2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack first drive: Playing catch-up

Deeply embroiled in one of the most complex corporate scandals ever, Volkswagen is at a crossroads—especially in the United States. The brand’s new Golf Alltrack represents a potential way out, at least if history is on VW’s side. 

Flash back to the mid-1990s, and had you been asked to wager on VW versus Subaru, picking the latter was inadvisable. But Subaru bet and won big with its Outback, a Legacy wagon with a lift kit and some rugged styling features. Today, the Outback is an icon—especially in the Northwestern United States, where VW gathered automotive media to launch a car that owes its existence to Subaru.

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The recipe is identical: The Golf Alltrack is a Golf SportWagen with taller springs and some styling add-ons to fit in at the REI parking lot. It’s easy to picture a green Old Town canoe or a pair of Specialized Stumpjumpers strapped to

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