Volkswagen
Golf Alltrack
2018
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Tim Charlet
Automotive Editor - February 26, 2018

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack OVERVIEW

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is a modern station wagon in crossover clothing. VW’s latest entry into the lifted-hatchback-but-not-a-crossover segment starts at $26,805 (including a destination charge of $850) and is a smooth, all-wheel drive vehicle with loads of interior space.

Powered by a 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, available in a manual or automatic six-speed transmission, and packed with technology features, the three trim levels are configured to meet the needs of families or individuals looking for ride height without the handling compromises of a full-on crossover or SUV.

What's New for 2018

For 2018, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack receives a few minor upgrades to each of the three available trims. The S gains new LED running lights and taillights, as well as automatic headlights. It also receives a new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display. The SE adds safety features, including a forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. An upgraded eight-inch touchscreen is also available on the mid-level trim. The top of the line SEL is improved through the addition of an eight-inch infotainment system with navigation and multiple safety upgrades such as a parking steering assistant program, adaptive cruise control, and a pedestrian monitoring system.

Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Choosing Your Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The 2018 Golf Alltrack is available in three trims – S, SE, and SEL. A 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque powers all trims. The S and SE get a standard six-speed manual transmission while a six-speed dual-clutch automatic demands an additional $1,100. The SEL comes standard with the automatic transmission.

Per the EPA, the 2018 Alltrack should return 22 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 combined with the six-speed automatic. Fuel economy ratings for the manual aren't available, but unlike the traditional automatic, Volkswagen's dual-clutch transmissions are generally more efficient than manual transmissions – we'd expect the six-speed stick to return only slightly lower fuel economy numbers.

S

The entry level $26,805 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack rides is impressively equipped for a base model. There are 17-inch wheels and LED taillights with LED running lights in front, while heated windshield washer nozzles and side mirrors are a nice touch, especially for those living in cold-weather climates. A drive mode selection feature allows drivers to select on or off-road setups helps to improve handling. The S is available in seven-exterior colors and three leatherette interior schemes for no additional cost.

On the inside, the S features heated and partially power adjustable front seats, a manual single-zone climate control system, and 60/40-split rear seats. A 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a review camera system. While the S has multiple accessories available, there are no option packages available.

SE

The 2018 Golf Alltrack SE starts at $31,465 and is available with the manual or automatic transmission. The SE includes the standard features available with the S but adds a few safety systems including a forward collision warning system, a pedestrian monitoring system, a blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert, and auto emergency braking. The SE also gains an upgraded eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a push-button start, and a panoramic sunroof.

The SE is the pick of the litter in the Golf Alltrack family. While its premium over the base model is not insubstantial, the additional active safety equipment has the potential to pay for itself if it helps avoid so much as a single accident. The better touchscreen infotainment system and sunroof certainly don't hurt its argument, either.

SEL

The Alltrack SEL begins at $37,360 and is only available with the six-speed automatic transmission. Among the biggest upgrades with the SEL is the addition of Volkswagen’s discovery media package, which includes an eight-inch touchscreen with a navigation system and display. The SEL also gains a Fender premium audio system, automatic dual-zone climate control, and an adaptive front-lighting system.

Adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, a park steering assistant, and front and rear parking sensors with maneuver braking assist are also standard features. That said, even this equipment and the standard six-speed automatic aren't enough for the SEL to overcome the SE in the value department – consider this trim only if you have money to burn and a strong dislike of manual transmissions.

CarsDirect Tip

The 2018 Volkswagen Alltrack takes a Subaru-like approach to life, blending the convenience and affordability of a station wagon or hatchback with the lifted ride height and a charming driving character. If you're in the market for a Subaru Forester, the 2018 Alltrack, particularly in SE trim, deserves a very hard look thanks to its standard active safety gear and turbocharged engine.

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