Volkswagen Passat Alltrack review - price, specs and 0-60 time

The new Volkswagen Passat Alltrack - a cut-price Audi Allroad, if you will - driven for the first time

Evo rating
Price
from £31,000
  • SUV ability without the size
  • Not terribly exciting, though

The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, VW’s big estate car with raised ride height and four-wheel drive. A cut-price Audi A4 Allroad, if that helps. An all-new variant, it sits at the very top of the Passat range, with prices set to start at around £28,500 when sales begin this April. The TDI 170 DSG tested here is expected to cost £31K.

Engine and performance

Plenty, and all in the name of off-road ability. The regular Passat’s 135mm ride height is upped to 165mm on the Alltrack, which helps significantly up its ramp breakover angle and approach and departure angles. 4MOTION four-wheel drive is standard fit; in normal driving, 90 per cent of power goes to the front wheels, but should conditions require, nearly all of it can be sent to the back by a Haldex clutch taking up torque at the rear axle. A selectable off-road mode – also standard – activates a hill descent system as well as altering ABS and ESP settings, and shift patterns should your car have a DSG automatic gearbox.

There’s plenty of gadgetry on the options list, too, with lane assist, blind-spot monitoring, a self-parking system and a trick auto high-beam mode for the headlights among the features fitted to our test car.

Engine options in the UK are limited to 138bhp and 168bhp tunes of Volkswagen’s tried-and-tested 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, the former with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, the latter a six-speed DSG auto. European buyers can choose a DSG-equipped 208bhp TSI petrol model, which gets the same engine as the mk6 Golf GTI.

What’s it like to drive?

From a Thrill of Driving standpoint, not spectacular. But then this isn’t a car for clipping apexes in, it’s a thoroughly practical estate car that’s more than ready for tackling the tough weather conditions that are increasingly pushing people into SUVs. And it’s here where the Alltrack’s case is strong – if you need AWD capability but don’t particularly want a towering driving position (or the difficulty of parking a two-and-a-bit ton bus), it could well be perfect.

It’ll change direction with more precision than most SUVs, and with little more weight than a regular Passat to shift, it can be hustled along briskly and reasonably economically (the 138bhp car averages 49.6mpg). It drives just like any other Passat; the ride is supple, the steering nicely weighted and body control is excellent. It’s all very competent, just not particularly captivating.

Same goes for the top-spec TDI/DSG combination fitted to our test car. It’s not a setup to put fire in a driver’s belly, but it’s perfect for the Alltrack. While we weren’t able to give it a proper off-road test (just some snowy and slushy tracks to negotiate), its abundant torque and slick-shifting auto are sure to make crossing tougher terrain a doddle.

Rivals

Priced from around £28,500 when sales begin in April, the Passat Alltrack will undercut Audi’s entry-level A4 Allroad by around £3000. The slightly smaller and slower Skoda Octavia Scout costs £22,720 in 138bhp TDI trim, though the Alltrack goes someway to justifying its healthy price premium with satnav, Alcantara interior trim and 18in alloys among its standard kit. It’s also a product that looks and feels suitably premium.

Anything else I need to know?

The Alltrack can tow an extra 200kg compared to a regular Passat (up from 1800 to 2000kg), so if you’ve a racecar or track toy to transport, it’s a plusher-appointed and classier choice than a raggy old off-roader.

Price and release date

The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is available now from £31,000.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4cyl, 1968cc, turbodiesel
Max power168bhp @ 4200rpm
Max torque258lb ft @ 1750-2500rpm
0-608.9sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed155mph
On saleNow

Most Popular

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo revealed – 750bhp Turbo S to top crossover range
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo - Turbo S front static
Porsche Taycan

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo revealed – 750bhp Turbo S to top crossover range

Porsche expands Taycan range with new Cross Turismo high-riding estate
4 Mar 2021
BMW M3 and M4 lifted to 612bhp by Manhart Performance 
Manhart Performance BMW M3
BMW M3 saloon

BMW M3 and M4 lifted to 612bhp by Manhart Performance 

German tuner Manhart Performance has extracted more performance from BMW’s new M3 and M4
4 Mar 2021
Next Ferrari hypercar spied in development
2021 Ferrari hybrid hypercar prototype - front quarter
Ferrari

Next Ferrari hypercar spied in development

Ferrari’s next ground-breaking hypercar is on its way
3 Mar 2021