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New for 2013, the Audi allroad does its best to take over where its predecessor the A4 Avant left off, and it does so with Audi's usual charisma and flair. The goal of the allroad is to offer the versatility of a station wagon in the high style of a luxury sedan, and it manages to find a happy medium, with respectable if not overwhelming success.
The allroad comes in three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige, and the base Premium model brings enough to the table to make it good option for families who aren't looking for a hulking engine and don't mind paying extra for options and packages.
But on paved roads, the 2-liter 211-horsepower turbocharged engine and Quattro all-wheel drive system make for an adventurous ride. The allroad also comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission and 18-inch all-season tires, with 19-inch wheels available as an upgrade.
Genuine leather covers the interior and the steering wheel; black and silver trim add an extra dimension of elegance to the cabin. 60/40 folding rear setbacks and plenty of trunk space make the interior feel roomier, and the panoramic sunroof is a nice bonus. Other standard features include roof rails, LED running lights and halogen headlights, automatic climate control, a power tailgate and eight-way adjustable front seats. Heated front seats are optional. Upgrading to the Lighting Package provides automatic headlamp leveling, xenon headlights and LED taillights.
Entertainment includes a ten-speaker radio and CD system with an MP3 reader, touchscreen center console and a 90-day SiriusXM Radio subscription. To get extra entertainment perks, buyers will need to upgrade to the Convenience Package, which provides Audi music interface with iPod hookup, a driver information system with trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity and a HomeLink garage door opener system.
Safety features include antilock brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control, off-road mode, traction control and an anti-theft alarm system.
While the allroad offers plenty to inspire the average driver, some of its best features are available only at the Premium Plus or Prestige trim levels. Considering the price, handling could be better, and fuel economy could be improved. Direct competitors such as the Subaru Outback and Volvo XC70 have more powerful engines and improved off-road capabilities -- though you won't find the Volvo out hiking the trails much, either.