Volkswagen Passat Alltrack revealed at Geneva motor show

Tough version of the new Passat estate has made its debut in Geneva...

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack revealed at Geneva motor show

The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, a rugged version of the all-new Passat estate has been revealed at the Geneva motor show.

What is it?

Essentially, it is a high-specification version of the Passat Estate with a few nods in the direction of country living, mainly noticeable from the outside.

The Alltrack has a ride height which is raised by 27.5mm over standard estate models. The front and rear bumpers are reprofiled to improve approach and departure angles to facilitate a little gentle off-roading.

Underbody protection is beefed up to prevent damage from errant landscape items during off-Tarmac sojourns, while wheel arch and sill protection, unique badging and numerous other details mark it out as something special.

Mechanically, there are two things which indicate that the Alltrack is more than a styling exercise. All models are four-wheel drive as standard, using Volkswagen's intelligent, on-demand 4Motion system.

In addition, on top of the standard 'Eco', 'Normal' and 'Sport' drive modes in a normal Passat, the Alltrack gets an 'Off Road' mode. This adjusts throttle response, braking input and the hill start and descent systems to ensure any adventures away from the road are kept under control.

What engines does it come with?

The Alltrack comes with a choice of two petrol engines and three diesels, all of which are shared with other models in the Passat line-up.

The turbocharged petrol models are available in 148bhp and 217bhp versions, the latter only being available with a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The three diesel options are rated at 148, 187 and 237bhp, with the two higher output models being automatic only. The lower output petrol and diesel models are both six-speed manual boxes.

How much equipment does it come with?

The full UK equipment breakdown has yet to be revealed but expect the Alltrack to be kitted out at least as well as a mid-spec Passat.

Inside, unique Alltrack metal trim and an Alcantara and fabric interior treatment is standard, although leather is available as an option, along with electric adjustment and massage options if you really want to top up the standard specification.

For those who need to tow, the provision of the standard Trailer Assist system helps take the pain out of reversing by automatically guiding steering inputs and showing the projected path of the trailer during manoeuvring. The driver just needs to operate the brake and accelerator.

As with all Passat models, the infotainment provision is very good, designed to easily synchronise with a range of Apple and Android phones. The standard implementation gets a 5in display, but 6.5in and 8in upgrade options are available.

How much does it cost?

Prices for the Alltrack models are not yet available but we'd expect them to be roughly equivalent to GT specification Passat variants, starting at around £28,000, rising to around £40,000 for top of the range diesel models.

Can I get a discount?

Target Price discounts on regular Passat Estate are typically around £1500, which should translate to Alltrack models, although it's likely the latter will be in shorter supply. That could well cap available discounts.

What are its rivals like?

Adding butch body kits and hiking the ride height is not much of a novelty, with a lot of the competition coming from within the VW Group. The Skoda Octavia Scout is likely to be a cut-price rival but the Seat X-Perience is likely to be a more direct competitor.

From outside the VW stable, the Volvo V40 Cross Country and Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer look to be the most serious rivals. Certainly, the competence of the Passat estate it is based on suggests the Alltrack will be a serious rival to any of them.

The Passat Alltrack will be available from September 2015.