Alltrack World — New Domain, New Home

Hi VW folks, and happy New Year! If you went to MatthewsVWSite and are now here at AlltrackWorld, that’s on purpose. I bought the domain because this site over the last couple of years has been focused on the Golf Alltrack.

The focus on Alltracks is because I bought one in April 2017.

Why change? It’s not like you bought a Mercedes, Ford, i.e.: a different brand.

VW is just too large of a subject for one man to tackle these days. Too many models and too much news to cover. I want to do Alltrack news and ownership discussion well, not 20 models poorly.

So here we are. Thanks for reading!

Golf Alltrack — 45.3 MPG on a Short Freeway Trip

My Alltrack, now with 15k miles, has loosened up and gets even better economy than it did when new.

On a 32-mile route to Denver International Airport today I got 45.3 MPG. I measure it by selecting the Average MPG page in the Golf’s Multifunction Display, then pressing the OK button on the steering wheel after I’m on the freeway. It’s the best way to measure highway economy IMHO.

45.3 MPG Golf Alltrack
45.3 MPG Golf Alltrack

I drove at or above the speed limit, in 6th gear as much as possible, and not  at all aggressively. Voila,  45 MPG.

2017 Golf Alltrack — One Year in the Books

2017 Golf Alltrack

Part One

I still love her as much as Alltrack Ownership Day 1. She looks and performs as good as the day I took her home.

I had the 12-month scheduled service done at 10 months after the Service Due message appeared.  As it so happens, it looks like that service is actually a 10-month interval, and not based on driving style or cycles.

Every 10,000 miles: Engine oil (change), engine oil filter (change), brake pads (check brake pad thickness and brake discs), windshield washers, headlight cleaning system, service interval display (if applicable).

Every 20,000 miles: Engine oil (change), engine oil filter (change), battery (check), brakes (inspect brake system and shock absorbers), tires (check tread depth, condition, wear patterns, etc.), and much more.

Every 30,000 miles: Engine oil, engine oil filter, brake fluid (change), Haldex clutch (change oil), and so on…

Every 40,000 miles: Engine oil, engine oil filter, battery, dust and pollen filter (replace), brakes, spark plugs (replace), windshield washers, headlight cleaning system, transmission (change fluid), tires, body (visual inspection for corrosion), coolant level and frost protection (check), CV joints (check for leaks and damage), engine and compartment components, exhaust system (check for damage and leaks), headlights (check and adjust, if necessary), interior lighting and glove box lights, cigarette lighter, panoramic sunroof (check, clean, etc.), power steering (check fluid level), ribbed v-belt (check condition), test drive (check braking, steering, etc.), tie rod ends, and underbody sealant (check).

Alltrack Interior

The Marrakesh (brown) leatherette interior is still near-perfect with little or no signs of aging. The interior is durable and relatively handsome, for a sub-$30k car. I’m not crazy about the carbon fiber trim accent pieces, and they seem out of place in a car that has few sporting intentions, but they’re there and I’m not going to change them out.

The seats, which I’ve spent some time mentioning as my least favorite part of the Alltrack, continue to be my only substantive complaint. I’ve learned to live with them, and use a homemade thigh support pad I made out of hard foam.

Trips to the Dealer

Trips to the dealer amounted to just two. The first was for a smelly AC system, which was covered under warranty, and the second was the first scheduled maintenance. Both were quick and polite.

Volkswagen’s 50 Year Love Affair with Plaid

While plaid’s gone out of vogue with other car companies, Volkswagen has bravely reintroduced the once-common pattern in their iconic GTI, adding a surprisingly well-placed throwback to the GTI’s original ‘70s groovy-ness.

You might be surprised to learn, but the Golf GTI wasn’t the only car that VW donned with the now-iconic plaid. Throughout the ‘70s, the car maker ensconced several models in green, yellow, and red tartan.

But was Volkswagen’s plaid-affair truly unique – a beautiful right turn to the sometimes dreary world of vehicle seatery – or simply a product of their times? Well, yes and no. Continue reading “Volkswagen’s 50 Year Love Affair with Plaid”