Audi’s rugged allroad wagon is back in America with some major changes, following a hiatus of the previous A6-based models. The new allroad is based on the latest A4 , but shares a family appearance with the A6 allroad that will not be coming across the pond in its latest generation.
The realignment of the allroad brand also includes dropping the A4/A6 badges from the official lower-case names. It is a tedious distinction but one also shared by the deliberately-lower-case quattro GMBH tuning division of the luxury automaker. The latest allroad replaces the standard A4 Avant in U.S. price lists.
Naming tweaks aside, the new model is quite handsome and packs a torque-rich turbo four-pot engine in place of the previous model’s 2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 option. The latest allroad also loses a few features from the original model, namely the adjustable-height suspension that really increased the older model’s versatility but easily adds $5,000 to the build cost.
When lowered, the old allroad had a more aggressive appearance than even the RS6 Avant due to its huge fender flares and flashy aluminum graphics front and rear. The only fly in the ointment was the two-tone bodywork that used unpainted grey plastic for the fenders and sills.
The new Audi allroad goes a long way toward refining the style of the allroad. It offers a large, luxurious interior and some of the most sought-after tech solutions of any car on the market.
The allroad was always a wagon for people who didn’t like following the normal SUV route. This continues with the latest model as it competes for consumer attention with Audi Q5 small SUV. Other thorns in its side include the GLK350 Mercedes-Benz and the BMW X3 .
What the allroad delivers is a far more car-like experience paired with light off-road capability. Is this butch wagon enough to lure drivers away from boxy small SUVs?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Audi allroad including details on ordering a fully painted model with no grey plastic cladding.
The exterior of the allroad is pretty gorgeous from all angles. While seeming like little more than a badge-and-stickers job in theory, there are numerous exterior tweaks that effectively position the allroad as the range-topping A4 variant and just below the American-market S4 sedan.
There are numerous changes to the A4 Avant in conversion to allroad specification, particularly on the front. The allroad replaces the black crosshatch grille pattern for a more distinguished design, featuring thin, tightly-packed chrome vertical slats with the same chrome-trimmed shield grille.
The front and rear scuff plates are anodized aluminum and the grey-plastic fender flares start in the lower front bumper. These pieces are far more aggressive than the painted surfaces on the A4 Avant and bulge out below the fog lamps in a striking way. The grey plastic sills also flare out to protect the paintwork from rocks or other road debris scars.
One interesting feature for the new allroad is an available fully painted body, fenders and sill package when the car is ordered in glacier white, phantom black or ice silver. Despite sitting very high off the ground, the wide tracks and painted trim creates a look that is arguably tougher than even the famed Audi RS models.
The allroad reinforces its practical-but-stylish credentials with matching polished aluminum roof bars that are taller than typical Avant spec but still well-integrated into the shape and coming as standard with no noisy crossbars.
Lastly, Audi’s LED driving lights and taillights are both optional on the allroad. Non Xenon-Plus-equipped cars get basic halogen headlights without the new internal headlight LED graphic that links the allroad to other top A4 -based models like the RS5 .
2013 Audi allroad Exterior Dimensions:
|Overall length||185.9 in.|
|Overall width||72.5 in.|
|Overall height||58.0 in.|
|Track (front/rear)||62.3 in./ 62 in.|
2013 Audi allroad Exterior Features:
- Audi Single-frame grille in Platinum Gray with vertical chrome struts with/without license plate holder
- Halogen headlights with halogen daytime running lights
- Automatic headlights
- Headlight washing system
- Front fog lights located in lower bumper
- LED perimeter lights in exterior mirrors, activated when door unlocked & dark outside – controlled by the light sensor
- Automatic light switch controlled by light sensor, coming home/leaving home function
- Daytime running lights, user programmable
- Three blink touch-to-pass lane change feature in turn signal
- Power-adjustable heated side mirrors
- Body-color outside mirrors; heated with LED turn signal repeaters with fiber optic technology
- 2.5 mph (Federal Standard) front & rear bumpers
- Anodized aluminum window surround
- Anodized aluminum roof rails, allroad exclusive raised design
- Heated windshield washer nozzles
- Dual exhaust pipes, finished tips (one on each side)
- Widened wheel arches & sill extensions in contrast paint, stainless steel front & rear skid plates Roof-mounted SiriusXM Satellite Radio antenna
- 18-inch wheels with Five-arm-Rotor design
2013 Audi allroad Standard Colors:
- Ibis White solid
- Glacier White metallic
- Ice Silver metallic
- Monsoon Gray metallic
- Moonlight Blue metallic
- Brilliant Black solid
- Phantom Black pearl
- Scuba Blue metallic
- Volcano Red metallic Full body paint is available in Glacier White, Ice Silver and Phantom Black
2013 Audi allroad Exterior Options:
- Audi xenon plus headlights with automatic self-leveling & LED daytime running lights
- Adaptive xenon plus headlights with self-leveling & LED daytime running lights & static cornering lights
- Metallic/pearl/crystal effect paint
- Lower bumper & door trim in body color paint finish
- LED taillight technology with rear fog lights
- Power folding, power-adjustable, auto-dimming, heated side mirrors with memory
- 19-inch wheels with Five-arm-Structure design
The interior of the allroad is a sensory delight with some of the highest-quality plastics, leathers and aluminum alloys used in any car, regardless of price. The overall shape of the dash is not revolutionary but does offer a sweeping shroud that helps keep the MMI display screen from washing out in direct sunlight.
The size of the prominent display screen in the center of the dash only increases modestly from the standard 6.5-inch MMI Radio up to 7 inches for the MMI Nav option, which also includes a better stereo system. One potential gripe from drivers is that the screen is controlled by the steering wheel and MMI central control knobs instead of offering touchscreen selections as well.
Audi’s in-car connectivity features are linked to the MMI nav option and are called AudiConnect. The feature-set of Audi Connect seems poor compared with the also-subscription-based BMW ConnectedDrive. Audi also relies on its own voice-recognition system that is sure to be finicky and worse than the latest smartphone technology.
A touchscreen would need a full redesign of the dashboard because the current screen is too small and far away to reach. The allroad majors in practicality and offers great seats as standard all around with optional sports buckets up front. The sport seats look more supportive but probably aren’t worth the extra outlay over the similar-looking standard power seats.
The 12-way power sports seats option also includes four-way power lumbar and two-way adjustable thigh bolsters that can extend to offer taller drivers more leg support. The package applies to both seats, in contrast to some car companies who limit the adjustments of the passenger seat. This is a great option that dramatically reduces fatigue during long drives and also allows a wider variety of comfortable positions behind the manual tilt/telescope steering wheel.
The seats come standard in leather and can be trimmed in five colors that also change the doors, lower dash and other surfaces to match.
A few features on the options list should be standard: heated seats, Bluetooth phone calls and Bluetooth audio streaming to name a few. Other personalization options are wood inlays that replace the aluminum trims on the doors and console, the Audi Drive Select adjustable steering and throttle response, and a sportier three-spoke steering wheel.
The big-dollar option is the Bang & Olufsen stereo upgrade that more than doubles the standard 10-speaker-plus-subwoofer audio system’s 180-watt rating. Most drivers will be very happy with either system. Another option that more drivers will appreciate is the Driver Assistance package that includes adaptive cruise control.
Rear legroom and cargo room are both good compared with their compact SUV opposition. Despite the deeply-raked rear tailgate, allroad back seat passengers have plenty of headroom and a gorgeous standard panoramic moonroof to lighten the mood.
The allroad can pack 50 cubic-feet of stuff in its cargo bay with the rear seats folded. The cargo area is trimmed really nicely with lots of additional lighting that some wagons don’t provide. The folded seats offer a smooth floor but do not get completely flat as the seat cushion does not flip forward as on some European luxury wagons like the Volvo XC70 .
2013 Audi allroad Interior Dimensions:
|Headroom With Sunroof (Front/Rear)||40.4/38.2 in.|
|Headroom With Sun Shade (Front/Rear)||38.8/37.4 in.|
|Legroom (Front/Rear)||41.3/35.2 in.|
|Hip Room (Front/Rear)||51.4/51.6 in.|
|Shoulder Room (Front/Rear)||55.5/54.3 in.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||27.6 cubic-feet|
|EPA Cargo Volume (Rear Seats Folded)||50.5 cubic-feet|
2013 Audi allroad Interior Features:
- Tilt/telescopic manually adjustable steering column
- Four-spoke multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel w/ high-gloss accents
- Electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering
- Interior decorative inlays (see decorative inlays page for more detail)
- Aluminum “allroad” door sill inlays
- Alu-optic surrounding of air vents, window & seating switchgear, & vent controls
- Aluminum inlays on door panel interior beltline, center console & passenger side dashboard
- Leather seating surfaces (see interior fabrics page for more detail)
- Leather shift knob
- Eight-way power front seats & four-way power lumbar adjustment for driver
- 40:60 split folding rear seat with pass-through & armrest, release mechanisms accessed from rear seats
- Three-point safety belts for all seating positions
- Audi concert system with one CD player (MP3 capable), AM/FM radio, auxiliary input jack, SD card slot for MP3 files
- Speed-dependent volume control
- Audi MMI Radio plus system for controlling Infotainment / Climate / Car Setup (with 6.5-inch color screen)
- Audi premium sound system with ten speakers & single CD player with MP3 playback capability
- Audi six-channel DSP extended sound system with ten speakers including subwoofer, 180W sound system
- Aux-in located in center console (deleted if Audi music interface selected)
- In-dash single CD player (+DVD capability w/ Audi MMI Navigation plus)
- SD card slot w/ 32GB capacity (dual slots if Audi MMI Navigation plus selected)
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 90-day trial subscription
- Voice control system (controls cellular phone, CD, radio & navigation), includes speech-to-text engine
2013 Audi allroad Interior Options:
- SiriusXM Traffic with four year subscription
- Audi MMI Navigation plus system: with TFT color, WVGA, seven-inch display screen, control knob w/ joystick & buttons in center console. Operates climate control, central locking, instrument cluster, vehicle diagnostics, cellular phone, navigation, CD & radio functions. (CD/DVD player)
- Audi connect with six-month trial subscription with Audi MMI Navigation plus only
- Audi music interface with iPod integration includes one cable for iPod connection
- Three-spoke multifunction sport steering wheel (w/black shift paddles)
- Three-step heated front seats
- Twelve-way power front sport seats including four-way power lumbar adjustment & adjustable thigh support
- Two-position driver side memory for seat & mirror adjustments (located on driver’s door)
- Wood inlays on door panel interior beltline, center console, passenger side dashboard
- Dynamic steering (Audi drive select)
- Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 speakers & 505 watts (includes Dolby Digital 5.1 & noise compensation)
- Bluetooth streaming audio with Audi MMI Navigation plus only
- Bluetooth wireless technology preparation for mobile phone
- Efficiency Program
- HD Radio technology
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The allroad comes in one mechanical configuration that includes a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine producing 211 horsepower and a whopping 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is a marvel that actually produces much more power than the numbers suggest. Under-labeling the engine’s horsepower rating provides more of a gap between this and the profitable V-6 and V-8 upgrades available in other Audi A4 -based models.
Few buyers would upgrade to 300-plus-horsepower engine if the difference was small versus the base engine. Among people with the prejudice against the A4 for its front-drive origins, the allroad packs a 40:60 front-to-rear torque split and runs a longitudinally-mounted engine.
The engine is extremely sophisticated with chain-drive dual overhead cams and Audi ’s TFSI direct injection. The direct injection system can make the cars louder at idle with the hood up but is not noticeable in the well-insulated cabin.
Paired to the torque-rich four is a Tiptronic eight-speed automatic with wheel-mounted paddles. The allroad reaches 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds before ultimately topping out at 130 mph. Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive is standard on the entire allroad range.
The allroad’s additional ground clearance has a minimal effect on high-speed driving but does soften the ride versus other A4 s packing the 18 and 19-inch wheel choices on this wagon. The biggest hit in the A4 to allroad conversion comes from the drag coefficient, which results in increased wind noise and poorer highway mileage. The allroad’s 0.36 cD is a big jump from the 0.32 of the previously-offered A4 Avant.
|Engine Size and Type||2.0-liter 16-valve Turbocharged I-4 with TFSI Direct Injection and Chain-driven DOHC|
|Peak power||211 horsepower|
|Peak torque||258 pound-feet of torque|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic with paddle shift|
|0-to-60 MPH||6.5 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph, limited|
|EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Highway/Combined)||20/27/23|
Overall, this is a very safe car with many high-tech safety systems in place to ensure crashes are survivable. Due to the allroad’s shared structure with the Audi A4, the sedan’s results from IIHS and NHTSA crash tests can be reliably extended to the wagon.
The IIHS’s new crash test program makes all cars look terrible in their crash test videos. This definitely applies with the Audi allroad . based on the A4’s overall “Poor” score in the IIHS small-offset frontal collision. This is the worst score in recent memory from the IIHS with an overall Poor in numerous critical categories.
The video below shows the carnage of the new IIHS test shattering the A4’s front pillars and popping the Audi’s door open after the collision – a big no-no in crash safety because if the vehicle is hit again after the initial crash it will then eject occupants onto the road.
It is back to the drawing board for Audi’s poorly-prepared safety engineers based on this video and scores.
Despite the very bad marks in the latest test, the A4 aced the traditional crash tests from IIHS and the NHTSA for a 2013 Top Safety Pick credit. This is visible in the NHTSA’s full-frontal collision in which the A4 performs exceptionally well (below).
2013 Audi allroad Safety Features:
- ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution) & Audi brake assist
- ESC (Electronic Stability Control): System includes ABS / EBD / EDL / ASR & off-road mode
- Central locking system
- Driver & front passenger advanced dual-stage airbag supplemental restraints
- Driver & front passenger seat-mounted side thorax airbag supplemental restraints
- Sideguard head curtain airbags for both rows of seats
- Electromechanical parking brake
- Front three-point safety belts with automatic pre-tensioning, height adjustable upper mounts & force limiters
- Front passenger occupant detection
- Hydraulic Brake Assist, automatically senses emergency braking & applies maximum available power boost to reduce overall stopping distance
- Crash sensor: If crash sensor is activated, the following with happen automatically: central locking automatically unlocks doors, interior lighting is switched on, fuel pump & engine are switched off, hazard warning lights are switched on
- Impact protection, including reinforced high strength steel/aluminum cross-members, reinforced bumpers and rigid occupant cell
- Integrated child door locks in rear doors, activated using a key in side of door near latch area
- Lower Anchors & Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) provisions in rear seats
- Pinch protection for all windows
- Rear passenger (outboard) side airbag supplemental restraint system (Optional)
- Rear safety belts with Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR) for securing a child seat
- Rear three-point safety belts with automatic pre-tensioning
- Seatbelt belt reminder for driver & front passenger
The 2013 Audi allroad prices range from about $40,000 to $50,000. The allroad comes better equipped than base A4 models, which start just below $33,000. The similar Q5 starts at $36,000 but can be optioned well into the $60,000 range.
|Trim Name||2013 Audi allroad prices|
|allroad Premium Plus||$42,900|
Competition for the Audi allroad comes from the Audi Q5 , the BMW X3 and the Volvo XC70.
The BMW X3’s base price of $39,600 is exactly the same as the Audi allroad. Coincidence? Not Likely. The X3 is closely matched with the allroad in terms of performance, space and limited off-road ability. The main problems with the X3 are its comparatively nasty interior and unrefined ride quality. The X3’s exterior design is a big let-down as well.
Gallery BMW X3
Around since 2008 without a style change, the perennial family-wagon favorite limps into 2014 poorly equipped to battle the allroad. The Volvo is a larger car than the Audi and offers a bigger cockpit - especially in cabin width and shoulder/hip room. The Volvo is pretty cheap at $34,000 and has some of the best seats in the business. The standard 3.2-liter six is slow and thirsty compared with the allroad’s state-of-the-art turbo four.
Gallery Volvo XC70
The Audi allroad is a great car with a broad skill set equally adept at driver entertainment, passenger luxury and family comfort. The style enhancements make it a noticeable car on the road in a way that the A4 Avant was not.
The allroad also strikes a nice balance between buyer wants and needs, via a powerful engine and the latest interior accoutrements. It would have been easy for Audi to include a larger engine and even more optional equipment but that would’ve spoiled the price balance of this well-equipped station wagon.
The name alone tells drivers its mission: all roads – not all trails. This is not an off-road vehicle in the slightest, but one that will never get stuck on mountainous gravel roads, in deep snow or on the polo field’s grass parking lot. Adding in ride height protects the Audi’s soft underbelly without the need for heavy sump covers, skid plates and other off-road addenda.
As everyone knows, standing on your tippy-toes requires good balance. The same applies for the allroad. A thorough dynamic setup means the Audi keeps its trademark tight body control far better than the wallowy XC70 and the spine-shattering ride of the BMW X3.
Balance extends to the interior as well. Owners will never feel short-changed in any trim level – especially the affordable $40,000 base model.
Among SUV driver’s who’ve never even considered engaging low range, the allroad is a sensible solution that keeps the luxury, image and family space but houses it inside the soul of a sports car.
Don’t forget to order LED lights and the solid exterior paint themes to create RS6 Avant style for less than half the cash.
|Driving||A||Good Dynamic Balance Between Handling and Soft Ride; Smooth Cruiser|
|Performance||A-||The Standard TFSI Turbo Is Fast And Efficient|
|Look||B+||Looks Far Sharper Than Anonymous Dark-Blue A4 Avants It Replaces|
|Value||B-||Big Price Premium Over A4 and Q5 But Rare And Special On Road|
|Overall||A-||A Sports Car That Will Never Get Stuck In Mud, Grass Or Snow|
- Speedy acceleration, great handling balance; Classy cockpit
- Off-road mode in stability control allows some gravel shenanigans
- Looks almost as good as Europe’s A6-based allroad via new grille and aluminum bumper plates
- Will buyers balk at a $50,000 car with a four-cylinder engine?
- Haunting IIHS crash test performance and video
- Some options like Bluetooth audio streaming unavailable without pricey MMI Nav option