This is not something that an automotive titan such as VAG has to do. A Skoda CitiGo can afford not to turn and grip in a way few superminis can. It’s not within the job description of a SEAT Ateca to out-handle some other manufacturers finest hot hatches, but sometimes, it really feels like it does. This brings us to the Alltrack. Perhaps, by rights, one of the least sporty cars in the group. Yet it does that VAG thing of rippling the tarmac of most twisty bits you care to turn a wheel at.
In most quick cars, their capabilities come with compromises and as strange as it sounds, the Passat carries some of those tradeoffs. It’s definitely quite a stiffly sprung car. The low-speed ride is somewhat choppy, but being who we are, that’s a worthwhile tradeoff for some seriously incongruous performance. Looking back at some of the toys we were celebrating in our last entry, the DSG gearbox that’s equipped on our car – available on most of the group’s cars – adds to that capability. You’re just pointing the car at where you want it to go and it goes. Take the pace to a silly level and you’re met with understeer, naturally, but if you’re aggressive enough with your throttle retraction and steering inputs there is a tractable chassis in there.
We had an RS6 Avant in not long ago (more on that shortly) and it was interesting to compare the two. The same delicate brutality of capability, while shot through the RS6, is at least evident in the Alltrack. We do wonder why VW has chosen to instil this group-wide level of ability, but we’re glad they have. It certainly makes the Alltrack a more compelling car than its beefed up estate appearances might initially lead an enthusiast to assume.
Mpg this week: 38.9