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VW Golf Alltrack 2.0-litre TDI 4Motion 150hp Test Drive Review
25 July 2016
Author: Debbie Wood
The Volkswagen Golf has long been one of the default go-to choices in the company car hatchback world and to further its appeal with a wider customer base, many new bodystyles and variants have been added to the range through the years.
Here's one of the latest editions to join the every-growing Golf family, the Alltrack.
You can easily spot the difference between the standard Golf Estate and the Alltrack tested here. Featuring flared wheelarches, black side sills, chrome tailpipes and newly designed bumpers, the Alltrack has a far more distinctive and rugged look.
Ground clearance has also increased up to 20mm, and larger 17-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard.
All cars also come with the firms all-wheel drive system, called 4Motion, which activates a hill decent control system and modifies the throttle for off-road performance. Also included is an electronic slip differential, seen also on the sporty Golf R, which maximises traction for greater grip in the corners.
For anyone who needs to tow regularly for work, there's also a braked weight capacity of 2000kg, which should accommodate most trailers and small caravans.
Diesel only line-up
You've got a choice of three diesel engines in the Alltrack, all of which are currently available in the standard Golf estate and hatchback ranges.
For the best running costs, the 1.6-litre diesel engine offers an official combined fuel economy of 60mpg and CO2 emissions of just 122g/km. The extra economy savings mean a compromise in performance, though, as the engine can feel slow when accelerating, 0-62mph is officially achieved in 12.1 seconds.
The 2.0-litre tested here is more popular with fleets and boasts 148hp and an extra 90Nm of torque. It's a far more flexible and refined unit, 0-62mph is achieved in 8.9 seconds and there's virtually no compromise on running costs either, emitting just 3g/km more CO2 than the aforementioned 1.6-litre while the official combined fuel economy is at 58.9mpg.
Mated to the engine is a slick six-speed manual and, although a little noisy when gathering speeds, overall the pair are well matched and the engine performs well on the motorway and around the town.
The Golf Alltrack isn't going to create many thrills in the handling department, however it's easy to drive, very comfortable, with well-weighted steering and the extra grip on offer enables the car to be surefooted and neat in the corners at higher speeds.
You've got five different driving modes to choose from including Comfort, Sport and off-road, very subtle changes to the throttle response and handling characteristics are deployed depending on the mode you choose, although you'll struggle to notice any real difference on the road.
One trim level
There's just one trim available and you get plenty of kit for the £28,560 P11D price. Highlights from the standard specification include two-zone climate control, automatic lights, sat-nav, sports seats, parking sensors, DAB radio and silver roof rails.
Behind the wheel the splashes of chrome and Alltrack badging help to liven up what is a pretty bland interior, the quality of materials are very good, though, and build quality, as we've come to expect from VW, is excellent.
The Alltrack's interior dimensions remain unchanged from the standard estate so there's plenty of leg and headroom on offer and the boot offers a very practical 605 litres of space, expanding to 1620 litres with the rear seats folded.
Do the sums add up?
The thorn in the Golf Alltrack's side is the Skoda Octavia Scout. Essentially the same car underneath; the Scout is cheaper, more practical and better all-round value for money.
Although the VW Golf Alltrack offers the best residual values at 31.69% verses it's stablemates, the Octavia Scout and Seat Leon Xperience, at 27.84% and 29.73% respectfully, the Alltrack is more expensive so whole-life costs are actually higher at 61.39p in comparison to the Leon at 61.25p and the Octavia Scout at 58.39p.
The key stats at a glance
P11D price: £28,560
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
Residual value (3yrs 60,000mls): 31.69%
Cost per mile: 61.39p
Combined fuel economy: 58.9mpg
CO2 emissions (BIK band): 125g/km (25%)
BIK 20/40%: £119/£238
0-62mph: 8.9 seconds
Comfortable, practical and impressively versatile, the Golf Alltrack will tick a lot of boxes for user choosers - the elephant in the room is the Skoda Octavia Scout, though, which is around £3,000 cheaper and built on the same platform.