Sunday, May 17, 2015

VW Golf Alltrack, GTD Variant, and R Variant

The latest-generation Golf Variant maybe more of a new Golf with some added luggage space big enough for your thrift shop hauls that can't stop you from hoarding some more but if you think the normal Variant's not your taste, there are so many Golf Variants to choose from but which one suits you?

2015 VW Golf Alltrack

Well, not exactly one of these. Yes, this is the Golf Alltrack and what this is is a Golf Variant with some added ground clearance and some tough cladding to think this is as tough as...your dad's harsh mouth when he talks you back.

This is like a normal Golf Variant, you get the same Golf interior, the same Golf looks, the similar cargo space from the Golf Variant, and the choice of engines. There's a 1.6 TDi engine produces 110PS of power, and a 2.0 TDi engine with two configurations with the latter producing a more powerful 184PS of power output. 

While the Golf Alltrack, like any other hatchback-based crossovers built only for city use, has front-wheel drive standard, some models (especially more powerful ones) come with a nifty four-wheel drive layout and a 6-speed double clutch gearbox which shifts faster than normal manual gearboxes but can be somewhat complicated for the joyous ones.

The idea of having a Golf Alltrack is because you wanted a so-called sport utility vehicle but you can't afford either a Touareg or a Tiguan or the upcoming Passat Alltrack, which is just like the Golf's only a little bigger, and thanks to its 30,200 Euros starting price, you can really afford one than any of those VW sport utilities. However, because it's available with a diesel-only lineup, there's no sense of fun while driving one or is it?

2015 VW Golf GTD Variant

This is also a diesel-powered Golf Variant but this is the Golf GTD Variant, the big-booted version of the Golf GTD, which is known as the GTi's diesel cousin. Now, if you were sitting here and asking why VW didn't made a GTi version of the Golf Variant and there's a really good reason for this one. Although the Golf GTi has always been the king of front-wheel drive cars, VW doesn't have the time to spawn a Variant version of the GTi but instead use its diesel cousin to spawn why? Could this be another one of their automotive conspiracies? Oh well, but still the GTD Variant comes with the same 184PS TDi engine from the normal GTD hatch and can be mated with either a 6-speed manual or a double-clutch gearbox.

The GTD Variant, like its hatchback equivalent, balances performance and fuel efficiency in a not-so-difficult matter, It can do 0-100kph in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 231kph, so this is a fast diesel-powered wagon for a stop. Handling wise, the GTD Variant is more fun to drive than the Alltrack thanks to its XDS+ E-diff lock, ESC Sport function which makes the car more sharper in the bends, and progressive steering which makes steering a lot more easier than normal Golf Variants. Oh and before you can spout a word, yes, it still roomier inside boot space remains as usual for a Golf Variant.
 
Price? You can have one for 31,975 Euros and while this is almost 2,000 Euros more than the Alltrack, this hot station wagon is just the right car for the job because it can be convenient to drive on the day-to-day basis, it can be fun in the open roads, and overall, it's better or is it?

2015 VW Golf R Variant

This is the most powerful station wagon in the VW range and this is the Golf Variant that can really blow almost every Golf Variant in the range. It's called the Golf R Variant and this station wagon is made with only one purpose in mind; POWERRRRRRR....

It's got a 2.0L TSi engine that produces 300PS of power, it's got a 7-speed double-clutch gearbox, and it's got four-wheel drive. These performance figures transformed the R Variant from a normal, soccer-mom friendly station wagon, into a super wagon that likes to lick the apex and because of being a new Golf, we are becoming extremely jealous because...how come we don't ride the latest versions even though the lucky ones just had?

It's not about the expensive 42,925 Euro pricing but it's because of the fun factor that we're somewhat lacking due to market reasons, mostly Americans. When VW launched this one at the LA Auto Show last year, the Americans thought they want to have one but sadly, VW pointed out that this one's not for sale. What just happened? Why would they launch a car in the location that is not made to be sold in the first place? That's another conspiracy but hey, since this is a German car built in Germany, it sure knows how to speak German in terms of its character. It maybe prone to understeering but it feels so accessible in the corners and it really gets you through like sipping a bottle of Red Horse Beer upside down.

So, there you are. These three utterly different versions of the Golf Variant maybe feel different but they really are the same cars. The Alltrack maybe focused to be a cheaper alternative to VW's list of crossovers while the GTD Variant balances performance and efficiency at the same time and the R is all about performance in different angles. If you have to choose between these three, which one?

Photo: Volkswagen AG

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