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
With the luggage cover extended, rear mirror vision is obscured.
Facts & Figures: 2013 Audi Allroad
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.”