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2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack Follows Subaru's Successful Recipe

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack Follows Subaru's Successful Recipe

By Jeff Youngs, April 05, 2015

Equipped with the cargo space of a compact SUV and delivering the efficiency of a compact car, the new VW Golf SportWagen appeals to people who desire both practicality and fuel economy. Now, with Volkswagen's announcement that it will introduce a new Alltrack version of the Golf SportWagen for the 2017 model year, the automaker adds all-wheel drive (AWD) and greater ground clearance to the mix.

When introducing the new 2017 Golf SportWagen Alltrack at the 2015 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), Volkswagen said that it "gives the newest Golf SportWagen the off-road capability and load-carrying capacity of a compact SUV along with the on-road manners and fuel economy of a compact wagon."

This approach is similar to what Subaru has done with the Outback and XV Crosstrek models, which are respectively based on the Legacy and Impreza. With the Golf SportWagen Alltrack, Volkswagen installs a 4Motion AWD system and increases ground clearance by nearly an inch. Wheel arch and side sill moldings are designed to protect the bodywork when traveling off the pavement, and Volkswagen has redesigned the Alltrack's bumpers.

Under normal driving conditions, the Alltrack operates like a front-wheel-drive vehicle. When the front wheels slip, up to 50% of the engine's power is automatically transferred to the rear wheels. At both axles, Volkswagen installs electronic differential locks to vary power distribution from side to side depending on surface conditions and resulting wheel slip.

Volkswagen did not discuss whether the new Alltrack would be offered with the same engines that are currently available in the Golf SportWagen, which include a turbocharged, 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a turbocharged, 2.0-liter diesel engine. The company did say that the new Alltrack would have "an even more upscale interior."

The Golf SportWagen Alltrack goes on sale in early 2016 as a 2017 model.

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