What is it? Think of this as the Volkswagen Outback. Based on the new American-made Passat sedan, the Alltrack wagon adds 1.2-inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive. The Alltrack is powered by Volkswagen’s 148-hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 236 lb.-ft. of torque and a six-speed DSG automated manual gearbox.
What is new or notable: Extensive steel skid-plates and an off-road electronics program should take the Alltrack well off the beaten path. The off-road program, which works up to 18 mph, holds higher engine revs, reduces throttle response, and reprograms the anti-lock brakes for better stopping performance on snow and gravel.
CR’s take: The TDI powered Passat sedan returned 37 mpg overall in our tests. While this raised, all-wheel-drive version won’t likely match that, the combination of AWD, diesel fuel economy, the Passat’s relaxed highway manners and big-car space may make this an intriguing adventure-ready soft-roader without all the off-road paraphernalia. Skiers take note!