The Audi allroad treads the fine line between a true wagon and a compact SUV with an emphasis on luxury. While it is bigger than the A4 Avant wagon it replaces, buyers who remember older allroad models should know it's built on Audi's compact line, and not the A6.
It faces off against some tough competitors, including the BMW 328i wagon and Volvo XC70. Still, the allroad is almost in a class of its own, which makes it worth a good look.
The 2014 Audi Allroad makes about 10 more horsepower, but buyers might be more interested in the now-standard Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
The allroad may remind shoppers of older Subaru Foresters -- a wagon with extra height and ground clearance. It shares the same lines as the Audi A4 except for plastic cladding that protects wheel arches and other areas that can get dinged up or coated in road salt.
Inside, Audi's attention to detail shines through. As it did with the exterior, Audi took a swing at making the interior feel avant garde while still swaddling occupants in comfort. Storage is a little bit tight compared to small SUVs, but it is more capacious than sedans and hatchbacks.
Under the Hood
Audi will let allroad buyers choose any powertrain they want, as long as it's a 220-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Acceleration is decent at roughly 7 seconds to 60 mph. The weight of all-wheel drive cuts somewhat into fuel economy numbers -- the EPA estimates an allroad will get 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
The Audi allroad is a bit of a soft-roader: the quattro system keeps it on track in all types of weather. At the same time, the increased height makes the ride a bit softer than some sports sedans. The benefit is a blend of good on- and off-road performance.
The allroad 2.0 premium is the base package, but it comes with a number of features ranging from automatic climate control and a panoramic sunroof to an exceptional sound system paired with a CD player and satellite radio. For driving safety, the headlights are automatic while the 18-inch wheels are clad with enough rubber to smooth out bumps without leading to mushy handling.
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The xDrive 328i offers similar quality but not quite off-road capable
Sporty and spacious along with a more spartan interior
Good versatility and price but not quite as luxurious
More cargo room and ground clearance but worse on fuel