When this 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
joined Kelley Blue Book’s long-term test fleet way back in November of 2016 it
brought with it the promise of semi- rugged wagon-tastic adventures. Did it
deliver? Yes. In fact over its two-year, 23,457 miles, the Alltrack reliably shuttled Kelley Blue Book
staffers and their families from California to Texas and countless
destinations in between. With all-wheel drive and a slightly raised ride
height our VW Alltrack was easy to climb aboard and made a superb partner
for jaunts to the mountains, deserts and the beach, all the while the tidy-sized
Alltrack delivered an engaging drive that SUVs struggle to duplicate. Speaking of SUVs
our Volkswagen did a nifty impression of one offering 30.4-cubic feet of
space behind the rear seats, that’s about what you’ll find in a Mazda
CW-5. As a bonus our Alltrack featured handy seat releases in the cargo area.
Aside from $240 worth of service appointments, our only
expense was gas, which we used modestly thanks to fuel economy that regularly
landed within a stone’s throw of the EPA’s 25 combined mpg estimate.
Supporting that efficiency was a spunky turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine
that delivered eager thrust and came paired with VW’s quick shifting DSG
dual-clutch transmission. Despite occasional clumsy shifts we never
regretted choosing the dual clutch, however we should mention that a manual
gearbox is available for those unaffected by hellacious Los Angeles
commutes. When it arrived in November of 2016 our
2017 Alltrack SE trim had an MSRP of $32,195, $4400 of which came from options
including a driver assistance package featuring adaptive cruise control,
parking sensors, and automatic emergency braking. As fans of active safety tech
the packages $845 fee was well worth it.
Lastly VW deserves special kudos for its early adoption of modern smartphone
integration. Our 2017 model featured bold Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as
standard equipment. Truthfully the screen resolution could have been better, but
Volkswagen addressed that issue with an upgrade in 2018. All told infotainment
stood out as a strength among our Alltrack’s many strengths. At the moment
America has an inflamed obsession with SUVs, but our time with the Alltrack has
proven there are advantages to getting your all-weather traction and cargo space
in a wagon shaped box.