by Marc Greig - 31/10/12
Volkswagen Australia has taken the wraps off the rugged Passat Alltrack with a drive program in Adelaide and the sounding countryside. Based on the existing Passat wagon the Alltrack gives you a higher ride, tougher stance and the ability to get you a little further of the bitumen without having to own a SUV.
The diesel only Passat Alltrack is produced in its Emden plant in Germany along with the other Passat variants (Sedan and Wagon).
Riding 35mm higher than the standard Passat Wagon drive is to all four wheels via the excellent 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, the Passat Alltrack is aimed directly at the other cross-over wagons like the Subaru Outback and smaller Subaru XV for driving dynamics and versatility.
Inside there is enough room for a family and their dog or the active couple could fit a swag of extreme sports equipment.
Is Volkswagen on to something? With a starting price of only $47,990 - You bet they are.
Some of the options available include
• Panoramic Electric Glass Sunroof $2,000
• Park Assist 2 $900
• Driver Assistance and Visibility Package $3,300
• Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Front Assist with City EB $2,000
• Adaptive Chassis Control – 17” Alloy wheels $1,650
• Adaptive Chassis Control – 18” Alloy wheels $1,650
• 12-way Electric Front Seats with Driver's Memory $1,500
• Anti-theft Alarm System $600
The Volkswagen Passat comes with a single engine choice the excellent Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre TDI (Turbocharged Direct Injection) with BlueMotion technology. Maximum power is 125kW and peak torque is 350Nm between 1750rpm and 2500rpm.
Drive is to all four wheels via VW’s 4MOTION systems and a six-speed DSG transmission.
A car big enough for a family but with impressive stats –fuel consumption is rated at 6.3l/100kms and exhaust C02 emissions score just 166g/km.
Jump inside the Passat Alltrack and you are greeted with comfort seats (Vienna leather appointed as standard, or optional Nappa leather appointed as part of the Sport package), No tacky wood grain here all the interior accents are in ‘brushed aluminium , the pedals are also in brushed stainless steel.
So the comfortable driver’s seats combined with rake/reach adjustment leather-wrapped multi touch steering wheel offers an optimal driving position.
Ahead is the usual top-notch Volkswagan dashboard, with large easy to read dials.
The center console contains Dual Zone automatic climate control and also houses the RNS510 media system which comes standard with Sat-Nav and a 30gb hard drive.
The luggage capacity of the Alltrack’s bootspace is 588 litres with rear seats in place. This is increased to a massive 1,716 litres when the seats are folded flat– in this case, the Passat Alltrack is loaded up to the roofliner and to the backrests of the front seats. A cargo net barrier may be mounted behind the first seating row and/or behind the second seating row to prevent luggage from entering the passenger space when braking.
Volkswagen Passat Alltrack has been expertly styled with noticeable but subtle differences from the standard Passat wagon.
There are 17 inch alloy wheels as standard, which can be updated to 18” inch with the sports package.
The rugged exterior design is noticeable from which ever angle you look at the car. Up-front a chrome skid plate leads in to front fog lights new and honeycomb grille, Bi-Xenon HID headlights complete the look.
At the rear there is a smiliar chrome skid plate and dual exhaust tailpipes.
Around the Adelaide Hills there are some great roads and vineyards – that’s where Volkswagen sent us to sample the Passat Alltrack. Peak hour traffic, highway driving, country roads and dirt roads plus a few farm trails that Alltrack had them all for breakfast.
The Passat Alltrack puts it 125kW/350Nm through to all four wheels via its 4MOTION system. Normally, the front axle is the primary drive axle in the Passat Alltrack with the rear axle only getting around ten percent of the drive torque,. The rear axle may be gradually engaged – step by step – depending on the specific driving and road situation.
Grip on all surfaces was impressive, transferring from the bitumen to the dirt roads the Passat Alltrack performed just as well. When the Off-Road button on the centre console is activated the following Alltrack sees changes to anti-lock braking system (ABS) , electronic differential locks (EDS) react quicker to prevent wheel spin at individual wheels. The engine’s torque control (ASR) is modified in parallel. Hill descent assist is activated (when the off-road function is selected) at a descent angle greater than 10 degrees; the accelerator pedal becomes softer allowing for better throttle control in off-road situations.
If you are after a car that can get you to that camp spot that is a little further from the sealed road and don’t want a SUV then the Passat Alltrack is for you.
The luggage carrying capacity would allow a family road trip to be taken with ease. Plenty of space for scooters, luggage, toys and all the other items required by a family.
For the adventure couple the option of extra ride height and all wheel drive offers a vehicle that should suit there needs.
Subaru own this segment with the Outback priced from $37,490 for the petrol variant and you can get in the diesel models from $40,990 and $46,990 for the premium diesel model – however you will need to be able to drive manual as the auto isn’t an option here.
The options that you may consider is the Subaru XV should also be on your test drive list but you will need to give up the diesel power plant and the large boot.
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