Used 2016 Audi allroad Review

Edmunds expert review

Not everyone wants to drive a big, hulking SUV. Maybe you just need room for a couple of young kiddos? Perhaps a small dog? Sounds like a wagon might be more up your alley. Add in some light dirt road adventures, and the 2016 Audi Allroad may be the vehicle you're looking for. It'll get you and the family to the elementary school or the hiking trailhead with equal ease. Read on to see if this capable wagon meets your needs.




What's new for 2016

For 2016, the Allroad sees just minor equipment updates. Audi Connect and keyless entry and ignition are now available on the base Premium trim, while the Premium Plus trim's Technology package now includes the Bang & Olufsen sound system. The Prestige trim has been discontinued.

Vehicle overview

While the crossover has long since supplanted the wagon as America's family hauler of choice, Audi is quite happy to offer its 2016 Allroad wagon. We suspect that's because the "carlike handling" claimed by many crossovers just isn't always enough. Some drivers demand the responsive feel of an actual car, and that's precisely what Audi's sole remaining wagon provides. Moreover, its slightly raised ride height and standard all-wheel drive enable it to tackle snowy roads and light-duty off-road trails with ease.

Inside, the A4-derived Allroad gets the full luxury treatment with generous standard features like leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof, plus options like a remarkable Bang & Olufsen audio system. Although comparable crossovers offer more total cargo volume, the Allroad can nonetheless haul a lot of stuff with its rear seatbacks folded down. It's only in the technology realm that this all-season wagon starts to falter. Audi's familiar MMI infotainment system certainly offers access to a wide range of features, but the base version has awkward dash-mounted controls and lacks Bluetooth audio connectivity, while a USB port simply isn't available. These are unusual shortcomings in a contemporary luxury vehicle.

As for alternatives, the BMW 3 Series wagon offers better fuel economy with both its gasoline and diesel engines, but it lacks the Allroad's extra ground clearance. Another option would be the Volvo V60 Cross Country. It does have a raised ride height, just like the Allroad, but fuel economy and power are underwhelming. (A regular V60, with a stronger engine, is also available.) If you want an all-terrain wagon but find the Allroad and Cross Country too small, we'd suggest checking out the 2016 Volvo XC70 or even the 2016 Subaru Outback. But for this admittedly niche class of vehicle, the well-rounded 2016 Audi Allroad is the easiest to recommend.




Trim levels & features

The 2016 Audi Allroad is available in Premium and Premium Plus trim levels.

Standard features for the entry-level Premium model include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, LED running lights and taillights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar for the driver), split-folding rear seatbacks, Audi's MMI infotainment system (with dash-mounted controls), Bluetooth phone connectivity and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and Audi's proprietary digital music interface.

The Premium Plus trim adds auto-dimming and power-folding outside mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats with driver memory settings and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass.

Premium models can be had with an optional MMI Navigation Plus package that adds Audi Connect online services (including mobile WiFi), a color trip computer, a navigation system, voice controls, an upgraded MMI system (with a larger screen and console-mounted controls), Bluetooth streaming audio, a CD/DVD player and HD radio.

The Technology package available on the Premium Plus model consists of the MMI Navigation Plus package plus a blind-spot monitoring system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Also exclusive to this trim level is the available Sport package that includes front sport seats, a black cloth headliner, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles and Audi's Drive Select system, which provides adjustable steering, gas pedal and transmission calibrations.

Stand-alone options include heated front seats, keyless entry and ignition (Premium models only), wood interior trim and rear-seat side airbags.



Performance & mpg

All 2016 Audi Allroad models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The only available transmission is an eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels. In Edmunds testing, a 2013 Allroad with 9 fewer horsepower accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, a below-average showing for a luxury wagon.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for this powertrain is 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway). That's only a tick better than the Audi Q5 crossover and considerably worse than the 3 Series wagon.

Safety

Every 2016 Audi Allroad model includes antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional on both trim levels. Offered solely on the Premium Plus is a blind-spot warning system, which comes bundled with a rearview camera and parking sensors as part of the Technology package.

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 Allroad received the top five-star rating for overall crash protection, including five stars each for frontal crash protection and side crash protection.

Driving

The 2016 Audi Allroad feels capable in a wide variety of situations. Its sharp on-pavement reflexes are inherited from the A4 sedan on which it's based. Meanwhile, its all-wheel-drive system and 7.1 inches of ground clearance enable it to tackle fresh snow or a muddy dirt road with confidence.

In everyday driving, the Allroad's precise steering and tidy dimensions allow you to snag parking spots passed over by drivers of larger crossovers. The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine provides sufficient oomph when called upon, but ultimately it's slower than the BMW 3 Series wagon or Volvo V60 T6. We do like the refined eight-speed automatic transmission, for its quick and unobtrusive shifts.

Interior

Like all Audis, the 2016 Allroad has a well-crafted interior that's both understated and sophisticated. The workmanship and materials -- including standard leather upholstery in place of the "premium vinyl" used by some competitors -- are both first-rate. The standard front seats offer good comfort, but buyers who enjoy a spirited drive on a curvy stretch of road will appreciate the extra support offered by the more substantial side bolsters on the optional sport seats. The rear seats can be on the tight side for taller riders; this is an area where crossovers like the Audi Q5 have a clear advantage.

Audi's MMI system affords control of many infotainment functions by way of sharp display-screen menus, an array of buttons and a large rotating knob. The standard system locates these inputs on the dash, an awkward placement that may prove troublesome for some drivers. Models fitted with the optional navigation system have the buttons and knob on the console between the front seats, allowing for more ergonomic operation. We like this upgraded interface and think it stacks up well against rival systems, but it still lacks USB connectivity, although it does upgrade to Bluetooth streaming audio.

The Allroad's cargo hold offers 27.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 50.5 cubic feet with those rear seatbacks folded flat. While these numbers are decent for a wagon of modest size, most crossover SUVs can haul more. The Allroad could also use more small bins and compartments throughout the cabin for everyday items.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.