Full 2014 Audi allroad Review
What's New for 2014
For 2014, the Audi Allroad's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gets a power boost, up from 211 horsepower to 220. A few more features, including Bluetooth and an iPod interface, are now standard.
Introduced more than a decade ago, Audi's original A6-based Allroad was a moderately rugged wagon built to tackle on- and off-road adventures in style. After a few years' hiatus, the Allroad returned to dealer showrooms last year. This time based on the A4 platform, the 2014 Audi Allroad is smaller and more city-oriented. It still has the goods for all-weather pursuits and light off-road travel, but now it's basically an A4 wagon with extra ground clearance and extra body cladding.
As is typically the case with all things Audi, though, the Allroad's primary strength is its exquisitely appointed cabin. The design is modern and upscale, and materials quality is never less than first-rate. In the tradition of the finest luxury automobiles, even the smallest details seem to have been carefully thought through with the driver's comfort in mind, from the gentle, eye-friendly gauge illumination to the satisfying way in which the steering wheel fits in the hands.
Handling is easy and agreeable, and the Allroad delivers the smooth ride quality that well-heeled city dwellers and suburbanites will expect. Standard all-wheel drive makes the car a suitable companion for those who slosh through rain and snow. In addition, with 7.1 inches of ground clearance and standard skid plates, it can take on deeper snow and maintained dirt roads when the need arises.
Among small luxury wagons, the Allroad's closest rival is the BMW xDrive 328i. These two German wagons are pretty similar in terms of their desirability, though the 3 Series isn't as capable off-road. The Volvo XC70 boasts similar off-road versatility and is roomier as well, but it can't match the Allroad in fuel economy and interior quality. If you're not set on getting a station wagon, consider compact luxury crossovers like the BMW X3, Mercedes GLK-Class and Volvo XC60, as they offer attributes similar to the Audi's. They're worth a look if you need more cargo room. In the end, the 2014 Audi Allroad caters to a very specific niche. If you're looking for a luxurious small wagon that's comfortable around town, fun to drive on back roads and built to weather the occasional off-road jaunt, the Allroad could be an ideal companion.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 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); a dash-mounted Multi Media Interface (MMI); Bluetooth phone connectivity; and a 10-speaker sound system with an iPod interface, a CD player and satellite radio. This trim is available with a Lighting package that includes bi-xenon headlights and LED running lights.
The features in the Premium trim and Lighting package are included on the Premium Plus trim, along with heated exterior mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition/entry, heated front seats, driver memory functions, three-zone automatic climate control and auto-dimming mirrors. An optional MMI Navigation package adds a navigation system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, voice controls, HD radio, a color trip computer screen, Bluetooth audio connectivity and Audi Connect (enhanced Web-based navigation, information and WiFi access). The MMI controls are also relocated from the dash to the center console. A blind-spot warning system is available as an option.
The Allroad Prestige comes standard with all of the features in the Premium trim and MMI Navigation package, plus adaptive headlights, a blind-spot warning system, manual sunshades for the rear doors and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system (optional on Premium Plus).
The Driver Assist package (offered on the Prestige trim) includes adaptive cruise control and adjustable settings for the steering and transmission. The Sport Interior package (offered on Prestige and Premium Plus) adds sport front seats and a three-spoke steering wheel with transmission shift paddles. Nineteen-inch wheels are available on the Prestige and Premium Plus, while rear side airbags are optional on all levels.
Powertrains and Performance
All 2014 Audi Allroad models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 220 hp 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. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
Standard safety features on the 2014 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. A rearview camera and parking sensors are optional on Premium Plus models and come standard on Prestige models.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Allroad came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is slightly better than average for this segment.
In government crash tests, the Audi Allroad earned a top five-star overall rating, with five stars each for total frontal- and side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not tested the Allroad, but the related A4 sedan earned a best possible score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal offset, side and roof-strength tests. The A4 sedan did receive the worst rating of "Poor" in the IIHS's new small-overlap frontal offset crash test, but few cars have been subjected to this test, and a majority received similarly low ratings.
Interior Design and Special Features
Among luxury wagons, the 2014 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.
Infotainment functions are controlled by Audi's MMI. This consists of a small knob surrounded by buttons that together control menus on a central screen. Overall, it's an effective interface, though some audio functions are buried in menus and, in practice, we've found BMW's iDrive and Mercedes' COMAND are a bit more intuitive to use. Allroads without navigation have the MMI controller located on the dash instead of the center console, which is less convenient to operate.
The Allroad offers 17 cubic feet behind the second-row seats and 51 cubes with the seats folded. These dimensions are average for a small luxury wagon, though you will find more in most crossover SUVs. If you're planning on a lot of road trips, the Allroad's meager allotment of door-bin and console storage in the cabin might be problematic.
The 2014 Audi Allroad's turbocharged four-cylinder may not be the most thrilling or aurally pleasing engine in the world, but it can still pin you to your seat when you put the gas pedal to the floor. Ample torque allows for quick bursts of acceleration around town and stress-free merging onto highways.
The Allroad's slightly higher ride height and exclusive use of all-season tires make it feel a bit less athletic around turns than the A4 sedan (which rides lower and can be equipped with higher-grip summer tires), but this wagon still handles well and makes for enjoyable driving on back roads. The Allroad's steering is impressively precise, too. Although it's not a true off-roader, the Allroad's extra ground clearance and underbody protection provide peace of mind when heading farther afield through deeper snow or down maintained dirt roads.