The All New VW Golf Alltrack is Ready for Your Next Adventure

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack 2017 is ready for adventure! Photo: Kirsten Maxwell

Does the idea of kayaking in whitewater, bicycling on mountain trails or sleeping out under the stars get your blood pumping?

Then this is for you: The all new Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, which is designed for adventure lovers. The Alltrack aims to get your adrenaline pumping – on and off the road. But maybe the most heart-stopping detail is its price: it starts at just $27,000.

VW’s latest foray is a direct competitor to the Subaru Outback, the family friendly all wheel drive crossover that challenges Costco runs and snowdrifts with equal mastery. VW upped the game with the mission of establishing itself as different from its competition; The Alltrack has massive cargo space, impressive standard features (keep reading), and solid off road handling capabilities.

Who This Car is For:

  • Drivers who need a lot of space for transporting gear (bicycles, strollers, camping gear, kayaks, etc.)
  • Singles, couples or small families
  • Drivers who love a sport driving experience
  • Drivers who want off road capability – the vehicle has AWD and raised suspension giving it almost 7” of ground clearance
  • People who lose their keys in their purse (like myself) – it has keyless entry and a keyless start button (available as an upgrade)
  • Those who like German engineering and sleek design. The dashboard, stereo, and console have very clean lines and aluminum and stainless steel trim finishes.
  • Buyers who value fuel economy: the Golf Alltrack gets 30 mpg on the highway

The VW Golf Alltrack’s ‘D’ shaped steering wheel makes the drive experience feel sporty. The aluminum trim gives the wagon a more sophisticated feel. Photo: Kirsten Maxwell

Even if you’re not the adventurous type, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack may be for you

Even if you don’t REALLY want adventure in your life, the VW Golf Alltrack is a nice option for a crossover wagon. It doesn’t drive like a car or a SUV, but somewhere in between. Personally, I drive a big SUV because I love seeing over other cars on the road. For this reason, I hate driving my husband’s sedan. But the Golf Alltrack, with nearly 7″ of ground clearance, didn’t feel like driving a “little car.” I had a good view of the road on all sides.

Not being so high off the ground has it’s advantages, too: when you’re feeling adventurous and want to load the cargo space with equipment or hoist a kayak onto the standard roof rails, you won’t have to get a ladder (or a linebacker) for the job.

Pick your level of pampering: Three versions for different levels of luxury

The Golf Alltrack has three trim levels: S, SE, and SEL. The SEL is loaded with electric everything and premium features. But the feature I liked the best is the Driver Assistance safety technology. This includes forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, parking steering assist, and park distance control. This package is available as an option on the S and SE models.

I found these features to be quite helpful, especially the adaptive cruise control, which helped decelerate my speed when traffic slowed in front of me on hills.

Speaking of hills: We drove a lot of them as we toured the Olympic Peninsula for our test drive . I found that when accelerating the Alltrack responded with good pick up and I was able to maintain speed and merge in and out of traffic with no problem.


The Golf Alltrack has a ton of cargo space for all your sports gear. Photo: Meagan Wristen

What I Loved

  • Heated leatherette powered seats for driver and passenger (very comfortable)
  • A backup camera that retracts to keep it from getting dirty
  • An eight speaker sound system with satellite radio and a touchscreen 6.5” color display that works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Daytime running lights and fog lights
  • Standard roof rails for carrying bikes, canoes, luggage and more
  • Panoramic sunroof. It’s like they’ve taken a sunroof and made it better if that’s possible! It’s twice the standard size so the front row and the back row can enjoy the view and the breeze on a beautiful day
  • The Alltrack has a lower load height compared to some compact SUVs so you don’t have to struggle as much to lift heavy items into the trunk

The panoramic sunroof offers amazing views. Photo: Kirsten Maxwell

What You Need to Know

  • The base model starts out at just under $27,000 for the S Model; the SE I drove starts at just over $30,000
  • Has a powerful, fuel-efficient 170-hp 1.8L engine that gets 22 MPG City/30 MPG Highway
  • Rear row has a 60/40 split seat that folds down for large cargo (30.4 cubic feet with seat up, 66.5 cubic feet with seats down)
  • The back row didn’t have a ton of leg room. Granted I’m 5’10”, but even those a bit more vertically challenged than myself said the same thing

The rear seats have a fold down arm between them, but legroom seemed a bit cramped. Photo: Meagan Wristen

  • At times the engine seemed to be running at a high pitch, especially at high speeds, as if maybe the car wasn’t in the right gear (it was)
  • I didn’t think the touchscreen system was the easiest to navigate. Thankfully I had someone with me who was familiar with Volkswagen vehicles, but if I had been driving on my own I would have pulled off the road to figure it out before heading off.

The VW Golf Alltrack was fun to tour around the Olympic Peninsula, through its pine forests, quaint small towns and tucked away beaches. The comfortable seats, nicely designed cabin and quiet ride made driving enjoyable. I would gladly take an adventure in the Alltrack any day.

Disclosure: I was Volkswagen’s guest for this test drive. Travel and accommodations were provided. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Kirsten writes at Kids Are A Trip where she shares her family’s travel adventures and tips including the challenges... More about Kirsten Maxwell