2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SE 4Motion new car reviews

This is the third Volkswagen Golf we've tested this year with the TSI drivetrain, but it's the first we've tried with the standard manual transmission. The Alltrack adds a slightly lifted suspension and all-wheel drive, making it a slightly more-capable option for those who like to venture off the beaten path.

Other staff views

Ed Higginbotham Ed Higginbotham
Associate Editor

I got to spend a lot of quality time with the Golf Alltrack. Mostly because we were evacuating our home in Florida as Hurricane Irma bore down on us. But it turned out to be the perfect tool for the job. We evacuated to the mountains in North Carolina, where our rental house stood at the far end of a mile-long, kind-of-cleared path up a mountain.

The slight lift and all-wheel drive made it well capable of traveling anywhere we needed to go. Cargo space is excellent. We managed to cram all of our most valuable possessions in the back, along with a dog.

If there was ever a test of road trip comfort, this was it. We were confined to the car for 12 hours going one way and 14 hours coming back. The only complaint I had was a slightly sore lower back. The seats could have used more lumbar support. Everything else was great. The long sunroof was a great touch as well.

Volkswagen's CarPlay system is fantastic. Plug your phone in and the dashboard display becomes an extension of your phone, allowing you to use your favorite GPS and audio apps through the car.

I give the car four stars all the way down the board. I really did enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a modern wagon with some off-road capabilities.

Tom Suddard Tom Suddard
Digital Experience Director

VW may have killed the brown, manual-transmissioned diesel wagon, but it still makes the Alltrack. What is it? The brand’s direct competitor to a Subaru, and probably the best new car for sale if you live where it snows, and can only have one car.

First, it’s affordable. No, it’s not cheap, but it is inexpensive. It has that hallmark VW magic inside and out, the stuff that makes the interior feel two notches above its class, and the exterior look way more premium than whatever Nissan will sell you these days. The radio sounds great, too.

How’s it drive? Great! It feels lighter than it is, with easy daily-driverable shifts and awesome visibility. I didn’t test the all-wheel-drive in sunny Florida, but I’m sure it’s enough for the snowy driveway this thing is clearly meant for.

Would I buy one? Absolutely. I may even spring for that cool panoramic sunroof.

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Comments

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Jaynen
Jaynen SuperDork
10/10/17 1:17 p.m.

I wonder long term what ownership costs would be like out of warranty for subaru vs golf

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