The good work continues inside. The Alltrack has a very high spec as standard, and it’s a very comfortable place to cover motorway miles in. The driving position is excellent, the raised ride height offering a commanding view of the road. Sat-nav, six-way electrically adjustable seats, and plenty of leather and brushed metal trim are among the standard-fit items.
So with such a good engine and interior, it’s just a shame the rest of the car isn’t up to the same comfortable and easy-going standard. The six-speed DSG gearbox is the biggest problem; it’s far too hesitant and jerky when pulling away from junctions, and the integrated stop-start system is slow to react and can get confused in heavy stop-start traffic as to what it wants to do, suddenly cutting the engine just as you want to pull away.
The Alltrack also fails to hide its considerable mass. The ride is lumpy at low speeds and fidgety at higher speeds, meaning it never really settles into a comfortable cruise. The considerable kerb weight is also noticeable when cornering; there’s a lot of roll, even at moderate speeds.
Should I buy one?
There’s no denying the Passat Alltrack is a desirable car. It looks smart and is very well equipped as standard, and the security of four-wheel drive and an off-road mode may tempt some out of more expensive SUVs who like a raised driving position, the extra practicality and occasional off-road ability.
But the driving compromises are just too great. The Passat Alltrack doesn’t ride as well as you would expect it to, and although an automatic gearbox would seem a natural fit for a car of its size and weight, this six-speed DSG isn’t up to the job.
Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 170
Price: £31,030; 0-62mph: 8.9sec; Top speed: 131mph; Economy: 47.9mpg (combined); CO2: 155g/km; Kerb weight: 1725kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1968cc, turbodiesel; Power: 168bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 258lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 6spd DSG