Road test: Volkswagen Passat Alltrack Estate
A lovely spacious car with a real quality feel to it.
What is it?
This is the latest go-almost-anywhere version of the highly-rated VW estate. It’s smart around town, and dependable on fields and campsites.
How green is it?
VW claims a fuel economy of 58mpg from the 2.0-litre diesel engine, whilst the CO2 emissions of 130g/km. BlueMotion technology is fitted.
Who should buy it?
If you like a strong, well-built and capable family all-rounder, and performance doesn’t need to be thrilling, then this will not disappoint.
Road test by James Luckhurst, September 2017
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
This was a lovely spacious car with a real quality feel to it, as we would expect from Volkswagen. Choose the classic instrument display and you get two big dials in front of you, one for revs and the other for speed, with an additional central digital mph read-out. There’s also a choice of clock display. We liked the classic one with its second hand that resembled those old 60-second countdowns to the start of schools programmes on BBC1.
Performance on the road was adequate, with plenty of the anticipated low-end strength. However, we could have done with more power from the 2.0-litre, 150PS diesel engine when pulling away uphill. Off the road, the Passat – with its nice high position – more than proved its capabilities along a series of slippery and rutted campsite fields and paths. Ground clearance is 27.5mm more than you get with the standard Passat Estate. The 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive is aided, if you select ‘off-road’ mode, by Hill Descent Assist, which also modifies the acceleration available.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
One of the Passat’s selling points is the way it effortlessly combines great practicality with style and smartness. In that regard it’s definitely a winner.
We could talk of a 639-litre load space, increasing to nearly 1,800 litres with the seats folded, but if you can’t picture that, then just be assured that there is room a-plenty. Part of our time with the Passat involved our very first camping ‘break’. We slotted in everything we needed effortlessly, and without compromising safety. Well, actually there was no room for Mum and Dylan, so they ended up following on in another car (I am ashamed to admit). Well, if you insist on a mini-fridge, cocktail cabinet, air beds (as if!), hurricane lamps, inflatable chairs etc, then what do you expect? Whatever it was I was ‘breaking’ from, I for one couldn’t wait to be back doing it again. But yes, the Alltrack is a truly impressive and versatile estate car.
The Passat has a five-star rating from Euro NCAP, so you won’t be surprised to find traction control, automatic braking, automatic wipers and lights, numerous airbags (including one that protects the driver’s knees), a lane-changing assistant, Emergency Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, a rear traffic alert (which detects vehicles in cross-traffic when reversing from parking spaces) and Trailer Assist (for assisted manoeuvring with a trailer).
The Passat Alltrack has the same standard equipment as the Passat GT, such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking and three-zone electronic climate control. The heads-up display, at £505, is a worthwhile option, excellent for safety.
At a whisker under £32,000, the Passat Alltrack costs less than the Volvo V60 Cross Country or the Subaru Outback estate. Two-yearly service intervals and a fairly frugal engine will help keep running costs down.
WE SAY A lovely spacious car with a real quality feel to it.
AT A GLANCE:
Performance: 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds
Economy: 58 mpg combined
Insurance: Group 19
Figures for the Alltrack 2.0 TDI SCR 150PS 4MOTION 6speed Man