2013 Audi Allroad Premium Quattro Wagon (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo AWD 8-speed Automatic)
Driven On 7/31/2012
Like the Volvo XC70 and Subaru Outback, the high-riding Audi Allroad is an alternative to crossover SUVs and traditional sedans. It offers a fantastic cabin, fancy styling and an eager turbocharged four-cylinder. But your wallet will pay for its Euro sophistication.
PerformanceThis is no A4 Avant sport wagon, but the Allroad is still a rewarding car to drive on pavement even though it's given up some precision for off-road ability. And don't let the little turbo four-cylinder fool you -- it's plenty potent.
A small turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the only engine choice, but it's a good one. Smooth, good torque.
Nice linear-feeling brakes out on the road with a firm pedal. Panic-stop distances were a bit longer than expected at the track, mostly due to the all-season tires.
The steering does a good job of adjusting effort from easy at parking lot speeds to a higher effort out on two-lane roads and highways. Precise and natural.
Pretty sporty handling feel, this despite a higher ride height and all-season tires. Cornering confidence is aided by the intuitive, natural-feeling steering.
Overall very good drivability, with the only exception being the jerkiness or play between the throttle and transmission at stop-and-go traffic speeds.
The Allroad's higher ground clearance and plusher suspension make it better than other wagons off-road, but by off-road we mean snowy on-road travel and maintained dirt roads.
ComfortThe Allroad is a comfortable car, but it isn't what we'd call plush. Between the hard yet supportive seats and stiffer than expected ride, it does have a little edge to it. But then, it also handles pretty well.
The front seats are comfortable despite cushions that are on the hard side. Good lateral support. The door and center armrerst could be more cushy.
The ride is smoother than the A4 Avant, but you'd think it would be even softer what with the extra suspension travel. It could do better at absorbing city potholes.
Wind noise is a bit higher than expected in a car like this, and we even thought a window was cracked open a couple of times. Road noise, though, is exceptionally low.
InteriorAudi is known for its classy interiors and the Allroad doesn't disappoint in terms of fit, finish and presentation. The infotainment system takes some learning, but techies will love it. Overall interior volume is down a bit to CUVs.
The iPod hookup is inconveniently located in the glovebox. The MMI infotainment system takes some getting used to. Furthermore, you can't access most stereo functions quickly.
It's surprisingly easy to get in/out of both the front and rear. The rear doors open very wide, but rear-seat passengers can get a foot hung up on B-pillar exiting the cabin.
Even with the standard sunroof there's plenty of front headroom, though elbow space is at a premium. Cramped elbow room in rear, too, and horrible foot room for middle rear seat.
The rear camera is excellent with a large screen. Although the roofline is low, the Allroad has very few blindspots due to small pillars and a decent-size rear window.
Small center armrest bin and no front bin. Narrow, forward-sloping door pockets. The netting on the front seatbacks is a cheap approach. Less cargo capacity than previous Allroad.
ValueThere's definite quality with this Allroad, but on-the-surface value isn't sterling. The $39,600 base price isn't bad, until you realize features like Bluetooth and iPod hookups cost extra. The Prestige model's $50,670 price is steep.
Build Quality (vs. $)
The build quality is excellent, inside and out. The materials are very good, other than the fake metal trim surrounding the center console, which comes across as cheap.
There are a lot of features, for sure, but they come at a high price. That the Allroad doesn't come standard with Bluetooth and iPod hookups is shameful.
The Allroad's $39,600 base price is reasonable given the performance and quality of the cabin. But at $50,670 for just a turbo-four? That's tougher to compute.
The EPA rates the Allroad at 20 city/27 highway/23 mpg combined. We averaged 21.5 mpg, which is decent because we quite often average less than the EPA city with turbo cars.
Audi's basic and drivetrain warranties cover the Allroad for 4 years/50,000 miles. That's better than some competitors, less than others. Corrosion warranty lasts for 12 years.
The Allroad comes with four years of 24-hour roadside assitance. The initial 5,000-mile maintenance is free. Beyond that they offer a pre-paid maintenance plan.
Fun To DriveOnly the most hard-core Volvo owners will try to tell you that the XC70 is fun to drive. It's certainly no V70R from the old days. The fun nature of the XC comes from its rugged ability to deal with all manner of weather and roads.
The experience is as much about a finely crafted interior as it is the driving dynamics. You know that you're driving a quality car.
There isn't as much personality as some Audis, although the Allroad's tougher-looking exterior adds some flair. We doubt those skid plates would really hold up off-road, though.
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