30 Days Of Audi Allroad: The Gas Mileage Run

June 10, 2013
Our 2013 Audi Allroad arrived with EPA ratings of 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and the way we’ve been driving it, we didn’t seriously think we’d come close to meeting them.

Yet in 462 miles so far—mostly rapid, short suburban and urban errands—we’ve averaged an excellent 23.7 mpg.

Admittedly, that includes the frugally minded miles related to this post; but it also includes social media manager Joel Feder’s time spent taking the Allroad off-road last week.

But it’s still very impressive. As we’ve come to learn—and accept—time and time again, the EPA numbers are by no means in lock-step with the mileage you’ll see in the real world. While they come remarkably close to estimating the real-world mileage of some models, with others we’re left wondering how our mileage can be so far off.

In the city: Spot-on

Essentially, what we’ve seen so far is that in city-style stop-and-go driving, the EPA rating seems spot-on; we’ve observed between 18 and 21 mpg in this kind of driving—basically verifying the 20-mpg city estimate. But on the highway, we’ve actually seen much higher—consistently—than the 27-mpg highway rating.

Individual trip averages (using the trip computer’s handy individual trip function) have ranged from about 18 mpg round-trip for a ten-mile traffic-clogged meander across neighborhoods up to 29 mpg for a 20-mile gentle boulevard-and-freeway errand where we must have ‘made all the lights.’

Although we haven’t taken any long road trips yet, we decided to put the Allroad’s seemingly great highway mileage to the test: How good does it get? Read on to see.

2013 Audi Allroad

2013 Audi Allroad

Realistically, more than 30 mpg on the highway

On a warm, 79-degree Saturday afternoon, leaving the automatic climate control on and set to 72 degrees, windows up, and sound system on. Setting the cruise control to an indicated 70 mph, we ran the Allroad along a mostly level stretch of Interstate nearby—when traffic was very light—for exactly ten miles (indicated by mileposts and checked with the trip computer). In one direction we saw 35.1 mpg on the trip computer, while back in the other direction we saw 34.0 mpg.

Even factoring in some breaks, and a little more speed fluctuation due to traffic, this is a car that we feel will easily top 30 mpg on the highway at speeds of 65 to 70.

Then we put the Allroad through our familiar Portland-area gas-mileage loop. Over 40 miles—about half on the freeway, a quarter in tighter, lower-speed urban driving, and a quarter in faster suburban stop-and-go with lots of traffic lights—we didn't hypermile or resort to any tactics that might clog traffic or elicit road rage. Rather, we headed out at a time when traffic was light and just tried to drive as smoothly as possible—accelerating gradually, and lifting off the accelerator to coast a while earlier than we normally might.

Again, with outside temps in the upper 70s, we ran the climate control at 72 degrees and 'auto' when at highway speeds, or windows-down and climate control off at lower speeds.

Close to 30 mpg on the commute? It’s possible, only if you’re a featherfoot

The final numbers: 32.3 mpg according to the trip computer, or 32.9 mpg based on our very careful fill and top-off of the tank before and after. Considering a surprise snag at one point along the way due to a stalled vehicle, we’ll call it 33 mpg.

The Allroad does require premium fuel; but even considering that, it’s phenomenal for a stocky quattro all-wheel-drive wagon, with the responsive performance that its 2.0-liter turbocharged 'TFSI' engine and six-speed automatic manages.

How will the Allroad fare over the entire month, and out on a road trip? Stay tuned for that, and check back in for all of our 30 Days of Audi Allroad coverage.

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