AUDI BRINGS BACK THE VERSATILE ALLROAD® MODEL FOR 2014
By Tom Crosby
The Audi allroad® five-door wagon hasn’t been marketed in the United States for the past seven years. During that time Audi worked on selling its Q5 and Q7 sport utility vehicles in the states.
Now the allroad® wagon, with its sport utility good looks is back in the states for 2014. Features are upgraded with technology used in the Q brands, more powerful than before and armed with a broad array of in-car interfaces for entertainment and information.
Its toughest competition may be the base Audi Q5, which is slightly cheaper, uses the same engine, is just as attractive with strong fit and finish inside and is Audi’s fourth best seller behind the A4, A3 and A6 sedans.
Audi doesn’t capitalize allroad®, probably because all its models employ quattro all-wheel drive and tiptronic. The sophisticated 8-speed automatic transmission comes with manual and sport modes in the allroad® to aid off-road maneuvering or boost acceleration and tighten handling on the highway.
The allroad® is lighter, longer and narrower than the Q5 with a smaller gas tank reducing range, but decent sub-seven second alacrity off the line with a boost of nine horsepower in the direct-injection turbo-charged engine producing a split second faster time to 60 mph than the Q5.
Trunk space, however, is smaller. Smooth speed-sensitive response in handling and a cushioned ride helped by a five-link front suspension bar and trapezoidal rear link axle, make driving the allroad® more like a sedan than an SUV.
Some safety features include excellent visibility and numerous airbags. In our test drive, a rear-view camera was included with an optional $3,050 navigation plus package with a free 6-month subscription to Audi connect and its online services. (Other safety features, like blind side alert are optional.)
For 2014, Bluetooth, Homelink, Audi music interface and driver information is now standard. Under its panoramic sunroof, leather seats are luxuriously comfortable in front while rear seating squeezes somewhat with three adults but plenty ample for two.
The richly appointed cabin absorbs no outside noise and the driver has easily read gauges and reachable center spine knob for manipulation of the Multi-Media interface with information and entertainment choices on the dashboard screen.
The stylish upscale profile includes chrome cladding strip, wide wheel arches, aluminum roof rails, a distinctive two-stage trapezoidal grille, and a pair of chrome dual exhaust pipes. Mileage is above average and the 7.1-inch ground clearance comes in handy on muddy or snow-covered roads.
LIKES: Power, looks, handling, ride, interactive touches
DISLIKES: Cargo space, price
BOTTOM LINE: May be too close to the Audi Q5 to get solid market traction.
- Base price w/destination fee $41,595
- Curb weight 3,891 lbs.
- Wheelbase 110.4 inches
- Length 185.9 inches
- Width 72.5 inches
- Engine specs 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged
- Horsepower 220 hp at 4,450-6,000 rpm
- Torque 258 lbs.-ft. at 1,500-4,300 rpm
- Transmission 8-speed automatic with Tiptonic and manual/sport shift options
- EPA Rating 20 city, 27 highway
- Range 16.1 gallons, premium fuel
- Performance 0-60 in 6.4 seconds