Click on autotrader banner

Used Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2015-2020 review

Category: Estate car

Section: What is it like?

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 front tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 front tracking
  • Used test – SUV vs estate: Audi Q5 vs Volkswagen Passat Alltrack vs Volvo XC60
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 rear static
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 LHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 front static
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 front tracking
  • Used test – SUV vs estate: Audi Q5 vs Volkswagen Passat Alltrack vs Volvo XC60
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 rear static
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 LHD rear seats
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 rear tracking
  • Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2019 front static
Used Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2015-2020 review
Star rating

What's the used Volkswagen Passat Alltrack estate like?

Opt for a used version of the 2015-2020 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack and you’re basically nailing the sole of a hiking boot to a regular brogue. The top half of the Alltrack looks as reassuringly businesslike as the regular estate, but underneath you get four-wheel drive, increased ground clearance and skid plates to conquer even the muddiest boot-sale car park.

Just to let everyone know you’ve spent more on your Alltrack in order to channel your inner Bear Grylls, you also get flared wheelarches, SUV-inspired bumpers and a set of big alloy wheels. There’s only one engine option; a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 187bhp, and four-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox are standard.

It comes exclusively with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that proves smooth in the majority of situations, only hesitating if you ask for a sudden burst of pace, such as when quickly inserting yourself into a gap in the traffic at a roundabout. 

The handling is much the same as the regular Passat but the Alltrack has a raised ride height of 27.5mm and is set up with a focus on comfort. So far we’ve only tried an Alltrack with the optional adaptive dampers – Dynamic Chassis Control in VW speak – that provide a relaxed, if slightly floaty, gait in Comfort mode, a bit more body control in Normal mode and good resistance to body lean in Sport.

Only over particularly craggy roads does the Alltrack become fidgety, although the optional 19in wheels of our test car won’t have helped. Whichever mode you pick, the handling is safe and secure but not at all exciting. That said, the slightly numb steering is precise and it isn’t at all unpleasant to drive. As for off-road ability, it copes well with slippery surfaces but its limited ground clearance and road-biased tyres mean it’s better suited to broken road surfaces than serious cross-country expeditions.

As the Alltrack is towards the top end of the Passat range, its interior really is very plush. Areas you touch regularly feel of high quality while attractive trims and ambient lighting are standard. The interior can’t quite match the quality of the A4 Allroad, but then the Audi is a fair bit more expensive.

Another standard item is a 8.0in colour touchscreen with super-clear graphics and very user-friendly menus, plus gets DAB radio, Bluetooth and wireless smartphone mirroring, so you can use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto without plugging your phone in. It’s only beaten by the premium systems in the BMW 3 Series Touring, which uses a rotary dial controller and is easier to use on the move. A larger 9.2in system is available, but it’s quite costly and arguably unnecessary.

There are two cupholders behind the gearlever, and deep door pockets will take a 1.0-litre bottle. Move to the rear and two adults will be able to get comfortable, even if they’re particularly tall.

Try to squeeze a third back there and there may be complaints about the sizable centre tunnel that they’ll have to straddle. Storage is similarly impressive with big door pockets that can each take a 1.0-litre bottle and a central armrest with a pair of cupholders.

The Passat Alltrack’s boot is uniform in shape, cavernous and has a usefully square opening with a low load lip. Adding to the practicality are 40/20/40 split rear seats that can be folded from the boot and a variable height boot floor. For this sort of money, only the Skoda Octavia Estate can beat it.