How Do You Say "Subaru" in German? The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack SEL

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
Since The Great Unpleasantness, Volkswagen has been trying to identify its way forward.  Given that it's a rough road, why not a raised wagon with four-wheel drive?

Rear 3/4 view of 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
The formula certainly has worked for Subaru, engendering tons of goodwill, and in the past few years, some very enviable sales figures.  So why not peel off a bit of that with a German alternative?

The Alltrack is basically a Golf Sportwagen with more road clearance and all-wheel drive.  What's not to like?   There are three trim levels, all powered by the same 1.8-liter turbo four and six-speed automatic transmission, all with EPA mileage estimates of 22 miles per gallon city/30 highway.  And there's about a $10,000 price spread between the three levels.

$25,955 is the starting price for the S model, with heated front seats, daytime running lights, and a 6.5-inch color touchscreen sound system.

Step up to $29.765 and you get the SE, which has all of the above, but upgrades to an eight-inch color touchscreen sound system, VW's Car-Net app connect, and a panoramic sunroof.

Interior view of 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack
2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack interior.

Our tester was the top-of-the-line SEL.  Base price $35,660 and the 8-inch color touchscreen now includes navigation, the air conditioning is upgraded to a dual-zone climate control unit and it gets adaptive cruise control.

Quality materials, strong fit and finish and a firm yet supple ride.  Again, what's not to like?

Volkswagen managed to ship ours without a Monroney (the price sticker that goes on the window at the dealership), but taking a stab at the VW website "build one" feature, it looks like the only extra-cost options are dealer-installed stuff ours had none of, so add $850 destination charges and we get to a bottom line of $36,510.   And that's right in the ballpark of a loaded Subaru Forester.

Can the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack sway Subie loyalists?  We'll have to wait and see.