Tokyo motor show highlights - VW Passat Alltrack

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VW Passat Alltrack
VW Passat Alltrack
I’m not convinced there’s a major market for a Passat-based pseudo-off-roader, but VW clearly does; it’s already confirmed for the UK, where it’ll sit between the Passat Estate and the Tiguan.

At least British buyers will have to walk the walk and buy their Alltracks with four-wheel drive (and either a 138bhp or 168bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine); customers in continental Europe will be offered the car with front-wheel drive, which seems to make a mockery of its ‘soft-roader’ raison d’etre.

The Alltrack gets black plastic around its wheelarches, and sits 30mm higher than a regular Passat Estate. It has better ramp angles than that car, too, legitimising VW’s claim that it can be used for driving on ‘smooth off-road’ surfaces. To back this up further, it gets SUV-esque equipment such as hill descent control.

It’s neat, I guess, but almost too much so. I’d want something a bit more rugged - and I’d also have reservations about the price; £26k is a pretty scary starting point. However, for country vets fed up with their old Subaru estates, this may be just the ticket.

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