Wednesday 28 September 2016

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack: 'It's been given the Bear Grylls treatment '

Geoff Frazer

Published 29/03/2016 | 14:38

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack
Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

I’VE always been rather taken with four-wheel-drive estate cars.

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Unfortunately, every time I’ve got one on the road, the weather has always seemed to somehow take a nasty turn for the better.

So I must admit that when I picked up my Volkswagen Passat Alltrack recently, I was secretly praying for snow – or at least some sleet.

The Alltrack shares most of its mechanical bits and bobs with the standard Passat, which is no bad thing.

It has, however, been given the Bear Grylls treatment and been toughened up with bigger bumpers, wheel-arch protectors and side-sill covers, and the ride height has been raised by 28mm.

So it definitely looks the part, but what is it like to drive? In short, fantastic.

The Alltrack’s 190bhp 2.0 TDI engine may be slightly noisy, but inside the classy cabin it remains remarkably hushed, thanks to VW’s excellent sound deadening.

The model I tested came in at €49,130, but had the great six-speed DSG twin-clutch box which shifts superbly. The Alltrack rides very smoothly on motorways and is reasonably composed on more uneven B roads, though there is a slight amount of body roll in the corners.

However, the bottom line is that this car has bucketloads of grip thanks to the brilliant 4Motion system, and it definitely doesn’t need snow or sleet to prove that.                                      

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