Volkswagen Golf

Alltrack 2.0TDI

4Motion

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 2023, side
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 2023, front
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 2023, rear
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 2023, boot
Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, 2023, interior

IF you happen to be an extrovert in search of a sassy set of wheels bristling with gadgets and gimmicks, this low profile but hugely competent estate car is unlikely to be your cup of tea.

If, however, you're after a spacious five door with a go-anywhere ability that drives well and quietly gets on with the job with neither fuss nor flash, then read on.

We are talking VW Golf Alltrack, a smart but understated four wheel drive estate that does what it says on the tin but is unlikely to turn many heads.

No body armour, an absence on stainless steel rear diffuser and subtle badging are the name of the low-key game.

Powered by a trusty 2.0-litre turbo diesel, seen so frequently across the Audi/VW group, there's no shortage of shove. Inevitably it's accompanied by the usual diesel drone which though fairly unobtrusive is a rather dull, unengaging symphony.

Obviously based on the current recently introduced Golf Mk 7 estate, ride height is jacked up 15mm, it also gets more rugged bumpers, and 4Motion four wheel drive. Transmission is DSG automatic which mates nicely with the torquey 197bhp diesel four-pot.

Most of the time it runs in front drive, with the second axle coming into play when the going gets slippery. Unsurprisingly, it drives very much like the ordinary Golf, ie smooth riding and comfortable offering good grip with pleasantly restricted roll angles - close to the perfect balance between comfort and decent handling.

Steering is satisfyingly direct and has more ‘feel' than most high riders. And with a 62mph sprint in just over seven seconds, it's definitely no slouch.

It's a practical package if somewhat austere with plenty of dark plastic and similarly sombre seating.

Cubbies and clutter bins abound and the door pockets are a useful size for further oddments. Front seats are comfortable and well shaped and legroom is sufficient all round - noticeable better than the Golf saloon in the rear.

Less impressive is the facia layout. Too much digitisation means the driver must take his or her eye off the road too frequently to adjust heating, air con, and audio systems.

And the sliding glass sunroof is an example of how not to design an opening system. Once mastered, it enhances the cabin considerably on a sunny day, so Brownie points there.

The Alltrack has many fashionable SUVs beat when it comes to luggage room. With rear seats folded flat, there's 1,642 litres of space and even when they are in place, it can swallow up 611 litres.

Diesels aren't exactly the flavour of the month at the moment, but their economy remains a strong attraction. We easily hit the 50mpg mark when trundling around lanes and even on fast commutes, consumption remained above the 40mpg mark.

Undoubtedly a niche model, the Alltrack nevertheless reaches out to enough drivers - particularly rural dwellers who will value the 4WD system - to make it a worthwhile addition to the Golf range and an alternative to the ever-present SUV.

£40,030

2.0-litre, 197bhp, 4cyl diesel engine driving all four wheels via automatic gearbox

142mph

7.1sec

50.4

32

147g/km

34%

3yrs/60,000 miles

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