The Unassuming Golf Alltrack Full of Surprises

Daydreaming came easy while driving the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack along the country roads and highways in the plains just east of Denver. But not to the point where I lost track of this sporty wagon’s capabilities.

The 1.8 liter TSI 4-cylinder engine outputting 170 horsepower made sure that I was not disappointed on this test drive. Escalating quickly was a breeze, especially to pass someone taking a true Sunday afternoon drive with seemingly nowhere to be. I had no particular place to be either, but I knew I didn’t want to be behind anyone. I employed the paddle shifters a lot.

The interior of the SE w/4Motion all-wheel drive model – and there are three, S, SE and SEL – offers what you’d expect in a new car from touchscreen navigation to rear view camera. But there were also a few surprises.

The cargo cover has a lever that has the word “press” printed on it. And that’s exactly what it means. I pressed it, and was surprised that I could control how much of the cargo space I wanted to uncover. It’s not rocket science, but it’s pretty awesome when the cover doesn’t just zip all the way back toward the rear seat. It’s literally a pain in the back to reach all the way into the cargo space unnecessarily to pull it back to cover everything.

I was impressed with the flexibility of seat positions and cargo space in this crossover alternative. The front seats recline so far back that you want to roll over and take a nap, or at the very least look straight up into the sky through the forever-long sunroof. Want to lay in the shade? The power tilting and sliding sunroof features a sheer lining. More space is available with the 60-40 split folding rear seat with armrest and pass-through.

A host of other features include: heated, foldable, power adjustable side mirrors, rain sensing front wipers with heated washer nozzle, as well as a rear window washer and wiper system. The silver anodized roof rails, chrome window trim, alltrack bumpers and grille and exterior trim add sparkle to this ride. Special details extend to the lined cup holders and the leather wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob. The black leatherette interior feels like leather, so it must be leather.

It’s always fun to use the VW handle to access the cargo space.

Yes this unassuming beauty has lots of built-in fun.

This Golf Alltrack comes in a range of colors, but I happen to be assigned the platinum gray metallic exterior which sat nicely on the 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires. Though some will save the extreme off-roading for the SEL model, this SE can tackle some respectable challenges with 6.9 inches of ground clearance and a drive mode selection system with off-road mode and hill-descent control.

Oddly enough, red barns captured my attention while on this test drive in the city and across the plains. Technically, the Alltrack is a wagon, and wagons and barns…

2017 Golf Alltrack TSI SE w/4Motion MSRP: $30,630; Combined City/Highway MPG: 25.

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