We'd like to think that station wagons still have a detectable pulse in the American automotive market today, despite the fact that so many automakers have killed their wagons like slaughtering cattle. The BMW 5-Series Touring, Audi A4 and A6 Avants, Volvo V70, Subaru Legacy Wagon, Cadillac CTS Sports Wagon and the Acura TSX
At our annual Midwest Automotive Media Association fall rally, we recently helmed the new stilted VW wagon for a short stint. Though the drive was a brief one, it was more than sufficient for us to get a solid picture of this new iteration, and here are our impressions.
It's Not a Novelty Car
VW knows that tall wagons sell. Look at the Subaru Outback and the Audi
Even though that model comes with
It Drives Better Than We Thought It Would
What we were surprised by most was the Alltrack's on-road composure. The excellent MQB chassis manages the turns
The Alltrack isn't wicked-fast, but it's got enough gumption thanks to the 1.8-liter 4-cylinder's 170 hp and healthy 199 lb-ft of torque. The dual clutch DSG transmission shifts quickly, and we never found it lacking power. Downshifting is quick, and getting off the line and into moving traffic never seems daunting. For the upcoming Chicago winter, owners should take comfort with the Alltrack's 4Motion all-wheel drive system that sends 90 percent of car's torque to the front wheels until tire slippage is detected, at which point the electrohydraulic clutch system can send up to 50 percent of that torque to the back wheels. rearward. Even better, the Alltrack is rumored to get a manual transmission sometime next year.
But is It Better Than the SportWagen with AWD?
It all depends on what your driving needs are, as well as what your aesthetic wants are. The Alltrack S is a couple thousand dollars more ($26,950 base MSRP) versus the Golf SportWagen S with 4Motion ($24,930 base MSRP). The Alltrack gets more clearance, Off-Road mode, unique suspension tuning, and torque vectoring. Though the SportWagen will do just fine in most mild-mannered off-road and snowy conditions, the Alltrack takes things up a notch by providing more off-road prowess, hill descent control and more robust suspension.
Aesthetically, the Alltrack leans more in the Audi
At the end of the day, you get a bit more in the Alltrack for just a couple thousand bucks more, though the SportWagen S with 4Motion will be more than adequate for most customers. Both vehicles are roomy, peppy and well-outfitted for more than respectable prices. We laud VW for bringing another tasty wagon into the mix.