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Volkswagen Adds Rugged Alltrack, Nixes Jetta Hybrid for 2017

17Volkswagen_Golf_Sportwagen_AllTrak_ES_Carousel.jpg 2017 VW Golf SportWagen Alltrack; | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — Volkswagen is dropping its only hybrid and adding a more rugged-looking, all-wheel-drive Alltrack version of its Golf wagon as it otherwise makes mostly minor tweaks to its lineup for 2017.

Related: 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Review

Gone is the Jetta Hybrid sedan after a three-year run. It won praise for its driving manners (it was fun to drive, and not just for a hybrid), technology and 42/48/44 mpg city/highway/combined mileage ratings. But it never was more than a splinter of Jetta sales — in part, perhaps, because VW offered it only in the top SEL Premium trim with a relatively hefty starting price of $31,940 including a destination charge. A base gasoline 2016 Jetta starts at $18,500 with destination.

The Alltrack model adds a more SUV-like look to the regular Golf SportWagen with body cladding, its own bumpers and grille, 17- or 18-inch wheels and about an inch more ground clearance. The main mechanical difference is a version of VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive with an Off-Road Mode for at least light off-the-pavement duty that includes a hill descent control and off-road information, such as steering angle, on the display screen. Interior upgrades include aluminum pedal covers, doorsills with Alltrack badging, ambient lighting and a special Alltrack brown color option for the standard leatherette upholstery. Pricing is still to be announced for the new model.

The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system will be newly optional for 2017 on the SportWagen, as well, on the S trim.

Other changes to the lineup for 2017 include new special editions for the Beetle (see the review here) including a Dune Convertible model in addition to the current coupe, a revived Beetle Classic value trim and a limited-edition #PinkBeetle coupe and convertible in Fresh Fuchsia Metallic with pink-trimmed interior that should stand out. All Beetle coupes get front and rear bumpers that mimic the R-Line trim.

For Golf GTI fans there is a new four-door Sport trim with a Performance Package — 10 more horsepower, bigger brakes, torque-sensing limited-slip differential and new 18-inch aluminum wheels.

In other changes, the CC loses its Trend, R-Line 2.0T and V6 Executive trims. Golf, Touareg and Tiguan have revised trims and get value-oriented Wolfsburg Editions.

And for several models driver safety and assistance technology, such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, is newly offered on lower-priced trims.

The 2017 lineup changes are almost like treading water as VW deals with settling its diesel emissions scandal, with reportedly billions in penalties and owner compensation to come and major damage to its reputation as the scandal drags on without resolution. The brand’s sales are down more than 13 percent so far this year.

 

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