Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The Passat Alltrack arrived down under in October 2012, Volkswagen decided to extend its Australian model range to bridge the gap between the conventional Passat wagon and SUVs such as the Tiguan. Volkswagen designed the Passat Alltrack for customers who use their vehicle for towing and light off-road driving, but who also desire a versatile, sporty and roomy passenger car that has rugged qualities. The Passat Alltrack appears beefed up when compared to the Passat Wagon. Features include SUV-style bumpers, with wheel well and side sill flares that are protect by a plastic trim. The Passat Alltrack also features a higher ground clearance making it an excellent alternative to the traditional SUV.
Not so good Although the Passat Alltrack appears beefed up when compared to its Passat wagon sibling, it doesn't look as rugged as say a Skoda Yeti or Volkswagen Tiguan.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Inside is what we have all come to expect and appreciate from Volkswagen, a host of soft touch materials cover most surfaces with metallic and bushed aluminium highlights, give the cabin an upmarket feel and a touch of elegance. The super comfortable seats are covered in Vienna leather as standard, or for a little extra Nappa leather as part of the Sport package. Sitting in the centre dash is a 6.5-inch colour touch screen multimedia system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, DVD player, SD card slot and integrated 30 GB hard drive for storing music and navigation data. And, in case you forgot what vehicle you purchased ‘ALLTRACK’ signatures are located at the front and rear of the vehicle. Plus, on the screen of the instrument cluster the new Passat Alltrack also ‘greets’ its driver with the ‘ALLTRACK’ signature. The Passat Alltrack can carry 588 litres in the boot. Need more cargo capacity? Simply fold the rear seats down and the cargo capacity is increased to 1,716 litres. And, if you're afraid your stuff is going to slide around, a cargo net barrier can be mounted behind the first seating row and/or behind the second seating row to prevent luggage from entering the passenger space when braking.
Not so good Overall, the interior is quite nice, but we think the bold black ALLTRACK signature on the ashtray cover cheapens the interior.
Performance

Performance

Good The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is powered by a 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion diesel engine. The 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine produces 130kW of power and a healthy 380Nm of torque. Power is sent to all-four wheels via a 6-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG). The Passat Alltrack was designed with towing in mind, total towing capacity is up to 1,800 kg braked. There is plenty of low down grunt on offer with 350Nm kicking in from as low as 1750 - 2500 rpm. This allows the Alltrack to accelerate off at the lights quite quickly or handle most light off-road situations easily. The 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion diesel engine is also very refined, there is minimal vibration while sitting at idle.
Not so good The 6-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG) doesn't handle low speed situations very well. Instead it lags a few seconds before kicking in and there is also some slight turbo lag.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The Passat Alltrack's ground clearance has been increased to 165 mm. The front approach angle has also increased from 13.5 to 16 degrees, and at the rear, the departure angle has increased from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees. The increased ground clearance mixed with the Passat Alltrack's 4MOTION all-wheel drive system as standard, give the Alltrack some serious off-road cred. Normally, the front axle is the primary drive axle in the Passat Alltrack 4MOTION; the rear axle only gets ten percent of the drive torque, saving on fuel. The rear axle may be gradually engaged – step by step – depending on the driving and road situation. This is done via an electro-hydraulic all-wheel coupling. Pretty neat huh? Last but not least the optional Adaptive chassis control offers three drive modes: ‘Normal’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Comfort’. Each mode is selected by a button next to the gearshift lever. The chassis control continually adapts damping to road conditions and the driving situation. The system also reacts to acceleration, braking and steering inputs.
Not so good The increased ground clearance gives the Alltrack a little bit of body roll when cornering hard, but it's not that noticeable.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is an excellent alternative to the traditional SUV, it's not as bulky and it drives like a car. It comes with a whole host of standard equipment that you would otherwise expect to pay extra for. There is eight airbags, electronic stability and traction control, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors with distance display, fatigue detection, daytime-running lights and front fog-lights. There is also Volkswagen's 4MOTION full time all-wheel-drive system that also features in the Touareg and Tiguan SUV models, that allows the Alltrack to adapt to most road conditions and driving situations. In short, the Passat Alltrack is a versatile family wagon that can go off-road and is packed full of luxury.
Not so good There isn't really much you can fault the Passat Alltrack on, it's a very solid package that is priced competitively.