Looking for generous utility and all-weather capability, without stepping up to a crossover or SUV? Audi continues to offer a solution, in the form of a compact luxury wagon with a difference. As in its past incarnations, the Audi allroad stands ready to tackle storms and blizzards, and to perform light, family-friendly off-road duties.
Contrasting bodyside cladding and side sill inserts help the allroad look the part, too. That extra helping of ruggedness is complemented by a beautifully executed interior, loaded with helpful conveniences.
What's New for 2016
Each allroad model now contains a three-spoke multifunction, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Advanced key and Audi connect now are available as part of the Navigation Plus package. Premium Plus trim with the Technology Package now includes a Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Choosing Your Audi allroad
Every allroad wagon has all-wheel drive and stainless steel underbody skid plates, and provides a hefty 7.1 inches of ground clearance. Not only does this unique wagon look ready for rural action, it’s eager to perform some demanding tasks. Under the hood, a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine makes 220 horsepower, mating with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is estimated at 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway (24 mpg combined).
Premium and Premium Plus trim levels are offered, each with quattro all-wheel drive:
An available Technology Package includes MMI Navigation, plus a rearview camera, parking sensors, HD radio, Bang & Olufsen audio with a DVD player, Audi side assist, plus a suite of web-based features known as Audi connect. The $750 Sport Interior package adds sport front seats, a black headliner, power lumbar support, and Audi drive select.
Luxury wagons have almost become extinct in this age of crossovers, but Audi’s allroad continues to demonstrate the benefits of such vehicles, when creatively executed. Because the Premium trim level is so well-equipped, we prefer it to the Premium Plus model. Stepping up a notch, perhaps adding the tempting Technology Package, does get rather expensive for what amounts to a compact wagon -- even one as distinctively capable as an allroad.
For buyers who want extra utility without stepping up (literally) to a crossover or SUV, Audi serves up the Allroad, a compact luxury wagon fully prepared for blizzard conditions and light off-road duty.
Pricing and Equipment
The Allroad is offered in two well-equipped trim levels:
Starting at $43,625, the Premium model comes with power leather seats, a power tailgate, a panoramic sunroof and Audi's MMI infotainment interface with satellite radio. Navigation and an upgraded sound system are available in a $2,100 bundle.
For $47,825, the Premium Plus adds heated front seats with driver memory, auto-dimming heated side mirrors and keyless ignition. The $4,000 Technology package is a get-it-all bundle of tech features, from navigation and active safety assists to a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The Allroad utilizes Audi's familiar 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 220 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.
Performance highlights include:
Off-road Capability: In addition to all-wheel drive, the Allroad features underbody skid plates and 7.1 inches of ground clearance. That makes it suitable for off-road driving of the family-friendly sort.
Handling/Steering: Under normal driving conditions, the Allroad handles very much like a luxury-sport sedan. We didn't find any of the body lean associated with taller crossovers and SUVs.
Fuel Efficiency: The Allroad is rated at 24 mpg in combined driving, which we found to be spot-on accurate. In relaxed highway driving, we did even better than the official 28 mpg rating. Based on our experience, 30 mpg in steady cruising is obtainable.
With no engine upgrade available, the Allroad trails several similar-sized luxury vehicles in overall performance.
Due to the Allroad's beefier underpinnings, ride quality trails that of related Audi sedans.
There's no trade-off between ruggedness and comfort on the inside. You get the full, undiluted luxury sedan experience.
We never tired of piloting the Allroad thanks to its remarkably supportive front seats. That alone makes it an outstanding long-distance getaway vehicle for two.
The rear bench is mounted rather low, and it's nearly impossible to sit normally without your knees pressing against the front seat.
Cargo space maxes out a so-so 50 cubic-feet. Many small hatchbacks can handle more.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The Allroad quickly sails past the $50,000 mark when you start adding upgrades—some of which are standard on competing vehicles.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Despite its increased ride height and some extra pounds, the Allroad handles with greater precision and athleticism than Audi's compact sedans. It's unique suspension tuning obviously pays dividends on the road as well as off.
The Bottom Line
The Allroad is one the few luxury wagons left, and the best at demonstrating why the genre hasn't gone away.