Here's where you'll find our notes, fuel economy, and service data.

Here's where you'll find all the latest updates from our editors. We'll update fuel economy right up top, so you can see our average miles per gallon after every fill-up. Beyond that, you'll find our log of posts, with the most recent right on top, going all the way back to the beginning. Click here to see our introduction post about the car, and to leave us comments with questions you'd like answered, or suggestions of what we should do during our year-long test. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for even more updates, as well.


Fuel Economy Tracking

We're keeping track of fuel economy by recording mileage and gallons consumed at every fuel fill-up. We'll input that data into a Google spreadsheet, and you'll be able to see the results in the chart below. Each new entry represents a line in our fuel log, so it's only as up to date as our most recent tank of gas. It'll be cool to see how this averages out over the course of a year.

Editors' Notes 

Long-Term Golf Alltrack
Long-Term Golf Alltrack

11/30/2016 – 2,835 miles

Installed winter tires at Belle Tire in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. Cost: $80. The Alltrack is now running on Michelin X-Ice 215/55R17 tires.

Fun fact: You can easily haul four tires, upright, in the Golf’s cargo area without needing to fold the rear seats flat. Plus, since they take up the length of the cargo hold, the tires don't slide around much while being transported. It's the perfect size.

– Steven Ewing

Long-term Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Update Door Cubby

11/30/2016 – 2,821 miles

I like it when the little things are done right. Like most cars, the Golf Alltrack’s front doors have storage cubbies built into them. Unlike most cars, Volkswagen has lined the interior of the cubbies with a carpet-like fabric; usually the injection-molded plastic is left bare. What’s the big deal? The lining provides both friction to keep things like bottles from shifting and sound-deadening for when they do slide around a bit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted throw my Diet Pepsi bottle out the window rather than listen to it knock around a door’s cubby like a pinball in a machine.

– John Neff


11/09/2016 – 2,072 miles

Let’s talk about the Fender audio system in here. The upgraded stereo has eight speakers and 400 watts, and comes as part of the SE trim level. It also seems to have more of an “inflection” than most car audio systems I’ve used.

The net sound is sort of warm and fuzz-filled; it reminds me of that friend we all had in college who ran their stereo through a bass amp. (Wait, was that just me?) It’s also capable of getting pretty loud, though top volume distorts the sound even more.

Overall this works pretty well for Rock’n’Roll – I listened to Patti Smith’s “Horses” for the first time in ages today, cranked it, and it really enjoyed the result. On the other hand, talk radio or any more precise music, sounds washed out a low volume, and blown out at high.

– Seyth Miersma


11/07/2016 – 2,060 miles

One issue with that cool backup camera is that the camera doesn’t retract for a little bit after you’ve shifted out of reverse. As I found out, if you go to open the hatch soon after backing into a parking spot, you have to wait for the camera to fold back in, then open the hatch. A small issue that won’t matter to most people.

– Jake Holmes


Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

11/02/2016 – 2,009 miles

I think it’s clever how the backup camera is hidden behind the Volkswagen logo on the tailgate. But man, the sound it makes when it opens and closes is pretty loud and horrible. Every time I have a passenger in the car and go to back up, the camera flips open, and my copilot inevitably asks, “What the hell was that?” It certainly doesn’t sound like a natural noise of something opening or closing, and it’s kind of jarring. I know it’s not as elegant of a solution, but couldn’t the camera just be housed above the license plate, like on most hatchbacks?

– Steven Ewing


10/28/2016 – 1,973 miles

This car’s great. Comfy, easy to drive, lovely interior, etc. Very much looking forward to many more trips in this car. Plenty of power from this engine, DSG is great, too.

Some cons: I’ve never driven a VW with a good sound system, this one included. The infotainment system won’t read out your text messages, despite showing a notification on the screen.

– Jake Holmes

Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

10/27/2016 – 1,902 miles

Just a quick trip to lunch; my first in the new long-termer. (Tacos, if you must know, and they were delightful.)

Something I’ve noticed and complained (lightly) about in other Golf variants reappears here: what’s the deal with the part manual, part powered seats. The Alltrack has power recline, but I’ve got to manually move backwards and forwards. To be honest, I prefer fully manual seats which are faster to change, but why bother having one powered vector, is that luxurious?

On the other end of the spectrum, the heated seats here are hot man, hot! This car is clearly prepped to keep me cozy on long winter commutes.

– Seyth Miersma


10/24/2016 – 1,892 miles

I put about 500 miles on the Alltrack over its first weekend in the fleet, on a trip to Grand Rapids and back. This wasn’t my first long-haul in this car – I had an Alltrack in Germany two years ago while on vacation, where I got an early look at its people/cargo-hauling capabilities.

The things I liked about that Euro-spec Alltrack and our US-spec test car are the same. It’s comfortable, roomy, well-equipped, and easy to use. It eats up miles on the freeway. There’s a lot of space for people and things. The Fender sound system is good, and the infotainment display easy to read and use. Our car doesn’t have nav, but it does have VW’s app-connect functionality, so I was able to use Apple CarPlay for maps and directions (even though I still don’t love that tech). Really, in terms of all-around use, there’s not a lot to dislike about the Golf Sportwagen package, especially here in rugged, all-wheel-drive Alltrack guise.

The one thing I dearly miss about the Euro-spec car? Its engine. Sure, we were supposed to get the Golf Alltrack with VW’s 2.0-liter TDI diesel four but, well, you know. That’s not to say the 1.8T is bad, of course. It has adequate power for daily driving, though I worry it’ll feel super sluggish with a full load of people or cargo onboard. But my observed fuel economy over the weekend was only about 24 miles per gallon, and that’s with a majority of those 500 miles spent on the highway. A TDI would have achieved significantly better numbers, based on my experience, all while offering a smoother driving dynamic and more low-end torque. Here’s hoping our observed fuel economy improves over the rest of the year.

– Steven Ewing


10/21/2016 – 1,371 miles

Car arrives at Motor1 Detroit office.

– Steven Ewing


Engine Turbocharged 1.8-Liter I4
Output 170 Horsepower / 199 Pound-Feet
Transmission 6-Speed DCT
Fuel Economy 22 City / 30 Highway / 25 Combined (EPA)
Drive Type All-Wheel Drive
Weight 3,422 Pounds
Seating Capacity 5
Cargo Volume 30.4 / 66.5 Cubic Feet
Base Price $26,950
As-Tested Price $31,350

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