Road Test

Road Test: 2012 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4Motion

September 24, 2012

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2012_02The new Volkswagen Passat Alltrack offers features of an SUV in the form of a conventional Passat Estate. From the outside, the new Passat Alltrack looks very similar to the Passat Estate, except being 30mm higher off course. In addition, the Alltrack can be recognized from the 17-inch alloy wheels, new bumber styling, flared side sills, silver roof rails and front and rear underbody guards. The window surrounds, door mirror housings and radiator grille have matt chrome finish. Naturally there are also Alltrack signatures at the front and rear of the car.

Although Volkswagen Passat Alltrack isn’t an offroad vehicle, the biggest reason for buying it is its better off-road capability compared to the standard Passat Estate. The ground clearance has been increased from 135 to 165mm. Due to this better ground clearance and the new bumber styling, the front approach angle has increased from 13.5 to 16 degrees, and the departure angle has increased from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees. Also the ramp angle, which is important when crossing over a hill, has improved from 9.5 to 12.8 degrees. To provide extra protection for the car when driving over a rough terrain, the engine, gearbox, oil sump, front section of the exhaust system and various hoses are protected by a steel made underbody guard.

Another offroad feature in the new Passat Alltrack is the offroad driving programme, which has been available only in the Volkswagen SUV models so far. At the press of a button, the offroad driving programme optimizes vehicle’s driving and assistance systems for offroad driving. These include accelerator pedal characteristic, reduction of the differential locks (EDS), Hill Descent Assist, ABS brakes and the DSG, which provides elevated shift points and no automatic upshifting in manual mode. So the new Passat Alltrack is actually a bit more serious about its offroad capabilities than what you might expect at first.

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack engine lineup offers four choices; two TSI petrol engines and two TDI diesels. The turbocharged petrol engines produce 160 and 210 horsepower. The diesel engines both have the displacement of 2.0-litres and they deliver either a 140 or 170 horsepower. Both diesels are BlueMotion models and come with the start/stop system and battery regeneration. This 170 horsepower version delivers also 350 Newton metres of torque, which is available between 1750-2500rpm. The performance of the diesel is fairly good. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes 8,9 seconds and the top speed is 211 km/h. So it is no performance car, but drives well enough. Eventhough the Alltrack has a bit higher ground clearance, there isn’t too much body roll in the corners thanks to the nicely firm suspension settings.

The 210 hp TSI and the 170 hp TDI have permanent all-wheel drive (4Motion), an electronic transverse differential lock (XDS) and dual-clutch transmission (DSG) as standard. DSG offers two drive modes; the comfort and economical D and sportier S. In the D mode the transmission very quickly shifts to the biggest possible gear. It is possible to drive on very low revs as there is a lot of torque available. However, engine sounds are not always that enjoyable at very low revs. However, this is all to provide better fuel economy. The average fuel consumption for this 170-horsepower diesel is 5,9 l/100km and the CO2 emissions are 155 g/km. The S mode of the DSG offers a little bit better performance and there is also a possibility to change gears by yourself in the manual mode.

As mentioned, the new Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is no offroad vehicle, but it is surprisingly capable especially when equipped with the 4Motion four-wheel drive system. Compared to the Passat Estate, it has some extra features, like the underbody guard and better ground clearance, which are useful not just in the rough ground, but also in the winter time. The new Passat Alltrack is worth of serious consideration, if you are thinking of a new Estate car, and it can even challenge some SUV’s with its offroad features.



  • Diesel
  • 4-cylinder
  • 1968cc
  • Turbo


  • 125 kW (170 hp) / 4200rpm


  • 350 Nm / 1750-2500rpm


  • 6-speed automatic
  • AWD

0-100km/h / 0-62mph

  • 8.9 seconds

Top speed

  • 211 km/h

Fuel consumption

  • 5.9 l/100km

CO2 emissions

  • 155 g/km

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2012_04