car we reviewed this week takes on the leading role.
It was surprising that one of the most famous German cars in the world, the Volkswagen Golf, did not have an all-terrain version. It has arrived at Alltrack, a wagon very similar to the SportWagen, which has been advertised as capable of taking the family of our history to the most remote places. In order not to fuel mistaken expectations, even if it could take us off the asphalt, let’s not imagine that we are talking about an all-terrain or all road, in the full extent of the word.
Volkswagen has changed somewhat to the Golf version in wagon, giving it four-wheel drive, a slightly raised suspension, some traction characteristics for different terrains, and some outer hard plastic ornaments, to give the body of the vehicle more resistance to possible impacts. If we add to the formula a turbocharged four-cylinder 1.8 TDI 170 horsepower engine, and a minimalist interior, but with admirable ergonomics, we would be talking about a serious alternative to “crossovers”, if there are still antagonists to this type of cars so popular these days. Diesel lovers are left with the desire in this part of the world.
The new Alltrack has three engine configurations for that fuel, but only available in Europe.
Knowing that the Alltrack is about 300 pounds heavier, we had some doubts about whether it would maintain what is perhaps the most appreciated condition for many owners of these cars, their excellent handling quality. For our comfort, it basically drives like any other Golf. Despite the high center of gravity, the Alltrack advances accurately, responds quickly to commands and grabs corners almost as well as their teammates in training.
In addition to its handling qualities, another aspect that I have always liked of the Golf here is replicated: the interior. It is cautious, sober, but friendly to the eye and very ergonomic layout. It is something that also remains in the DNA of these cars. When you settle in the cabin of a Golf, there is very little time needed to have control of the buttons and the information and entertainment system. All thanks to the proven German engineering ability, to intuit in anticipation the needs of the user, something for which the Swedes of Volvo also distinguished themselves … until not long ago.
However, we should mention that the interface of infotainment is already old-fashioned and a bit chaotic. Luckily, it works with agility, and we have the option of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In my case, the connection of my Android phone was not without problems, and on more than one occasion abandon the attempt, won by frustration.
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack comes in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL. The S-base is available with a manual transmission for $ 25,085 and automatic for an additional $ 1,100. The price is attractive, considering that it comes with all-wheel drive, and offers plenty of everything needed for adventurous life, including roof rails, heated seats and side mirrors, a reverse camera , Bluetooth and smartphone integration.
Moving up to the SE would incorporate a large sunroof, keyless entry, better Fender sound system with subwoofer, 115-volt power outlet in the cargo area, and rain-activated wiper. Meanwhile, the SEL is fitted with larger wheels – 18 inches – electric leather seats, two-zone automatic climate control and a navigation system.
For each of these levels of completion, a driver assistance package is available for an additional $ 895. This package includes pedestrian alert, parking assistance and traffic crossing at the rear, lane exit alert, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor and collision alert with emergency braking.
Volkswagen’s intention to snatch some market from Subaru and perhaps Volvo is clear. Alltrack’s off-road capabilities, I do not think are superior to any of the models with which it competes. Perhaps comparable to the Subaru Crosstrek, but this, it surpasses the Alltrack in price.
It is encouraging to be able to find another option for weekend getaways. In a country where obesity is treated as an epidemic, a walk in contact with nature will provide mental tranquility, family bonding, and a few calories burned. Reaching one of those hidden places will now be more enjoyable, if back, we are behind the wheel of the new Volkswagen Alltrack.