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VW Passat Alltrack adds off-road ability to Passat’s skillset

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Off-roaders have soared in popularity over the last decade as many drivers seek to gain the high-driving position and practicality of SUVs but without sacrificing on comfort. Not everyone wants a full-blown boxy mudplugger, however, and a new breed of off-road estate cars has been born to offer all the off-road ability most families could ever need, but without the controversial butch styling of traditional 4x4s.

The latest off-road estate to arrive is the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. Based on the brand-new Passat, Volkswagen describes its latest model as an ‘all-wheel drive all-rounder’, adding all-weather grip and mild off-road ability to the standard Passat’s attributes. The styling has been beefed up too, with chunky plastic body cladding and silver trim details, while selectable driving modes can prioritise comfort, sharp handling or off-roading ability.

Thanks to underbody protection, plastic wheelarch trim and a 27.5mm increase in ground clearance, the Alltrack should be able to survive a few off-Tarmac trips with the permanent all-wheel drive system boosting traction on slippery surfaces. The new model will be available with five engines – 148bhp and 217bhp turbocharged petrol units and diesels with 148bhp, 187bhp and 237bhp. 

Claimed fuel consumption for these models varies from 38.2mpg to 58.9mpg, with CO2 emissions varying from 129g/km to 170g/km warranting annual car tax of £110 to £205 under the current price bands. All models bar the entry-level petrol can tow a hefty load of up to 2,200kg, with the 148bhp petrol being able to pull 1,800kg.

A raft of sophisticated crash avoidance systems come as standard on the new car, while the fully digital instruments are able to display several combinations of information alongside the speedometer and a heads up display is also available.

Prices for the new model are yet to be announced, but they should weigh in at around a few thousand pounds more than equivalent Passat Estates.

Author: Christofer Lloyd

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