Blazing A New Path: The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL w/4Motion

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL .
Plato said necessity is the mother of invention.  And a diesel scandal that stays on the TV, internet and newspaper pages for two years has created necessity for Volkswagen.  Namely, a plan.  One that keeps Volkswagen in the sweet spot of active young carbuyers who want to explore Mother Nature without inflicting damage.

The plan:  Target Subaru.  And if the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI is any indication, Subaru has cause for concern.

Rear 7/8 view of 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL
2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL.
The Golf Alltrack has "Forester-killer" written all over it.  It lands directly in the heart of the small but serious chunk of the white-hot compact SUV market.  You can get one for as little at $25,850, but getting one with everything---the top-of-the-line SEL---costs only $32,890 plus $820 destination charge.

Interior view of 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL
2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack TSI SEL interior.
Define "everything", you ask?  Well, apart from the 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder engine and your choice (at no cost) of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, which carries an EPA fuel economy estimate of 22 city/30 highway and Volkswagen's 4Matic all-wheel drive system, all of which is standard on all three trim levels of Alltrack, the SEL brings:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic headlamps with daytime running lights
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated, foldable, power adjustable side mirrors
  • Rain-sensing front wipers with heated washer nozzles
  • Rear window washer and wiper system
  • Silver anodized roof rails and chrome window trim
  • Power tilting and folding sunroof
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel, brake lever and shift knob
  • Heated power driver's seat with power lumbar support
  • Heated manual front passenger seat with power recline
  • Leatherette seating surfaces
  • Front and rear reading lights
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rearview camera
  • Keyless access
  • Pushbutton engine start
  • Discover Media touchscreen navigation and premium Fender audio system
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • Bluetooth
  • VW Car-Net
All for the as-tested price of $33,710.  Which is about what a loaded Subaru Forester will cost.  And the Alltrack has sleeker looks and a more substantial German-engineered feel to it.

Subaru owners are notoriously loyal.  The Alltrack probably won't convert them.  But if Volkswagen can head off first-time Subaru buyers and keep some current VW owners (especially those who bought diesels) in the fold, the Alltrack could well end up being the most important car Volkswagen has built in a long, long time.