Considering buying a used ALLTRACK (2017-2019) with AWD and manual transmission. I have only bought Hondas, Toyotas. I am wondering what the reliability issues, if any, there are with VW. I am hesitant to buy a VW car b/c of my concerns on this front. Any other thoughts appreciated, too. Thanks,
First of all , not all used vehicles of any brand will have the same problems all the time. I personally would never buy a used all wheel drive vehicle without having a shop look it over for a fee . You listed 2019 so just buy new with warranty and lower loan rates . There are really good deals out there now.
Do you really need AWD ?
I do need AWD (live in winter snowy climate).
Other than noises/leaks Consumer reports gives these an above average rating for reliability. My uncle’s 2019 Sportwagon is still being broken in so hard to say. Ended up with the VW because they were looking at dealerships inside the D.C. beltway and have previously owned small wagons. They haven’t had AWD and don’t really see the need but they’ve lived without there for decades.
You may consider taking it to an independent VW specialist, my brother’s 2009 GTi has been serviced by a trusted local shop since brand new and hasn’t been the problem child that many other GTI’s of the same year seem to be.
I lived in Illinois from when I was born until just before I turned 27, and drove through my share of brutal winter weather. Every vehicle I drove was front-wheel drive with NO traction control, stability control, not even anti-lock brakes.
Only once did I ever have to pay for a tow because I got stuck in the snow and ice. Even if having AWD would have prevented that, it would have been far more expensive to own and maintain an AWD vehicle for minimal benefit.
I would suggest looking at FWD models, as a 2-wheel drive drivetrain is much more reliable and easier to maintain (especially when it comes to replacing tires). 2-wheel drive is also generally more fuel efficient than 4-wheel drive, even on the same model.
A good source of info based on data is the April 2020 Consumer Reports. See p. 98 for VW. The closest vehicle to the Golf Alltrack in their data is the Golf SportsWagen. Overall reliability is much below average for 2016, average for 2017 and 2018. They had insufficient data for 2019. Their data doesn’t distinguish FWD from AWD - there may tend to be more costs and problems for the AWD versions.
I, too, doubt the need for AWD, having lived in WI and MN all my life. FWD with winter tires on those cars that needed it has worked for me.