Highway MPG Report – Golf Alltrack – Mountain Twisties

My Alltrack got 30.8 MPG at an average of 42 MPH on this tour of popular Colorado mountain towns. Everything off I-70 features 30-55 MPH state roads with some sections featuring lots of twisties. I-70 is a typical 65-70 MPH speed limit interstate. That’s the long east-west one in the map below.

  • Denver to Dillon
  • Dillon to Leadville
  • Leadville to Aspen
  • Aspen to Glenwood Springs
  • Glenwood Springs to Dillon
  • Dillon to Denver
Route

My 2017 Golf Alltrack S did really well at these very high altitudes. Power was down so little I didn’t notice any loss at all, even in Leadville, Elevation: 10,151 feet. Total distance was 399 miles with various non-highway meanderings.

Leadville has the highest elevation of any incorporated city in the United States.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadville,_Colorado
Highway 82 twisties
Highway 82 twisties, satellite map
MPG
Distance on 1 tank of gasoline

My new tires were a little squishy on turns, being all seasons made for snow and rain. Otherwise, the car handled about how I expected it to handle, which was better than 85% of other cars, but nowhere near sports-car or even sports sedan level.

AC worked great. Brakes never got hot, because with a manual transmission I did most of my braking via the engine. This is totally possible with an auto.

The Alltrack’s seats are not meant for spirited driving. I slid around like a puck on ice. They’re so-so for long-distance driving, being neither what I would call above average comfortable, nor offering many ways to adjust them. If you’re looking for long-distance Alltrack seats, look at the SEL models with their far-more-adjustible units.

Lake Dillon CO
Highway 82, Colorado
Glenwood Springs, CO

I Just Ordered a Set of ExtremeContact DWS 06 for my Alltrack – Size 225/50/17

Discount Tire meets any challenger’s advertised price, like Tire Rack, but in this case they didn’t have to. The two prices are a penny apart.

These Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 don’t come in the 17-inch Alltrack’s size, so I got a slightly wider size.

Original tire size:
205/55/17

These:
225/50/17

Alltrack’s tire size is a pretty rare size, so as this VW model comes in for its first round of tire replacement, there will be a little bit of Googling, hair-pulling and general head-scratching while owners look to source 205-55-17 tires.

My 225-50-17 choice is an almost exact circumference match, so there is no gearing difference or speedometer/odometer difference. Also, the tires cause no rubbing on the fender liners.

This is my third set of ExtremeContact DWS tires… so to say I love them is pretty obvious! The first two sets were on Volvos, which I’ve written about here. That car (Volvo V70 R) was, like our Alltracks, an AWD turbo wagon.

I ❤️ExtremeContact DWS

Alltrack MPG: Best City & Best Highway

2017 Golf Alltrack - MPG talk

Here’s my Alltrack fuel economy findings after two years and 20k miles in my 2017 Golf Alltrack:

City

Floor: 20 MPG, Ceiling: 30 MPG

Highway

Floor: 30 MPG, Ceiling: 45 MPG

The Truth About Cold Engines

There’s a city MPG caveat. Anyone can get 10 MPG city if you just drive a mile. That’s because there’s a hole you have to dig out of every time you start your car, and that hole is the warmup period. When the engine is cold, like when you start it, it’s just going to give you crap MPG. Every ICE (internal combustion engine) car is like this. Just please, don’t idle your car to warm it up. This pollutes more than if you just drive.

When the warmup is complete, usually after 1-3 miles or around 5 minutes, you’ll get decent fuel economy. My figures include warmup time, but exclude trips of less than 3 miles.

Driving Style Affects Fuel Economy

The reason I have floors and ceilings on my MPG numbers is because driving styles vary… in my case they vary wildly. Sometimes I drive fast (but safely). Sometimes I accelerate very slowly and try to preserve momentum to reduce the frequency of using the gas pedal.

How Fast Is It? Alltrack + JB4

Alltrack with rear hatch open

Now I’ve got a couple actual examples of how fast my Alltrack with a JB4 is: a little faster than a GTI.

Today marked the second stoplight duel between a Mk 7 GTI vs. me in my 2017 Alltrack with a JB4 set to max boost.

The GTI was at my back bumper halfway through 3rd gear. I didn’t gap him, but the victory was clear. His front bumper was at my back bumper. I wanted to chat at the next light and rolled down my window but he wasn’t interested :'(

If the GTI does 0-60 mph in 6.0 sec, then my Alltrack does 0-60 mph in 5.9.

Keep in mind Car & Driver test results are generally impossible to recreate in the real world. So take my 5.9 seconds with a grain of salt.

This marks the second time in recent weeks I’ve pulled against a late model VW GTI, and both have been in my favor.

But I Lost at Seating

The only place I lost was in the seats: as cool as my Marrakesh Brown interior is, it’s no VW plaid.

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 AlltrackWorld.com 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.