Those who are not sucked into the crossover craze know a good wagon or hatchback has many virtues over the bulky and ungainly small SUV. They are easier to maneuver, have better fuel economy, and loading them up is a snap due to the lower ride height. Now Volkswagen has added full-time all-wheel drive to the Golf Sportwagen and created a new model based on the Golf Sportwagen called the Alltrack.
At first glance, the two models have a lot in common. Both are dimensionally identical using the same chassis, sheet metal, and powertrain. And both have VW’s 4Motion full-time all-wheel drive system using a fifth-generation Haldex controller to distribute power to the wheels. Look closer and there are some significant differences between the two models.
To begin with, the 2017 SportWagen 4Motion is only available in the base S trim. The Alltrack has three levels of trim starting with the base S and tops out with the SEL trim that features a full complement of convenience and safety features. The entry-level trim of the Sportwagen comes with cloth seats, but the V-Tex leatherette covered seats of the Alltrack are standard across all three trims.
The SportWagen 4Motion retains its demure looks while the Alltrack has a stronger appearance with ruggedized body panels and underbody composite panels to deflect the hazards of off-roading. 16-inch alloy wheels and black roof rails also come standard with the Sportwagen. The Alltrack has 17-inch alloys and silver roof rails.
The Alltrack also distinguishes itself with a higher ride height, fog lights, and Reflex Silver mirror caps. The beautiful panoramic sunroof is also something you won’t see on the Sportwagen S trim.
Yes, both models use the same 4Motion AWD system that adapts well to changing driving conditions, but unique to the Alltrack is a larger fuel tank for greater range and four selectable driving modes – normal, sport, custom, and off-road. Additionally, the off-road setting has integrated hill descent control. Something not available with the SportWagen 4Motion.
Click the image or link to ready about my initial driving impressions of the 2017 VW Golf Alltrack
Watch the video below as Roman interviews Megan Garbis, Product Manager for the Volkswagen Golf family, to learn more details that differentiate the two models and help you decide which AWD wagon is right for you.
|2017 VW SportWagen 4Motion vs Alltrack|
|Golf SportWagen 4MOTION S trim||Golf Alltrack S trim|
|Price as tested||$25,750||$27,770|
|Engine||1.8L turbocharged and direct injection 4-cylinder TSI||1.8L turbocharged and direct injection 4-cylinder TSI|
|Power (hp)||170 @ 4.500 rpm||170 @ 4.500 rpm|
|Torque (lb-ft)||199 @ 1,600 rpm||199 @ 1,600 rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|Drivetrain layout||front engine / all-wheel-drive||front engine / all-wheel-drive|
|Curb weight (6MT)||3,305 lbs.||3,369 lbs.|
|Curb weight (DSG)||3,358 lbs.||3,422 lbs.|
|EPA-estimated fuel economy||22/30/25 mpg (city/highway/combined)||22/30/25 mpg (city/highway/combined)|
|Fuel tank capacity||13.2 gal.||14.5 gal.|
|Passenger volume||94.3 ft3||94.3 ft3|
|Cargo volume||34.4 ft3||34.4 ft3|
|Max. cargo volume||60.4 ft3||60.4 ft3|
|Wheels||16×6.5-inch aluminum alloy||17×7-inch aluminum alloy|
|Ground clearance||5.5 in. (measured with 15-in wheels)||6.9 in. (measured with 17-in wheels)|
|Roof height||58.3 in. (measured with 15-in wheels)||59.7 in. (measured with 17-in wheels)|