December 12, 2017

DRIVEN: VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT ALLTRACK

By: Chris Walsh

Twitter @cwalsh_uk

Based on the popular (and already pretty versatile) Passat Estate, the Passat Alltrack adds a little bit of ability to the standard car, by having 4MOTION four-wheel drive and a raised ride height. Some extra body enhancements also offer both a visual distinction over the standard Passat and some much-needed protection from the scratchy side of Mother Nature.

At 4.7 metres, the Passat Alltrack is exactly the same length as the Passat Estate. Flared wheel arch protection increases the vehicle’s width by 20mm to 1,840mm, while the suspension is raised 30mm to increase ground clearance to 165mm accordingly. And for those proper 4×4 bods out there, the new ride height gives the Passat Alltrack a ramp breakaway angle of 12.8º, an increase approach angle of 16º and a departure angle of 13.6º.

The Passat Alltrack also features an off-road mode, similar to that on the Tiguan Escape.  When switched on, this activates hill descent assist, which automatically brakes the vehicle when the descent angle is greater than 10 degrees. The ABS function is also altered, with higher thresholds for operation on loose surfaces, along with faster-reacting electronic differential locks (EDS) to prevent wheelspin. For vehicles fitted with DSG dual-clutch transmission, the shift pattern is also altered when off-road mode is engaged, with higher shift points to give more power, a flatter and easier to manage accelerator pedal movement and no automatic upshifting in manual mode.

Now on paper this all sounds very nice but in reality, I can confidently confirm that the new Alltrack possesses impressive entry-level off-road ability. I had so much fun chucking the Alltrack up and down the most overgrown, rutted and inaccessible byways I could find and the car confidently and quietly went about the job. However, anything a little tougher than this may well see the Passat Alltrack exposed.

Just one trim level is available in the UK, with a choice of two drivetrains: a 2.0-litre
TDI 140ps with six-speed manual gearbox, priced around £28,000, and a 2.0-litre TDI 170ps with six-speed DSG transmission, priced nearer £31,000. Standard equipment is great. You get Alcantara upholstery, 2Zone electronic climate control, touchscreen satellite navigation, DAB radio, MDI iPod connectivity, Bluetooth telephone preparation, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system and stunning 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels. A Driver Alert System that monitors the driver’s responses to raise awareness of fatigue is also standard, as is ESP.

Options include all manner of safety equipment like High Beam Assist, Side Scan Lane Change Assist, Lane Assist, ACC Adaptive Chassis Control and Automatic Distance Control with City Emergency Braking function.

Model: Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

Price From: £28,475

Power: 138 bhp

0-60: 10.9 seconds

MPG: 49.6

CO2 emission: 150g/km

2010/2011 VED: £135pa (1st Year £135)