Variant: Allroad Quattro 45 TDI
Engine / Transmission: 3.0 litre V6 diesel – 8 Speed automatic
Manufacturer Claimed Fuel Economy: 6.6L/100km combined
Price: From $120,600 plus on roads
Audi’s take on the off-roadish station wagon is the Allroad. The Allroad is not unique, however. Subaru’s Outback, SKODA’s Superb Scout, Volvo’s V90 Cross Country, Mercedes Benz’s E Class All Terrain and even Holden’s now defunct Calais Tourer all take a similar approach to jacking up a regular station wagon from their product line. It seems everyone wants a slice of this niche pie.
This type of family transport is a brave choice given the popularity of more traditional SUVs. Still, this kind of platform gives important advantages over a more traditional SUV platform, including better handling and reduced fuel consumption.
The Allroad is extensively equipped and celebrates Audi’s commitment to technology.
For example, the touch screens have haptic feedback that gives a sort of 3D effect to the touchscreen functions, the navigation system asks you to ‘handwrite’ your destination on the touchscreen with your finger and wireless charging is supported by wireless Apple CarPlay.
Thoughtful touches also make the Allroad a lovely place to be; illuminated seat belt buckles are cool, Bang & Olufsen tunes rock, Stop&Go active cruise control is seriously handy and super advanced safety features such as autonomous emergency braking up to 250kph are immensely impressive.
The Allroad is a great blend of wagon practicality and Audi style. Audi’s nod to off road ability is unconvincing, especially given the optional 21” rims on the test example.
Much better to take the Allroad for what it is – a very stylish alternative to the usual SUV suspects. Further, the fuel efficiency of the torquey six cylinder diesel is impressive, with a tidy 6L/100km combined. Certainly better than those same usual SUV suspects.
Not So Impressive:
A fundamental problem with the Allroad is the very nature of the beast. If you buy into the jacked-up wagon vibe, or even just the plain wagon vibe, the Allroad is a great car.
The elephant in the room though is the availability of some really standout SUVs; many with family-friendly seven seating and some even hailing from Ingolstadt, if you’re committed to the four rings.
WHEN ON A TEST DRIVE:
Make sure you check out Volkswagen’s Touareg – it’s only a five-seater, like the Allroad, but it’s very, very good.