Golf gone wild
In a world that is dominated by tall and heavy SUVs, it's always refreshing to see something different. Everything on the road is a crossover nowadays. The difference lies in the special nature of high-riding estate cars. For the eighth generation of the Golf, VW is bringing the Variant (wagon) to Europe, and with that comes the unique Alltrack. What is it?
The VW Golf 8 Variant Alltrack is an absolute rarity. It's essentially a Golf wagon on jacks. This car is made for people who actually want to go off-road. While the suspension setup is largely the same as on the standard Variant, the ride height is increased by 15mm. And as with every crossover, it gets plastic cladding on the side. But compared to normal SUVs, it looks rugged and ready to go. VW has installed some awesome-looking front and rear bumpers with fog lights integrated into the lower section. The Alltrack comes standard with 4Motion AWD for that all-important traction. Everything else is typical Golf 8: which is good. The front end has a full-length lights bar and you can get a beautiful king's red metallic paint job. We think it looks awesome and totally different. Some unique touches consist of Alltrack badges around the exterior and gray trim around the bumpers.
The interior gets little changes. You get Alltrack badges on the steering wheel and the cloth seats. Lovely! If you're currently not off-roading, the harman/kardon sound system will keep you entertained. Otherwise, it's business as usual, typical Golf. Practicality is great as on every Golf and the Variant gets an even bigger boot, 611l!
So, how does it perform offroad? Unsurprisingly great. The raised ride height gives you more confidence while maintaining a comfortable ride on-road. Unique for the Alltrack, you get an Offroad mode. This sets up the suspension, steering, engine, AWD system, and gearbox for maximum grip. But realistically, the Alltrack is best for gravel and snow. On these types of cars, the tires are often the most limiting factor and we're sure that you can put on some nobbly tires for even more confidence. We'd take an Alltrack any day over a normal Golf Variant because of its rarity and cool looks. It's a rugged Golf, c'mon. Powertrain-wise it's all pretty basic. The 2.0l turbodiesel with 200 horsepower will get you along nicely. Torque is an important factor for offroading and this engine gets 400 Nm of the stuff.
The Golf Variant Alltrack is unlike anything else because it's so unique. A hatchback turned into a wagon that has turned into an offroading vehicle. How strange? That's why we loved it. Sadly, it still suffers from things that the Golf 8 brought with it, such as the infotainment and cheap build quality on the inside. A Golf Variant Alltrack starts from 46k CHF and our test car was a whopping 58k CHF. We think its money well spent on a car so unique and buyers of the Alltrack will know what they're getting. We suggest comparing it with competitors like the Audi A4 Allroad and Volvo V60 Cross-Country, but the Alltrack is a bargain compared to those. After all, it's still not as capable as a proper RangeRover or Suzuki Jimny. But it is extremely practical and will keep you going in tougher situations. It won't do anything extreme, but when is that ever going to happen anyways? Forget the Golf R, GTI and GTI Clubsport: this is the most unique Golf currently on sale.