An all-new model, the 2013 Audi Allroad replaces the A4 Avant wagon
Audi allroad Video Review
The original Audi Allroad wagon earned good reviews on its debut more than a decade ago, but quietly slipped away within five years as Americans embraced the growing popularity of crossover SUVs. But Audi is trying again, this time with the 2013 Allroad.
This time around, the Allroad is based on the A4, not the larger, heavier A6 that underpinned its predecessor. The new Allroad is 2.5 inches taller, slightly longer and wider, and offers more ground clearance than the A4 wagon (Avant) it replaces. The Allroad is still less of a serious off-roader, however, and more of a competent all-weather vehicle than can take you off-highway on a whim.
As with the A4, the 2013 Audi Allroad offers only one choice of engine and transmission: a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder teamed with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. But 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.
The Allroad's taller ride height and all-wheel drive make it something of an odd duck in the small-wagon class. The BMW xDrive 328i is its closest competitor, but it lacks the same will to get dirty. A size up, there's the Volvo XC70. It follows the same outdoorsy wagon theme as the Allroad and is roomier and less expensive, but isn't as nice inside and gets lower fuel economy. You can say pretty much the same thing about the Subaru Outback.
Then there's a host of small luxury crossovers to consider, including Audi's Q5, the BMW X3, the Mercedes GLK-Class and the Volvo XC60. These typically provide more cargo room and SUV-like design at the expense of handling. All told, the 2013 Allroad's appeal is pretty narrow. But for the shopper looking to split the difference between wagon and crossover SUV, it's an ideal pick.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Audi Allroad is a five-passenger wagon available in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels.
Standard features on Premium models include 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, cruise control, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way power front seats(with four-way power lumbar) and a 10-speakersound system with CD player and satellite radio. An optional Convenience package adds Bluetooth, an iPod interface and an enhanced trip computer, while the Lighting package includes bi-xenon headlamps and LED running lights.
All of the above features are included in the Premium Plus trim, along with heated exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, heated front seats, driver memory functions, three-zone automatic climate control and auto-dimming mirrors. An optional MMI Navigation package adds a navigation system with real-time traffic, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, voice controls, HD radio, a color trip computer screen, Audi Connect Web services and MMI controls located on the center console.
The Allroad Prestige comes standard with adaptive headlamps, keyless ignition/entry, a blind-spot warning system, the Navigation package and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system (optional on Premium Plus). Options unique to the Prestige include adaptive cruise control, adjustable settings for steering and transmission, and manual rear sunshades.
The Sport Interior package (also offered on Premium Plus) adds more aggressively bolstered 12-way power seats and a three-spoke steering wheel with transmission shift paddles. Nineteen-inch wheels are also available on both Prestige and Premium Plus, while rear side airbags and wood trim are optional on all levels.
Powertrains and Performance
All 2013 Audi Allroad models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 211 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control and standard all-wheel drive.
In Edmunds testing, the Allroad went from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, which is average for an entry-level luxury car. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
Standard safety features on the 2013 Audi Allroad include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional on all trim levels, while a blind-spot warning system is standard on the Prestige.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Allroad came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is average.
In government crash tests, the Audi Allroad earned five stars for side crash protection, but has not yet been rated in overall frontal crash protection as of this writing. The A4 sedan on which the Allroad is based, however, earned an overall rating of four stars out of a possible five. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the A4 its highest rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side impact crash testing, as well as roof strength tests, and that was without the optional rear-seat side airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
Among luxury wagons, the 2013 Audi Allroad's interior is one of the best in its class. With its modernist design, top-notch materials and standard leather upholstery (an advantage over BMW and Volvo rivals), the Allroad sends a message of sophisticated refinement.
Most MMI infotainment functions are conveniently accessed around the shift lever on models equipped with the navigation system. Cars without navigation, however, have MMI on the dash, which is far less convenient and user-friendly. Navigation-equipped cars also get the newer, improved version of MMI.
The Allroad offers 17 cubic feet behind the second-row seats and 51 cubes with the seats folded. These dimensions are average for the class. And although the Allroad isn't a true off-roader, its stainless steel skid plates, lower body cladding and 7.1 inches of ground clearance provide peace of mind when heading further afield in search of sand, snow, or single-track.
The Allroad's higher profile makes it more compliant with road imperfections, but sacrifices some cornering and handling ability. This is a fair trade for a car that can detect when it's gone off-road and adjusts its level of stability control accordingly. The Allroad isn't totally without feel, though -- it's still a pretty sporty car to drive, and the steering requires an appropriate amount of effort and sends clear feedback to the driver.
The optional Drive Select system on the Prestige allows the driver to tailor steering, throttle and transmission responsiveness, and while it's an interesting -- and pricey -- idea, we've found in testing that it creates more drawbacks than solutions. Most drivers should find the Allroad's standard calibrations perfectly acceptable.
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