Build or Buy: Alltrack or Mostlytrack, Some Jetta

For many enthusiasts, it’s tough to find the perfect car. If only there was a car with the performance of a GTI, the utility of a station wagon, and all-wheel-drive for light offroading. Volkswagen got 74% of the way there with the Golf Alltrack, but while the 1.8T is a fine little engine, it’s not as powerful as the GTI’s 2.0T. So why not swap engines? That’s right: put the heart of a GTI in an Alltrack and build the car you really want. Or, just buy it. The choice is up to you.

Argument: Buy

Article: 2017 Golf Alltrack SEL 2.0T

A few weeks back, in our Forum Friday series, we highlighted 20vTa4’s homemade Golf R SportWagen. He took a wrecked Golf R and swapped the entire drivetrain into a FWD Golf SportWagen. VWvortex member crxgat0r took a similar approach, but only needed to switch out the engine, and a 2.0T from a 2017 GLI was installed in the nose of his Alltrack SEL. So what you’re looking at here is essentially a Golf Alltrack Sportwagen GTI.

The engine isn’t the only upgrade to this Alltrack. It has a TVS Engineering DSG stage 3 tune, Golf R fuel injectors, an IS20 turbocharger, and much more. Somewhat oddly, the car sits on Eibach lowering springs. We have a strong urge to raise the suspension higher than stock for light offroading. But maybe that’s just us.

The real plus here: the price. crxgat0r is asking $25,000 for this 2017 Alltrack 2.0T. And it only has 39,000 miles. Check out the ad in our forums for more information.

Argument: Build

Article: 2017 Golf Alltrack SEL

To get an apples-to-apples comparison to our “Buy” car, a quick cars.com search lead to this fine example: a loaded white 2017 Golf Alltrack SEL DSG with only 14,738 miles. The price? Seattle Auto Brokers is asking only $16,997. Contrasting this with the “Buy” above, it’s $8000 less.

So what about the engine? A quick copart.com search for 2012+ GLI’s with rear-end damage brought us to this 2014 in North Carolina. The current bid is $150. Now it’s sure to go up, and with an Alltrack in the Pacific Northwest and a donor car in the Southeast makes this transplant logistically challenging, but our job is just to give you options.

So you can source the parts and build your own Alltrack GTI, or for $25,000 you can cruise the streets tomorrow. Just think about a raised suspension before hitting any trails.