A 1,200-mile road trip is no easy task for many vehicles, even in 2017, so what better way to test a new car's mettle than to see how well it handles a 10-hour trek through the Rust Belt? On paper, few vehicles are better equipped to handle all that the Great Lakes states can throw at it than the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, and as such, I was pleased to have booked one for Kyle Campbell's and my journey from New York to Detroit for the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

Over 30 feet of cargo capacity, leatherette seats with heat in the front, a miserly turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and most importantly, standard all-wheel drive makes for perhaps the perfect winter road trip companion. The only questions were whether it would ride more like the economy car it's based on than a typical German sedan, and if everything would hold up to the task for such a long ride.

Chances are, if you're a fan of European car designs in general, specifically everything to come from Volkswagen and Audi in recent years, you'll think the Alltrack is quite handsome. I certainly do, and despite the face it shares with its economy car brethren and the body cladding and fender flaring that's a bit too on-the-nose, this is a wagon that's certain to look good for years to come.

Sure, there's none of the rakish good looks and high technology-meets-design of the Audi A4 Allroad, but if you squint really, really hard, you may not be able to tell the difference between the two from certain angles. With silver accents, black plastic trim, and a slightly raised appearance, this VW checks all the right boxes for urban and suburban - or should I say "Subaru-ban" - young couples and small families with a taste for outdoor adventure, just as the marketers hoped and prayed it would.

The sharp lines and tight front fascia are befitting of a compact wagon, though when viewed from the side, the Alltrack seems to be chunkier in the midsection, the tall greenhouse and short overhangs making for a minivan-like stance.

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