If you thought that station wagons went out of style a long time ago, you would be wrong. While the cars may have dipped in popularity over the decades, it’s still going strong, as evidenced by the success of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and the Subaru Outback. Both vehicles are quite capable, which makes deciding between them even more difficult. Here’s an overview of both vehicles and what they have to offer. Hopefully after reading through this review you’ll be able to pick the option that makes the most sense for you.
Wagon buyers may or may not care about the appearance of their vehicle. There are two distinct looks offered depending on what type of look you are going for. If you want to embrace the station wagon look and go for a vehicle that’s clearly a wagon, the Subaru Outback is for you. If you just want the utility of a wagon, without having to take on the look of one, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack looks more like a little SUV than it does a station wagon. It accomplishes this altered look with a slightly lifted body, fender flares and careful roof sculpting that offers an SUV appearance.
One area that the Outback edges out the Alltrack is in towing power. The Alltrack isn’t recommended for any type of towing task, while the Outback can handle up to 3,000 lbs. If you’re hoping to tow a trailer the Outback is likely the best option.
The Golf Alltrack is the more capable of the two vehicles when you hop onto an actual road. It corners readily, feels smooth over most surfaces, has plenty of power and is just plain fun to drive around. The Outback feels clunky in comparison and doesn’t offer the nice tight performance that the Golf does. We can only assume it’s because the Alltrack is based on the very capable Golf Sportwagon that’s a blast to drive around. Manual lovers should also consider the fact that manual isn’t offered on the Outback but is an option on the Alltrack.
Station wagons are supposed to be all about space and utility and few wagons do it better than the Subaru Outback. It offers more legroom, more interior space and a bit more rear storage space than the Golf Alltrack does. This doesn’t mean it’s better, but it does mean you can cram a bit more gear into the back, which is good for outdoor lovers looking to squeeze stuff in every little bit of space available.
An Upscale Interior
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is finished with nicer materials and has a more upscale or luxury look to it than the Outback. The Outback has a more utilitarian look. It’s plain and makes it more of a utility vehicle than anything else. For some people that’s an appealing feature, but others will not like that aspect of the Outback so much.
For most people it really isn’t that difficult choosing between the Golf Alltrack and the Outback. The Outback is a rugged outdoorsy, spacious utilitarian wagon that’s meant for more difficult tasks. It isn’t as showy or nice looking, and that’s fine for the right person. It can be a bit dull to drive around though. The Golf Alltrack is nicer to look at, it’s appointed with better materials and more comfortable seats. It’s more fun to drive and has that manual shift option that’s going to win over plenty of enthusiasts. It’s a bit smaller within and doesn’t offer the rugged off-road performance as much. Pick the one that makes the most sense to you.
The Volkswagen Alltrack is an interesting vehicle that has quite a bit going for it. It represents a renewed interest in station wagons that’s going around the US and the hatchback is worth a look at. We were impressed by its speed, handling characteristics and overall quality when reviewing it.
Firm and Capable Handling
The Alltrack comes equipped with all-wheel drive and offers reliable traction in most standard driving conditions. That means if you are driving over dirt, snow or uneven paved surfaces you should have all the traction you need to keep moving effectively. It’s equipped with a solid suspension without much wiggle that offers a very planted feel, and the vehicle is blessed with very minimal body roll, making cornering a dream.
Quick and Smooth Acceleration
While you probably won’t pick up the Alltrack because you want a quick vehicle, this station wagon is surprisingly fast off the line. It travels from 0 to 60 in just 8.5 seconds and comes with a very capable 170 HP turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The engine is tied to a 6-speed dual clutch setup that’s nice and smooth throughout the gear range. Acceleration is silky smooth and going from starting to highway speed is a treat in this wagon.
Capable Safety System
Safety is becoming increasingly complex and important in modern-day vehicles. Which is why it’s such good news that the Alltrack comes with an available Driver Assistance Package that’s well worth the investment. With the purchase you get a capable adaptive cruise setup that will make sure you’re always going the right speed while on the highway. You’ll get emergency braking that triggers automatically in serious situations, and a forward-collision alert system that lets you know when potential problems are on the horizon. All these features together, along with the pretty standard safety features built into the vehicle, makes it a nice safe ride to take around on the roads.
Road noise is the last thing that you want to deal with while traveling down the highway, and it’s not an issue with the 2017 Alltrack. This vehicle comes with ample sound-proofing, leaving you with a nice quiet interior that dulls down all those exterior sounds nicely. There’s decent room at the front of the vehicle and the seats are supremely comfortable, though things are a bit cramped in back.
The 2017 Volkswagen Alltrack offers a nice mixture of speed, handling mechanics, safety and comfort, making it a good all around hatch for buyers interested in that sort of thing. It’s a good ride, and surprisingly fun to drive around as well.
When most people think of electric cars, they imagine that they will be sluggish, underpowered and pretty dull to drive around. There are a handful of vehicles out on the market today that prove that doesn’t have to be the case. Take the Tesla Roadster for instance. The car’s lightning quick and clearly an exciting sports car. Sure it’s not a realistic daily driver and it’s not the type of vehicle that most people can afford, but it’s clearly not boring either. Volkswagen’s potential upcoming I.D. GTI electric vehicle is another example of a full electric vehicle that isn’t going to be boring either. It’s still onlybeing considered as an option though, and might not make it to production at all.
Based on the ID Concept
Volkswagen recently showcased a very modern looking full-electric concept vehicle known as the I.D. It was modern looking with a very cool finish, and boasted decent driving specs. For comparison sake, the Volkswagen GTI can make it from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. The I.D. does the same task in less than 8 seconds. That’s not quite the same, and the car will have to become faster in order to be comparable to the GTI, but it’s not a huge difference to overcome.
Styling and Power Changes
Before releasing the full-electric I.D. GTI model, it’s likely that Volkswagen will figure out a way to speed the vehicle up, while also changing the styling of the car. Volkswagen will want to make it look more like a performance vehicle, and give it that performance feel as well. Those are steps that will take some added time and planning, but steps that Volkswagen seems pretty confident about.
A Future Option
An electric I.D. GTI model is an exciting prospect, but it’s not something that you’ll see right away. The vehicle will take time to come out, and it’s likely a few years out from now. It’s likely that Volkswagen will release the next GTI and then come out with a full electric version as a subsequent release. The I.D. concept is expected to take another year or two before being transformed into a production vehicle.
Performance EVs are on the way though, and when they’re released they’ll be an exciting option that isn’t available to the everyday consumer yet.
Amazon’s Alexa service has been growing in popularity as more and more commercials show what the technology can do. While the tech is interesting when positioned in a house or at a business, it’s even more exciting when you think about it inside a vehicle. The Alexa voice-control technology gives you access to a bunch of features, features that Volkswagen owners will soon be able to use. That’s right, Volkswagen is going to offer the very first embedded version of Amazon Alexa voice to its owners in a vehicle.
Make Adjustments to Smart Home
One cool feature that a car integrated with Alexa offers is control of smart objects back home. With simple voice commands you can make adjustments to your thermostat, you can turn lights on and off, you can pretty much control any aspect of your home that’s attached to an Alexa setup back home, which we think is pretty cool.
Keep Tabs on the Vehicle
Turning your heat up or down from within your VW is pretty cool, but it’s not the only useful thing that buyers will be able to do with a Volkswagen that’s equipped with Amazon Alexa as standard. The smart system is able to pick up information from the Volkswagen itself. That means you can talk with Alexa about different vehicle stats as well. For instance, owners will be able to quickly ask how much fuel is in the car before heading out for work in the morning.
A Smarter System over Time
The Amazon Alexa system in Volkswagen will also learn the driver’s preferences over time and give out personalized travel information to help the driver get the most out of his trips.
Voice chat is a natural way to communicate while driving and that’s why the Amazon Alexa was a natural choice for the Volkswagen vehicles. It should be an exciting addition to the cars and any other vehicles that Volkswagen decides to use Alexa on.
Many new car owners are tempted to skip over service dates or to try and do work themselves rather than bringing the vehicle into the dealership for servicing. While taking this approach will save you money over the short term, it’s very likely that it will cost you more over time. That’s because you’ll leave your vehicle open to some serious problems, and you’ll likely void your warranty as well.
With new or slightly used vehicles your warranty is your best friend. That’s because if something goes wrong, getting the problem fixed is as simple as calling in the warranty and having the necessary repairs made for free. Unfortunately, doing the work yourself, or missing important service dates can void your warranty, leaving you without the protection that you need. By bringing your vehicle in for servicing each and every time it’s necessary, you can maintain that warranty so you have it available when you need it most.
Extend Life of Vehicle
Taking the time to visit the dealership on a regular basis serves to enhance the lifespan of your vehicle nicely. That’s because all the necessary maintenance is being taken care of and excess wear is being prevented. Not only that, but common problems are being spotted before they can become real issues. So if something is wearing out in your vehicle, the service department will let you know and they will take care of the repair task for you in most instances.
Repairs are expensive, and if they aren’t taken care of as soon as possible the damage to your vehicle can lead to more serious problems as well. By taking care of the regular maintenance of your vehicle and heading in to the dealership regularly, you’ll cut down on the repairs that are needed for your vehicle. You’ll have less problems to deal with, and ultimately will have a more reliable product that you can count on.
Increase Resale Value
One of the biggest benefits of bringing your vehicle in for regular servicing at a reliable dealership is an increased resale value if you ever decide to sell off your vehicle in the future. Buyers love to see that vehicles have been well taken care of, and one of the best ways to show that is with a set of service records. Keep receipts from every one of your service visits and you’ll have documented proof that you take good care of your vehicle.
It might cost you a bit more money to bring your vehicle in for servicing at the dealership every time it needs it, but that money will be well spent when you extend the lifespan of your vehicle, increase your resale value and keep your warranty alive. It’s worth the cost for all the benefits that you’ll enjoy.
At the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen made it very clear that it plans on releasing a bigger and badder version of its Tiguan SUV. The SUV will be about 11 inches longer overall and offer a total of 57% more interior space than the current Tiguan does. That’s a pretty major increase in size, and the best part is that it ups the maximum seating capacity to 7 people.
The next Tiguan is going to come with the option for three rows, rather than the two rows that it’s known for. It will up-size the overall amount of spaced offered dramatically, giving buyers around 50% more interior space to work with. Other than offering more seating space, this also makes the SUV more useful for hauling things or for taking trips. Camping will be easier with this beast, and so will family trips.
Standard on Front Wheel
If you decide that you want the front-wheel drive version of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, it will come standard with three rows and seating for seven. That means you won’t have to pay extra for the added size, and just buying the base version of the Tiguan will get you that added seating capacity.
Optional Safety Features
In order to keep up with the times, Volkswagen will add a slew of optional safety features to the Tiguan, making it possible for you to outfit the vehicle to be safer than ever. It will come with the option for blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision system, monitoring for pedestrians and a system that watches for lane departure.
Not Standard on All-Wheel Drive
If you opt for an all-wheel drive of the 2018 Tiguan it won’t come fitted with the three-row configuration as standard. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get it though. You’ll simply have to add the third row as an option to the vehicle. That means if you do only want two rows, you’ll have to buy the all-wheel drive version of the Tiguan, because all front-wheel drive versions come with the third-row as a standard feature that you can’t opt out of.
The bigger Tiguan is supposed to be one additional way that Volkswagen can appeal to American autobuyers. It’s just one more step toward improved performance in the American market overall.
Volkswagen unveiled its Atlas SUV last year, showing off its larger size and advanced tech features to help the automaker appeal to US buyers. Now VW is showing off a performance version of the SUV as well, and it’s nearly as exciting as the original release of the vehicle. This version of the Atlas boasts added power as well as some nice finish enhancements to the vehicle. It’s dubbed the Atlas R-Line and it’s a pretty cool ride.
The Atlast R-Line SUV comes with two different power options, depending on how much performance you want. The base version of the R-Line puts out 235-HP from its four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The more powerful version offers a total of 280 HP from the 3.6 liter turbocharged six cylinder engine. Either way you get a whole lot of power from the SUV and it should feel quite a bit faster. Both versions of the SUV are equipped with an eight-speed auto transmission that should be nice and smooth no matter how hard you stomp on the gas pedal.
The SUV comes with all the badging that you would expect, denoting that it’s an upgraded R-Line vehicle all over the place. It also comes fitted with larger 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels that really look nice on the Atlas. The SUV comes with a custom R-Line dashboard on the multimedia system, that will likely function much the same.
Same Great Features
While the Atlas R-Line is going to come with added power and some custom appearance modifications, it’s going to come with all the same features that makes the Atlas such an appealing ride. It should be fitted with an advanced multimedia system, should come in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and should be designed with a drive-select mode, allowing the driver to switch between different driving dynamics depending on needs.
If you were thinking of the Atlas, but didn’t’ want something lacking in power, the R-Line could be a good option for you. It will of course come with a higher price tag than the standard Atlas does, but anyone that’s dead set on getting the more powerful variation of the SUV likely won’t mind the higher price to have it.
If you’re interested in the R-Line SUV, it’s expected to be available around the same time as the standard Atlas, sometime this year when Volkswagen is ready to roll out the vehicle. It’s a major move for Volkswagen and marks its entry into the full-sized SUV market.
Automakers are beginning to push artificial intelligence technology and other autonomous systems into their vehicles. A few automakers have something for self-parking, a couple luxury vehicles come equipped with the technology to navigate through traffic at slow speeds without help from the driver and there are adaptive cruise control features on a range of models today. While each of those features is pretty darned impressive, they all pale in comparison to what the automakers, including Volkswagen, are planning for the future. They want to create ultra-intelligent vehicles that can handle a wide range of decision-making tasks on their own, which is exactly why Volkswagen is recruiting IT specialists so heavily at the moment.
Hiring 1,000 New IT Experts
In order to keep up with all the new tech demands that come with remaining at the leading edge of innovation in the automotive industry, Volkswagen is hired a total of 1,000 new IT specialists, and they’re going to work hard to develop autonomous driving systems for VW over the next three years. It’s a tall order to get them to develop such advanced systems in that period of time, but with such a strong workforce Volkswagen should have a solid set of features by the end of the period.
Are Self driving Cars Possible for VW?
Self-driving cars are possible for every automaker, and Volkswagen clearly believes that it can develop vehicles that will drive themselves capably, which is why it’s making such a big investment into the technology now. There’s no guarantee that Volkswagen will be able to develop self-driving vehicles within the next 3 or even 5 years, but with prototypes out that are already handling some aspects of autonomous driving, it’s not hard to believe that it will happen.
EVs and Autonomous Vehicles the Future of VW?
Volkswagen is betting big on electric vehicles and autonomous driving, especially in countries lik the United States where the technology is gaining rapid interest. Volkswagen already has a full-electric out, the e-Golf, but it has big plans for more capable EVs in the future, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they eventually drive on their own as well.
The technology possibilities for Volkswagen are exciting, and they’ll likely remain at the forefront of the industry over the next decade thanks to the strong emphasis they’re putting into development and technological improvements, but only time will tell for sure. In the meantime, if you would like to make use of a pretty capable little EV, the e-Golf travels close to 100 miles on a charge and it’s a solid car sold at many Volkswagen dealerships around the country.
The Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S special edition car was used to set the front-wheel drive lap record at Nurburgring back in May with a pretty impressive time of just 7 minutes and 49 seconds. That same car has since been used to achieve an even more impressive time of 7 minutes and 47 seconds, putting it more than 3 seconds ahead of the next fastest front-wheel drive vehicle tested there, the Honda Civic Type R. While this special edition of the VW Golf isn’t available stateside, there are plenty of Golf GTI models that are, and they offer similar performance specifications as well.
Why the Golf ClubSport S Can Set Records
There are a few different things that allow the Clubsport S to beat out other cars like the Honda Civic Type R. One of the main things that it has going for it is a lightweight body. Careful considerations make the Clubsport S one of the lightest cars to go around the ring.
Volkswagen opted for a six-speed manual clutch instead of the heavier dual clutch setup. The automaker also went with aluminum parts whenever possible and removed the rear seat, as well as floor mats and sound proofing material to shed a bit more weight. Overall it went down to an impressively low weight figure that made the most of the 310 HP offered by the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
Excellent Handling and Lightweight Body
There are two things that make the Golf Clubsport S an excellent track car that it shares with the Golf GTI, a lightweight body and excellent handling mechanics. No matter which version of the vehicle you go with, you get excellent handling and a car that can take on the sharp corners without issue. If you opt for the Golf GTI you’ll enjoy a total of 210 HP and 258 lb.-ft. of torque to play with. Not only will you have all that power, but you’ll also have a lightweight vehicle that makes excellent use of it. The Golf is a small car that doesn’t weigh much at all, so when you consider that before thinking about the level of power it has, it’s easy to see why the Golf GTI is a good solid track car.
While the standard Golf GTI isn’t going to achieve lap speeds like the Clubsport S, it would probably hold its own nicely and command a decent time. Even if it isn’t a race car, the 2017 Golf GTI looks to be a very fun vehicle and a decent option for drivers that want something little and exciting to tool around in.
While 2017 is nearly upon us, Volkswagen is hard at work on its 2018 model-year Tiguan. The latest crossover gets some exciting changes that are worth talking about, and we aren’t just talking about tech improvements that most models get between releases.
Made for Fuel Efficiency
Most crossovers today don’t care about fuel efficiency very much and they focus on power instead. This is a real mistake that Volkswagen isn’t making. Their 2018 Tiguan is focused specifically on fuel-efficiency, and it will show. There aren’t any figures out about the specific efficiency of this model, but buyers should expect great things from it anyway. The engine doesn’t put out flashy power figures, but it is completely designed for maximum efficiency figures, meaning that you should be able to drive surprisingly far on a single tank of fuel.
In order to make this crossover as efficient as possible, VW did have to make some changes to it. The automaker dropped down to a four-cylinder turbo-charged engine and they added on an eight-speed transmission. Doing this reduced the overall HP level slightly, but the automaker claims that it will boost efficiency figures nicely, while also enhancing acceleration at low speeds where it’s most needed.
Choose a Mid-Sized SUV
The current Volkswagen Tiguan is a decent-sized SUV, but it might not be quite large enough for some auto buyers with bigger families. That means they either have to jump up to the massive Touareg, or go to a different automaker in order to get the size that’s best for their actual needs. Well that is until now!
Volkswagen will be announcing another Tiguan option at the North American International Auto Show in 2017 in Detroit. This option will be longer and potentially have more seating space than the standard Tiguan does. Volkswagen is making two distinct changes on the model, giving it a longer wheelbase by 7.4″ and increasing its overall length by 10.7″. This creates enough space to add in a third row of seats and provide a total of two seating spots offering space for up to 7, or it adds a bunch more cargo room, the choice is yours.
Sitting on the MQB Platform
Volkswagen’s universal platform is the MQB and it’s known for offering good stability and excellent performance. If you are looking for a good solid VW vehicle, you won’t be disappointed with nearly anything that’s fitted on this highly tested platform. That’s why it’s good to hear that the Tiguan is going to be based on it as well.
There’s still a lot that we don’t yet know about the 2018 Tiguan, but it should bring some exciting changes for crossover owners looking to pick up a new vehicle. Whether they are interested in more interior space than the outgoing model, better fuel efficiency figures or exciting tech upgrades, all three will be available when the latest model finally hits the market, likely near the end of 2017.