Don’t be thrown off by the rugged styling cues and elevated ride height: The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is much more of a street machine than it is a tenacious off-roader. It carves up curvy sections of blacktop with the eagerness of a regular Golf, feeling taut and nimble thanks to ideally weighted steering and nicely controlled body roll.
There’s little question, though, that VW’s intention is for the Alltrack to take on Subaru’s Outback, but with a younger-at-heart, more fun-to-drive bent. After all, both share the same concept of a tough-looking, all-wheel-drive station wagon standing as an alternative to the herd of small SUVs stampeding the market. While the Alltrack brings a premium vibe to this niche, it’s definitely sized for smaller families, and it doesn’t offer the price-to-size ratio of some rivals. Nonetheless, the Alltrack is a compelling package for those who value driving with verve over cubic footage.