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Volkswagen's 2017 Golf Alltrack is half crossover, half station wagon

Volkswagen will introduce a more rugged version of the Golf Sportwagen called Alltrack at the New York Auto Show. The crossover-ized station wagon has been on sale in Europe for about a year, but it has never been offered on our side of the pond before.

The Golf Alltrack sits about an inch higher than the Sportwagen, and it receives protective cladding on bottom of both bumpers, over the wheel arches, and over the rocker panels. Silver accents on both ends add a stylish touch that’s vaguely reminiscent of Audi’s allroad-branded wagons. Inside, Volkswagen has added leatherette upholstery on the seats, aluminum pedal covers, and ambient lighting to create a more premium look and feel.

The only engine offered is a 1.8-liter, gasoline-burning four-cylinder that’s both direct-injected and turbocharged. It sends 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and the latest generation of Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Surprisingly, a six-speed manual transmission will be available a little later in the production run.

The Alltrack comes standard with an evolution of Volkswagen’s Drive Mode selector that includes a dedicated off-road mode. Helpful when the going gets tough, off-road mode turns on a hill descent control function that helps the wagon crawl down steep hills, and it optimizes the traction control system for off-road situations. Additionally, the information display in the instrument cluster shows the steering angle, the altitude, and a compass when off-road mode is activated.

Related: Volkswagen might build an 80-mpg hybrid hatchback to take on the Prius

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack will go on sale across the nation in the fall. Pricing information hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s safe to assume the Alltrack will cost a little more than the regular Sportwagen, which currently starts at $21,625.