And in that comparison, the Golf Alltrack holds its own. Consumers will undoubtedly appreciate the manual and DSG transmission options offered by Volkswagen, as the Outback is CVT-only.

The Alltrack matches up nicely from a power perspective, offering more torque in a lower powerband than the 2.5-liter boxer motor found in the Outback. While the Subaru can be had with a larger, more powerful 3.6-liter flat-six engine, that also means a price bump up to nearly $35,000.

The Alltrack can be pushed north of $30,000, too, in SE and SEL trim, but there’s really no reason to buy anything but the S. With standard leatherette, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Off-Road mode all standard, the base model is the way to go.

In addition, Subaru dealers sell pretty much every single Outback that grace their lots, so they have no reason to discount, whereas Volkswagen dealers are, shall I say… currently motivated to hit difficult sales targets.

The question that really must be asked is this: is the Golf Alltrack enough to convince the public to wander back into Volkswagen showrooms? Is it enough to make things right?

Well, the Golf Alltrack is a reason for potential Subaru customers to visit a VW dealer. That’s a start.

Mark “Bark M.” Baruth has multiple endurance racing and SCCA National Solo and Pro Solo trophies to his credit, and has tracked everything from a Fiesta ST to a 991 GT3 on dozens of circuits across America. His writing can be found at The Truth About Cars, Road & Track and Jalopnik. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.