Why it's OK to love it: It's a durable, German alternative to the Subaru Outbacks of the world.
It may be little more than an AWD Golf wagon that's been lifted ever so slightly, but the Alltrack still makes a compelling case in areas of the country where things get mucky. It combines everything you like about driving a Golf -- size, maneuverability, power, build quality -- with the capability of a hiking boot. And as I learned during a brief stint off-road, it can even lift a wheel and make it through fairly tough terrain. If you like the Golf Alltrack’s value proposition but don’t need the two-tone trim, check out the Golf SportWagen S 4MOTION, which is nearly the same package, just lower to the ground, for three grand less.