I read a press release headline Wednesday that I'd been expecting: "Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and SportWagen to end production in 2019."
As a 2017 Golf Alltrack owner, I was bummed to finally see that. I love my navy blue Alltrack with a Marrakesh Brown interior, but warning signs that the model wasn't catching on were there all along.
I was what you would call an early adopter of the Alltrack.
I was in the market for a car right around the time VW showed the production Alltrack at the 2016 New York auto show. Hooked, I began reading as much as I could about the wagon, as if the more I read the sooner it would be available for a test drive.
I looked at other vehicles, but the more I read Alltrack reviews, the more it solidified my decision.
In December 2016 I found my Alltrack at a dealership back home in Chicagoland, so I made a long weekend out of the purchase to visit my parents.
I was watching Thursday Night Football in my parents' living room the night before my purchase when an Alltrack commercial came on. A commercial advertising a wagon during an NFL game.
What a concept.
The dealership had already chopped a substantial amount off the sticker price from the get-go. At the time I couldn't believe my good fortune but looking back it was a clear sign that the model might not see a second generation in the crossover-crazed U.S.
Once I had my Alltrack I was thrilled. Not only did I have a new car but it was fun to drive and, best of all, it was a practical wagon -- something different. I had found a unique alternative in a market that was becoming more crossover heavy and, to me, mostly mundane.
But it soon became clear that the general population didn't feel the same way. Sure, my car enthusiast friends are fans of it. And when I mention that I drive an Alltrack within automotive media circles it's typically well received.
In the two-and-a-half years that I've been driving my Alltrack, I've seen maybe 100 or so in the Detroit area or elsewhere. To be sure, the domestic brands dominate the scene here so when I see a fellow Alltrack in waves of crossovers and pickups, it's noticeable.
I'm not in the market for a new vehicle and don't plan to be for a while, but it is a letdown to know that a next-gen Golf Alltrack won't be on my list. It would've been something to look forward to and I'll miss that choice if and when the time comes.
The Subaru Outback, at which the Alltrack was squarely aimed, will certainly be around the next time I'm in the market. But outside of the Outback, I don't see many affordable wagons or wagonlike vehicles available in the U.S. It's not like the Opel-derived Buick Regal TourX can be long for this world, either.
Just last week, I went to pick up my lawn mower from a repair shop. One of the employees helped me load the mower into the wagon (talk about practicality) and began asking questions about it, clearly interested in what I drove.
"There aren't enough wagons anymore," he said after I closed the gate.
In the release VW was quick to point out the success of the brand's Tiguan and Atlas and mentioned that even more crossovers are coming.
But as an Alltrack owner, that doesn't matter to me. And I would imagine other Alltrack and SportWagen owners might feel the same way.
I mean, if we didn't buy a crossover in the first place, why start now?