Volkswagen Golf Alltrack first details

What’s this?

It’s the new Golf Alltrack. Much like its brethren (read Octavia Scout and Audi A4 Allroad), the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a more off-road friendly version of the Golf Estate.

It boasts some substantial updates over the normal Golf Estate. On the outside, it has black cladding running across the lower part of the vehicle, giving the impression it’s ready to tackle rutted mud tracks and slither into dry stone walls.

The front has a wider airdam at the bottom of the bumper, and has a coloured horizontal slat running across the facia, which looks quite neat.

On the sides, the Golf Estate’s well-proportioned design works well, although the Alltrack has 20mm more ground clearance than the regular estate, again to improve its ability to clear rocks and cowpats. It sits on 17-inch alloys and has darkened rear lights, while the underbody protection comes in a contrasting shade of silver. Other than that, it’s Golf as usual.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Golf Alltrack will come with a choice of one petrol and three diesel engines, all of which have the Haldex 5 four-wheel-drive system. The engine range starts with the least powerful but greenest 1.6-litre diesel that makes 108hp but achieves 57.6mpg, to the 1.8-litre TSI petrol that makes 178hp of power and returns 41.5mpg, and is only available with a DSG automatic gearbox.

The most popular will be the 2.0-litre TDI engine, which will be available in two trims: one makes 148hp of power and returns  57.6mpg, while the other is the more powerful version with 181hp but an equally impressive 55.4mpg.

Mild off-roading should be easy with the torquey diesels. As far as 0-62mph times are concerned, the two of the most powerful engines (the 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TDI) take 7.8 seconds, and the 1.6-litre diesel will sip its way there in 12.1 seconds.

What’s it like inside?

It’s not just the exterior that gets ‘Alltrack’ badging and design but the interior too. Standard features over the equipment in Comfortline trim include climate control, driver alert system, chrome accents for buttons and a host of other trinkets. Ambient lighting, lights in the front footwell, and a touchscreen infotainment system are present as well, and you can order black roof-lining to give the interior a darker, more sporty feel.

Safety assured

As well as the aforementioned four-wheel-drive system, which should keep things tidy even if the conditions are tricky, there’s Volkswagen’s XDS electronic differential, which can apply brakes on the inside wheels during fast cornering. This helps maintain the car’s line and maintain traction.

Once off-road, the Offroad driving profile aids the driver with a hill descent function. The accelerator and ABS characteristics also get altered accordingly, allowing for a bit more slither than normal.

When can I get one?

The new Golf Alltrack will be showcased at the 2014 Paris Motor Show from October 2 to 19, and is expected to reach showrooms in the UK sometime in summer 2015.

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