Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (2015 – 2020) Review
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (2015 – 2020) At A Glance
Given the huge success of the Volkswagen Golf, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s impossible to stand out in the ubiquitous family car. But you’d be wrong, because the Golf Alltrack is a rare beast. Launched in 2015, it’s based on the practical Golf Estate, but Volkswagen added a tough bodykit, raised the ride height and fitted 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard to make it a credible rival to a compact SUV. The result is a highly appealing, practical and rugged estate car that’s a welcome tonic to the plethora of crossovers on sale in 2020. You just need to find one.
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You’d be forgiven for having no recollection of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. It sold in such small numbers that you might struggle to find one on the used car market, especially since the Mk7 Golf has been replaced by the all-new Golf Mk8.
But what is it? Put simply, the Alltrack is a more rugged version of the Volkswagen Golf Estate. Launched in 2015, then facelifted in 2017, the Golf Alltrack features body cladding designed to tackle the great outdoors, a raised ride height to cope with rough roads, and 4Motion all-wheel-drive as standard. If your daily commute involves rutted tracks, green lanes and inclement weather, this is the estate car for you – especially if you don’t fancy an SUV.
Rivals are few and far between. The Skoda Octavia Scout and the discontinued Seat Leon X-Perience are competitors from within the Volkswagen stable, but the Ford Focus Active is another SUV-inspired estate car. There’s also the larger Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, which has been axed in the UK due to slow sales.
The Golf Alltrack stands out thanks to its chunky and upmarket styling. It looks like a Golf R on stilts, which is no bad thing. Unfortunately, the cabin is a little more conventional, but you do get a pair of Alcantara-trimmed seats. Elsewhere it’s standard Volkswagen Golf, which means a rather sombre design but the use of upmarket materials.
At least it’s practical. The 605-litre boot is much bigger than a Golf hatchback and a similar-size SUV. Fold the rear seats and you’re greeted with a cavernous 1,620 litres of luggage capacity, which is ideal for mountain bikes or whatever lifestyle things you get up to at the weekend.
It’s big in the cabin, too, with enough space for five adults. Thanks to the estate’s longer roofline, there’s also more headroom in the back, so you have to wonder why the Golf Alltrack didn’t sell in big numbers. Price was its biggest problem. The Golf Alltrack cost around £35,000, so many buyers opted for the more affordable SUVs on offer.
Thanks to the raised ride height, the Alltrack is the most comfortable Golf in the range – the complete opposite of the Golf R. Not that you can chuck the Alltrack into a corner in the same way you would a Golf R. It handles in a safe and secure way, but it’s far from exciting. At least the 4Motion running gear provides reassurance, regardless of the road or weather.
It should be cheap to run. Although insurance is relatively high, the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines provide excellent long-legged economy, plus plenty of torque for towing and off-road duties. Of the two engines, we’d favour the 2.0-litre unit, especially if you intend to make use of the Golf Alltrack’s 2,400kg maximum towing capacity.