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”

Golf Climate Control – Cool Air Without AC?

In a word: yes. But only if the outside temperature is below 55°F.

It may sound strange, but this is a big thing for me. I want to maximize efficiency and as everybody knows, air conditioning is a hit to fuel economy.

So to avoid this I’d keep AC off but turn on the cool air — temperature dial on full cool and blower on 2 or 3. If it’s say 70°F outside and you need some cold air, this should work. Right?

Sadly, my Golf Alltrack’s climate control system simply doesn’t let cool, outside air into the cabin… there’s some degree (get it? heh) of heating that happens to ambient air. Continue reading “Golf Climate Control – Cool Air Without AC?”