SUV FEVER has finally caught up with the VW Golf in the shape of the Golf Alltrack, a highish-riding, four-wheel-drive estate with butch, go-anywhere styling.
Following in the wheeltracks of the similarly styled and engineered Passat Alltrack, the new Golf claims to close the gap between the on-road and off-road worlds, which probably translates as the shopping and dog-walk worlds.
Power is provided by a choice of engines: a 176bhp 1.8-litre TSI petrol and three diesels of varying power outputs culminating in a 179bhp 2-litre TDI. Both these featured engines are fitted with VW’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard.
Four-wheel drive keeps the Golf Alltrack tidy in demanding conditions. Typically, the front wheels are driven but when things get tougher, the 4Motion system distributes the power across front and rear axles. If necessary, nearly 100% of the power can be directed to the rear axle alone. A ride height increased by 20mm over the standard Golf estate ensures the Alltrack doesn’t scratch its undersides.
Away from the mud and on the road, the Alltrack aims to please the sporty driver with a system called XDS. This intervenes to brake the car’s wheels on the inside of a bend during fast driving, to tighten the cornering line and improve traction.
In addition to its loftier stance, the Golf Alltrack is distinguished by black wheelarch and sill mouldings, additional silver-painted sill mouldings and special 17in alloy wheels. Inside, Alltrack badging, leather and stainless steel door sill plates complete the effect.
The Golf Alltrack goes on sale next summer costing from around £23,000.