If this sounds familiar, it's because Volkswagen actually debuted the Golf Alltrack at last year's New York Auto Show. But while that was technically a prototype, this is the production version, scheduled to hit US dealers this fall.

Take one Golf SportWagen, add an inch of ground clearance, some cladding on the body panels, and a redesigned lower front fascia, and you get the Alltrack. Of course, the Alltrack also comes with 4Motion all-wheel drive, including an off-road mode with hill descent control, but otherwise, it's everything you already know about the SportWagen in a decidedly more rugged package.

Under the hood is Volkswagen's 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four, with 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic will be the only transmission available at first, but here's some cool news: a six-speed manual will be available shortly after launch.

Last summer, I had the chance to put a European-spec, diesel-powered Golf Alltrack through its paces while on vacation in Germany. I drove it in cities, took it off road (sort of), piled four of my friends and their luggage inside, and put nearly 1,300 miles on the car over the course of two weeks. Heck, I even drove it on the Nurburgring (for good measure, of course). In every instance, the Alltrack performed admirably. It was comfortable, quiet, and efficient on the highway - that said, we aren't getting the diesel engine anymore, for obvious reasons. It had more than enough room for everyone and their stuff. And in close-quartered European cities, the small Golf footprint made it easy to park and maneuver. I tell you this because, aside from that engine, the car we're about to get here in the US is largely the same. And it's awesome. Need the functionality of a small crossover but don't want to just get the same Ford Escape as everyone else? Buy a Golf Alltrack.

I'm excited for these to arrive on our shores later this year. To read the full details about the US-spec model ahead of its New York debut, scroll down for the official press blast.

Read more on Autoblog.