Equipped with all-wheel drive, large cargo space and well-known Golf attributes, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is an appealing alternative to crossovers in the same price range. If you love the Golf wagon but also need an all-wheel drive, this is your option.
Actually, VW only adds 1 foot of length into the Golf hatchback cargo area. The result is a 66.5 cubic feet space with rear seats folded. That a number that is usually offered by crossover and compact SUVs. Powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine, friendly and upscale interior, and traditional Volkswagen comfort make the 2018 Golf Alltrack an excellent choice for anti-crossover or anyone who likes the sleeker wagon look.
Despite having a name and rugged style, and even the presence of Off-Road mode, the Alltrack is not a true adventure vehicle built to drive away from the highway. It stands a little higher of the ground than Sportwagen on which it is based, and enough to handle a modest trail. But if your needs include inland exploration, there are better options; the Subaru Outback, for example. But for overall convenience and utility without the traditional bulk or high of a crossover, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a winner.
For 2018, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack gets more standard equipment. The base S model receives an automatic headlight. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking are now standard on the SE models. The SEL gets a suite of driver aids, which were previously optional. Both SE and SEL trims also get an updated 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display. VW has removed some features from the last year SE trim including an automatic parking system and adaptive cruise control.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a station wagon that comes in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL.
Standard equipment for the S trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, foglights, automatic headlights, roof rails, heated side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient cabin lighting, heated front seats with manual adjustment and power recline, simulated leather upholstery and 60/40-split folding rear seats with a center pass-through.
Standard tech features a rearview camera, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, VW’s Car-Net communications, Bluetooth and eight speakers audio system with a CD player, auxiliary audio, satellite and HD radio, USB and SD card inputs.
The Alltrack SE adds keyless entry and ignition, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, heated windshield washer nozzles, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, a 115-volt outlet and an upgraded infotainment system with 8-inch touchscreen interface.
The range-topping SEL adds 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, a Fender premium audio system with a subwoofer and upgraded sound. New for this year is a full complement of standard safety aids, including adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, an automatic parking system and lane departure warning.
Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is optional for the SE and the SEL.
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 170 horsepower. With the five-speed manual transmission it produces 184 pound-feet of torque, but when equipped with the six-speed automatic, the torque number increase to 199 lb-ft. All-wheel drive, which VW calls 4Motion are standard across the board.
The base S and SE model come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox called DSG is available as an option. The SEL trim gets the six-speed auto transmission as standard.
The Alltrack is about 300 pounds heavier than a Golf SportWagen, so the turbo engine doesn’t feel quite as powerful and the handling is somewhat blunted. But its all-wheel drive gives this wagon a confidence road and deliver smooth acceleration. It’s not really an off-road vehicle despite its rugged styling.
In performance testing, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack SEL 4MOTION accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy stands at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway) with the automatic transmission and 24 mpg combined (21 city/30 highway) with the manual.
The Volkswagen Alltrack aren’t rated to tow, so look toward Subaru Outback if you need to pull a trailer.
Inside, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is similar to the regular Golf hatchback, which means it has one of the best cabins in this price range. Most buttons and switches are logically arranged and easy to understand. Volkswagen has also upgraded the Alltrack infotainment system with new 6.5 and 8-inch touchscreens that offer a much better interface and graphics. This system also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The voice control system is well-executed.
Like the regular Golf, the 2018 Alltrack standard front seats provide firm support for both short and long distance driving. Both front seats offer a high adjustment, so the front passenger will not feel like a second-class citizen. The rear seats are spacious enough for a small car, but the Alltrack relatively low rear cushions cut tall passengers of under-thigh support. In here, most crossovers have an advantage with their higher seat cushions.
Behind the rear seats, there are 30.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough for the typical load of luggage, home goods and groceries. Folding the rear seatback produces 66.5 cubic feet of space, which is similar to what you get from many small crossovers.
Release Date and Price
The official price for the base Alltrack S starting at $26,805. The SE starts at $31,465, while the SEL trim begins at $37,360. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic demands an additional $1,100.