VW Passat Alltrack

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Words ByJohn McIlroy

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Im not convinced theres a major market for a Passat-based pseudo-off-roader, but VW clearly does; its already confirmed for the UK, where itll 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 detre.

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 VWs 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.

Its neat, I guess, but almost too much so. Id want something a bit more rugged - and Id 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.