After a seven-year absence, the 2013 Audi Allroad makes its return to the United States as a luxury vehicle and as a unique combination of a sporty wagon and versatile sporty crossover.
The reason for the Allroad’s non-specific categorization is multi-fold. How is it possible to categorize a front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon with a turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection and an eight-speed automatic transmission with a manual shifting mode?
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
Like all Audis, the Allroad is a driver’s delight. I wish I would have had a long highway trip planned to further experience its open-road comfort and competent handling.
While sleekly titled as an all-road vehicle (as opposed to the commonly used off-road designation), the reintroduced Audi’s steady ride is largely due to its combination of 18-inch wheels, electronic stability control and electromechanical power steering.
The Allroad won’t satisfy an acceleration junkie, but its 6.3-second rating from 0-60 mph is fast enough, particularly since the acceleration is steady. The acceleration from 0-30 mph seems like the same acceleration from 30-60 mph.
I didn’t drive the Allroad off-road, but the new model has a few features that would have helped. The stability control includes a special mode which allows for more wheelspin if the car’s stuck. Ground clearance has increased from the previous model by 7.1 inches. And the Allroad also features some skid-plate and underbody protection.
As a wagon/crossover the Allroad has good cargo space and it’s categorized as a five-passenger car. But like many five-seaters, the Allroad is better suited for only two adults in the rear seats. There’s not a lot of legroom in the back, either. One positive: the rear seats fold and flip for a good chunk of extra storage space.
Like its well-established siblings, the Allroad has a sizable list of standard luxury features: leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, power front seats, panoramic sunroof, satellite radio, and MMI, Audi’s multi-media interface.
Options include: iPod/USB connectivity, a power tailgate, 19-inch wheels and tires, adaptive headlights; Bluetooth, wood interior trim, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen audio, sport seats and shift paddles and a navigation system.
For tech junkies, the Allroad matches several other Audi models with a slew gadgets and available services. With a monthly subscription, Audi Connect customers can get a built-in 3G connection, meaning it’s a wireless hotspot for up to 8 devices.
The connection also feeds into the navigation system to access Google Earth and Google Street View. Other links to satellite data bring provide real-time traffic and weather information.
Comfortable, confident, smooth drive.
Killer sound system.
Front grille is too deep. An Audi shouldn’t resemble Darth Vadar
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.3 seconds
Fuel economy: 20 mpg (city), 27 mpg (highway), 23 mpg (combined), eight-speed manual transmission.
Government safety ratings: NTHSA, Frontal (driver), not tested; Crash (passenger), not tested; Side (front seat), four stars; Crash (rear seat), five stars; Overall, not rated.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $39,600.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.audiusa.com.
Price as tested: $47,870.00
Warranty: Bumper-to-bumper, 4 years /50,000 miles; Powertrain, 4 years/50,000 miles; Roadside, 4 years/50,000 miles; Corrosion, 12 years/unlimited mileage.
What Others Say:
“The Allroad looks great, drives like a charm, and is in that sweet spot between a crossover and a wagon. While the price tag may be a bit daunting to some, especially compared to the other models in its class, the Allroad presents a compelling premium buy in a segment that is dwindling in size.” — Popular Science.
“Witness the 2013 Audi Allroad Quattro — a compact, all-wheel-drive, entry-level luxury (starting a bit under $40,000) wagon. ‘Practical’ never looked or felt so good, or served so well.” — Washington Post.
“The Allroad’s real strength is its cabin. With high-end materials, a thoroughly modern design and a range of upscale features, the Allroad stands out as a wonderful place to sit and motor.” — Edmunds.com
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Luxury, practical and utilitarian are not used together often, but the Allroad fits comfortably in all categories. The question is why Audi took so long to bring it back.”