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2018 volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a more rugged version of the Golf SportWagen. It features a familiar design but it receives all-wheel drive, body cladding, and a suspension lifted by nearly an inch.

Overview
Visually, the Alltrack stands out from the SportsWagen thanks to plastic body cladding on the bumpers, the wheel arches, and the rocker panels. It also receives fog lights integrated into the front bumper, and a model-specific honeycomb grille.

Life aboard
Like the SportWagen, the Alltrack offers an ergonomic interior built with quality materials. The car boasts a function-over-form dashboard with a center console that is slightly oriented towards the driver, an easy-to-read instrument cluster with four analog gauges housed in two separate pods and a three-spoke steering wheel. A thin-film transistor screen integrated into the instrument cluster provides step-by-step navigation directions and can be configured to display a host of vital information about the car and its surroundings.

The base AllTrack comes with a 6.5-inch touch screen while the top two trim levels benefit from an eight-inch unit. Navigation comes standard on the range-topping model.

Trunk space checks in at a crossover-like 30.4 cubic feet with five occupants on board and a SUV-like 66.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.

Under the hood
The Golf Alltrack is only offered with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 199 pound-feet of torque at just 1,600 rpm.

The four-banger is bolted to a six-speed automatic transmission, though a six-speed manual unit will be added to the lineup a little later in the production run.

One of the Alltrack's strongest selling points is Volkswagen's excellent 4Motion all-wheel drive system. The Alltrack is front-wheel drive in everyday driving situations, but the 4Motion system immediately sends up to 50-percent of the engine's torque to the rear axle if it detect slippage.

A trick off-road mode helps the driver make the most of the 4Motion system. When engaged, off-road mode turns on a hill descent control function and optimizes the traction control system for slippery conditions. Buyers can also order an Off-Road HMI built into the navigation system that displays a compass, the steering angle, and the altitude.

Occupant safety
The Golf Alltrack comes with front, side and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control system and Volkswagen's Automatic Post-Collision Braking system.

The list of options includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, a lane departure warning system, parking sensors, and Volkswagen's Parking Steering Assistant.

Key competitors
Buyers in the market for a rugged station wagon can also look at the Subaru Outback, the Buick Regal TourX, and the more expensive Volvo V60 Cross Country.