With deliveries of their new Passat sedan and wagon well underway, Volkswagen have announced that the raised Passat Alltrack wagon will be making a return.
Raised wagons are one of our favourite niche segments—recently, we’ve spent time with the 2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country and liked its blend of practicality and all-wheel-drive confidence.
Volkswagen’s offering follows a similar formula based on the standard Passat wagon.
Optioning the Alltrack trim buys you an extra 27.5mm of ground clearance, standard all-wheel-drive, and some handsome cladding.
If you’re thinking that’s remarkably similar to a Subaru Outback, you’re not wrong. Volkswagen have had some success chasing the premium end of Outback buyers. The Alltrack, available in a single $49,290 model, is pitched just north of the $44,990 2016 Subaru Outback Premium, offering a more brawny engine and Volkswagen’s more upmarket image.
Diesel is the only fuel the Passat Alltrack will drink—but the two-litre TDI under the bonnet has nothing to do with last year’s emissions scandal that threatened to engulf the German maker.
This is a new TDI140 turbodiesel shared with the ordinary Passat. It gives the new shape more power, making 140kW and 400Nm. Fuel consumption is quoted as an impressive 5.4L/100km.
In normal conditions the torque is sent to the front wheels, with the Alltrack’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system kicking in when slip is detected. An automatic gearbox is the only one on offer in the form of a six-speed DSG—a more attractive proposition than the Subaru’s CVT.
Inside, the Alltrack is specified similarly to a Passat Highline wagon. Leather upholstery complements the brand’s 8-inch Discover Pro infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The sole option is a $3,500 Luxury Package which adds a panoramic sunroof, electrically-folding mirrors, some chrome detailing and cornering LED headlamps.
The Alltrack adds all-wheel-drive surety to the practicality of the Passat wagon—this model shares the standard wagon’s 639 litre boot.