The Car Connection Audi Allroad Overview
The Audi A4 Allroad is a compact luxury wagon with a rugged exterior and crossover-like abilities. It's a wagon replacement that Audi sells in the U.S. instead of a more conventional, lower-riding Avant wagon.
The Allroad is a rival for vehicles such as the Subaru Outback and the Volvo V60 Cross Country, although it is more luxurious than the Subaru.
MORE: Read our 2017 Audi Allroad review
Today's Allroad is based on the Audi A4. This blend of wagon and crossover sensibilities separates the Allroad from the Q3, Q5, and Q7 that make up Audi’s crossover-utility range.
The new Audi Allroad
For the 2017 model year, Audi's again based a new Allroad off the A4 architecture. Essentially a raised A4 wagon with front- or all-wheel drive, the new Allroad has some distinguishing details, like a vertically ribbed grille, flared plastic cladding, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The new Allroad shares the A4 interior, with a wide horizontal band of vents and trim and a pair of screens dominating the cockpit. A 12.3-inch screen takes the place of the gauge cluster, while a 7.0-inch screen (optionally, an 8.3-inch screen) runs the infotainment system.
A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 252 horsepower pairs with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and pushes the Allroad to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. Fuel economy is as high as 25 mpg combined. As it does on the A4, Audi offers a Drive Select system that can tailor steering, transmission, throttle, suspension, and all-wheel-drive settings through driver-adjustable modes. A new all-wheel-drive system can decouple its rear wheels to improve fuel economy.
The Allroad is slightly larger than before, but the chief attraction is cargo space: up to 58.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down, and 24.2 cubic feet with the rear seats raised. No crash-test data is yet available, but the Allroad offers adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and a rearview camera. Other features included are standard power features, Bluetooth, keyless ignition, a panoramic sunroof, power front seats, and Audi's MMI infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Audi Allroad history
The first Audi Allroad, sold from 2001 to 2006, followed a similar formula, but was a different car in a number of ways. It was essentially an A6 Avant wagon fitted with Audi's quattro all-wheel-drive system, along with an adjustable-ride-height suspension, tougher-looking body trim and cladding, and some distinct luxury features. Pricing started around $42,000—a substantial sticker price for a decade ago—for a 250-hp, 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6 in its first four model years, paired with automatic or (unusually) manual transmissions.
For the last two years, the Allroad switched to a 4.2-liter V-8 producing 300 hp. The suspension could be raised to provide more than 8 inches of ground clearance, and the all-wheel-drive system provided solid roadholding and cornering capabilities over a wide range of surfaces and weather conditions. Luxury features included Bose audio and navigation; safety features included parking sensors, stability control, and rear side airbags.
Audi introduced a new Allroad for the 2013 model year. it was based on the then-new A4, but had a different grille and faux skid plates to toughen its look. At 2.3 inches taller and 0.6 inch wider than the first-generation Allroad, the second-generation wagon had a longer wheelbase, and provided more leg room and head room. Cargo space rivaled that of the best compact luxury crossovers at 27.6 cubic feet, and the five-passenger Allroad's rear seats folded and flipped for expandable storage space.
The sole engine offering was a 211-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Optional dynamic steering and Drive Select systems tailored the Allroad's electric power steering, transmission, throttle, and shock settings for sporty or comfortable driving at the driver's request. In 2015, output was raised to 220 hp.
Allroad standard equipment included leather upholstery; a choice of wood or aluminum trim; 19-inch wheels and tires; satellite radio; Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI) complete with iPod/USB connectivity; a power tailgate; adaptive headlights; a panoramic sunroof; Bluetooth; Bang & Olufsen audio; and a navigation system.
The second-generation Allroad was one of several Audi vehicles to adopt the brand's Connect suite of telematics. With a monthly subscription, Audi Connect tapped into a built-in 3G connection that turned the Allroad into a rolling wireless hotspot for up to eight devices and enabled Google local searches via MMI.