What is it?
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is now part of the furniture in the jacked-up ‘lifestyle’ estate world. These are cars aimed at folk not quite ready to sell their soul to the SUV, but do see the appeal of something altogether more rugged in a package they’re comfortable with.
The Passat Alltrack, now a year or so into its second generation, ticks all the usual boxes in its transformation from normal estate to higher-riding, tougher-looking estate. Its ride height is raised by 28mm over the regular Volkswagen Passat estate upon which it is based, there's plenty of black-plastic cladding to the lower half of its body, and it gets four-wheel drive as standard.
The Passat Alltrack range is a slim one, with Volkswagen’s familiar 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine offered with either 148bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox, or a 187bhp version (tested here) wedded to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.