The VW Golf Alltrack is more interesting than a crossover, and we’ve got one for a year. How do you want to see us use it?

– Detroit, Michigan

Good news! Motor1 has its very first long-term car: a 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. We’re going to spend a year with this car, piling on the miles and featuring it throughout the pages of the website. And while we’ve already got a number of stories planned, we’re looking to you for more ideas.

Tell us what you want to know about the Alltrack. What are you curious about? Is there anything you’d like to see us do? Want to know how many cases of LaCroix sparkling water fit in the back? Should we take it to a serious off-road park? Comment here, or on our logbook page, or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter.

Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Since the SE trim will likely account for the majority of sales, it seemed like a no-brainer for us to test this volume model.

Our year-long tester is a mid-grade Golf Alltrack SE – more features than the base S model, but not fully loaded like a top-trim SEL. We think this is the real sweet spot of the Alltrack line, and since the SE trim will likely account for the majority of sales, it seemed like a no-brainer for us to test this volume model.

Our Tornado Red SE tester comes with 17-inch alloy wheels and the black leatherette interior. Sure, the SEL trim adds 18-inch wheels and leather seats, but honestly, neither seem totally necessary – especially with the seats, since the leatherette is heated (our office is in Detroit, where this is a total necessity). The SE model still comes packed with things like automatic headlights, a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, selectable drive modes, and a Fender audio system. No, xenon headlights and factory navigation aren’t available on the SE, but those halogen lamps work just fine, and thanks to Volkswagen’s app connect software, we can happily use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for navigation needs.

We opted not to get the Driver Assistance Package, which we adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, emergency braking, and more. In past experiences with other Golf models, this system proved to be more annoying than useful. Plus, it keeps the cost down; as-tested, this Golf Alltrack SE comes in at a cool $31,350.

Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
Long-Term 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

All of our data and updates can be found on the Alltrack's long-term logbook page.

Mechanically, our SE tester is the same as every other Golf Alltrack. The only available engine is Volkswagen’s 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder, good for 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. (We were supposed to get a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine here in the States, but, well, you know.) A six-speed dual-clutch transmission manages the power, sending it to all four wheels via 4Motion all-wheel drive. Complete with a set of winter tires, this thing should have no trouble handling whatever weather Old Man Winter throws our way. Bring it on.

We’ll be keeping track of our fuel economy, service records, and any other little detail of life with the Alltrack. All of those updates can be found in our long-term logbook, as well as other off-the-cuff notes and impressions from our staff and other drivers. We’ll promote this page throughout the year as we add more and more notes; the goal is to keep all of our long-term coverage in one handy place. You’ll see our red Golf making appearances in plenty of other stories, as well.

 

Photos: Steven Ewing / Motor1.com

2017 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF ALLTRACK SE 4MOTION

Engine Turbocharged 1.8-Liter I4
Output 170 Horsepower / 199 Pound-Feet
Transmission 6-Speed DCT
Fuel Economy 22 City / 30 Highway / 25 Combined
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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