Volkswagen's rugged new all-wheel-drive Passat Alltrack will begin rolling into showrooms around the United Kingdom soon. First unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show, the Passat Alltrack is a lifted not-quite-a-crossover that’s based on the European-only Passat Estate.
VW will offer two engine and transmission options on the Passat Alltrack. The base engine is the same 140-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel I-4 that we can find under the hood of Golf, Jetta, and Passat TDI models. That engine comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The Passat Alltrack's optional engine is also a 170-hp 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-banger hooked up to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
The Passat Alltrack's single trim level comes well equipped; standard equipment includes Alcantara upholstery, a navigation system, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, front and rear parking sensors, and the same 18-inch "snowflake" wheels as the concept. VW will offer a host of high tech features as extras on the Passat Alltrack, including its Adaptive Chassis Control, Automatic Distance Control with City Emergency Braking, and even an electrically deployed tow bar.
For those of you guessing that VW would never bring a manual-transmission, diesel-powered, all-wheel-drive station wagon to the United States would be correct—Volkswagen currently has no plans to bring the Passat Alltrack here to compete against the Subaru Outback and Volvo XC70. What we get instead is the 2013 Audi Allroad, built in the same vein as the Passat Alltrack. Like the Alltrack, the Allroad gets all-wheel drive, and a suspension lift that increases ground clearance to 7.1 inches, as opposed to the Alltrack's 6.5 inches. Like the Alltrack the Audi Allroad will likely get a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 powerplant, though in this case it'll be a gas-powered engine familiar to buyers of the Audi A4 Avant it's based on.
The Volkswagen Passat Alltrack goes on sale in the UK at the end of May for roughly $45,000 for the manual version, and about $49,000 for the more powerful version. The more luxurious Audi Allroad will likely cost about the same when it arrives later this year.
Which lifted go-anywhere wagon would you prefer, the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack or the Audi A4 Allroad? Let us know in the comments below.