Around 20 years ago a friend of mine had one of the very first Golf estates, and apart from routine maintenance it never set an inch of tyre tread in a garage, it just kept on going, and going and, well you get the idea. Not only was it a great family barge, but it was an exceptional work-horse too, carting heavy radio equipment all over the UK without a fuss, which is pretty much the impression I got from the new Alltrack, but more on that later.
Jumping behind the wheel, the first thing that grabbed my attention was how sensible the dash layout was, though I may have muttered the word boring. Having said that, I had just driven the all-new Tiguan that has a far more modern and sharper dash, so perhaps on reflection, the word 'boring' is wrong and I'll stick with sensible.
The seats however are some of the best I've sat on, no honestly, it doesn't matter where you sit, front or back, they're all comfy with ample leg room. The boot is huge too, even without the rear seats folded down a 6ft tall Muddy Madam proved she could easily hide a body in the back. Don't ask, I stopped asking years ago and it's served me well.
So there's no mistaking it for anything else on the road, the Golf Alltrack has styling touches to match its off-road persona, like flared wheel arches, side sills for added protection, newly designed bumpers and of course badges, and it certainly looks the part, especially in red.
So, what's it like off-road then? I've absolutely no idea, this jaunt was purely on tarmac, but being up to 20mm taller than standard and the fitment of VW's 4-MOTION all-wheel drive system that includes a type of electronic diff-lock and Hill Decent control, I'm assuming it'll be more than capable.
As well as being well-equipped to drive off-road, it's also well-suited to towing and is designed to handle trailer loads of up to 2,000 kg (braked on 12 per cent incline).
So, what's it like on the road then? Before I answer that, let me tell you what it's not like on the road. It isn't harsh, nor is it boring, what surprised us both was its ability to waft us around in comfort, the quality of its ride was totally unexpected, not even the extra height seemed to hinder it.
Everything about the Golf Estate Alltrack felt solid and dependable, which makes it sound a bit boring, but that's a good thing, it's a comfy and frugal 4x4 for the person who doesn't want, or need the height of an SUV Take one for a spin, I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.