The 2017 Golf Alltrack is the Subaru challenger

“We are focused on making things right.” So says Dr. Hendrik Muth, Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy for Volkswagen of America. As he stands poised to subject the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack to a room of auto writers—many of whom have spent the last year crucifying VW for lying to, well, everybody—it’s clear that this statement has more than just one purpose. With the launch of the 2017 Golf Alltrack, Volkswagen may have done just that. Visually, the Alltrack sports a new, more aggressively styled front bumper, as well as side cladding on the wheel wells and the sills. It’s difficult not to see cues from the car that Volkswagen mentioned time and time again as the Alltrack’s main competition: the Subaru Outback.
4Motion all-wheel drive is standard on all Alltrack trim levels, as is “Off Road Mode.” This new drive mode includes hill descent control and intelligent traction control, allowing the wheels to spin as needed to gain footing in off-road conditions. The 1.8-liter direct-injected turbo four-cylinder EA888 engine that’s omnipresent throughout Volkswagen’s lineup powers the Alltrack. And while the 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque the TSI generates won’t help the 3,422 pound Veedub win any drag races, it does come on nearly instantly, as the entire grunt is available starting at 1600 RPM.
VW wanted me to see just how adventurous the Alltrack can be, so after I switched into a silver SE model at the halfway point, they sent me to test the wagon’s off-road cred. Endless fields of tree stumps flew past my window as the roads turned from pavement to gravel. The 4Motion system deftly handled the change in surface, sending appropriate amounts of power to the rear wheels as needed. The Off-Road mode was so confidence inspiring that I got a little cocky in one of the more challenging sections of the course. As a result, I over-throttled my way into a bit of a sticky situation. To be exact, I got stuck. Never fear—a quick reverse and a second attempt later, and the Alltrack was on its merry way again. Off-Road mode allows the Alltrack to spin the wheels as needed to gain the necessary traction for forward motion, but it took me a moment to get accustomed to the fact that continuing to apply throttle was actually helping me get going instead of digging a deeper hole.
It’s this increased off-road capability that makes the Golf Alltrack a legitimate Subaru challenger. While VW made a point of comparing the Alltrack heads-up with the Outback, it’s a segment smaller than the Outback is, which means that it’s somewhat in a class of its own. But that doesn’t mean that shoppers won’t compare the two. And in that comparison, the Golf Alltrack holds its own. The Alltrack matches up nicely from a power perspective, offering more torque in a lower powerband than the 2.5-liter boxer motor found in the Outback. While the Subaru can be had with a larger, more powerful 3.6-liter flat-six engine, that also means a price bump up to nearly $35,000.

The Golf Alltrack is a reason for potential Subaru customers to visit Auburn Volkswagen.

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Phone: (877) 874-1002

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3109 Auburn Way North Auburn, WA
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Auburn Volkswagen 47.3356737, -122.2233049.