The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet

Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet

It's a Volkswagen Golf wagon with permanent all-wheel drive, higher ground clearance and underside protection, hill descent assist and a choice of gas or diesel engines. In other words, pretty much all you need in a family car.

After the Audi A4 and A6 Allroad, VW continued with the Passat Alltrack and the Skoda Octavia Combi Scout. The new Golf Alltrack is basically the latter car, but that's a good thing since there's nothing wrong with a 4x4 Octavia sporting the new Golf's interior.

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Unlike America's Golf Sportwagen, this crossover will only be available with a six-speed DSG. It also comes with 4MOTION all-wheel drive, which decouples the rear axle in order to save fuel until the point when you need extra traction, in which case it can send nearly 100% of the torque to the rear. The car's EDS system operates as an electronic differential lock integrated in the ESC while the XDS translates to individual wheel braking in the corners.

The Alltrack sits 0.78 inches (20mm) higher than the regular Golf Wagon with electronic nannies such as hill descent automatically braking, modified gas pedal characteristic and ABS settings improving your off-roading experience. As a tow vehicle, it can deal with up to 4,409 pounds (2000 kg) braked on 12% incline.

Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet
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As far as engine choices go, there's one TSI and three TDIs in Europe. The gas turbo is a 1.8 producing 180 horsepower and 206 foot pounds available from as low as 1,350rpm. It reaches 62 mph in 7.8 seconds and keeps going until 135 mph.

The three TDIs are all based on the EA288 series. The base is a 1.6 with 110 hp and 184 ft-lb.

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The 2.0 can be tuned to either 150 hp/250 ft-lb, or 184 hp and 280 ft-lb in case you want to get the most powerful Golf Wagon to date.

Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet
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Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet
Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet
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Illustration for article titled The 2015 Volkswagen Alltrack Is The Best Golf For The Family Yet

If only I could have one with a manual...

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DISCUSSION

SlabSheetrock

Maybe it's because I'm going to be 40 in a couple weeks, or maybe it's because I now live in a grid-based, midwestern city (in contrast to my rural New England upbringing) or maybe it's because the winds of the industry worldwide are blowing away from the traditional three-pedal manual...but I can't get as worked up anymore about cars no longer having a manual transmission. Ferrari has abandoned the three-pedal setup, as has Audi in the A8. When the supercars are abandoning the clutch, maybe it's time we, the masses (even the Jalop-est of us) accept the inevitable.

And yet...my eldest child will be old enough to get a learner's permit this December. I'm adamant (and my wife disagrees) that she learn on a stick, even though that would mean me going out and finding a beater with a clutch on which she can train. It'll make her a better driver overall, I think, but most importantly I'll know that she won't text and drive.

All that said: I kinda like this, and I'll probably look at it when it's released to replace my awesome-in-theory, painful-in-practice e39 daily driver.