Wednesday, May 2, 2018

(Used) Devon test drives an Audi Allroad

Photo provided by Devon M 

If you take an Audi A4 raise the suspension slightly and throw on plastic body panels. You get the Audi Allroad, it's designed to compete with the Volvo XC70 and Subaru Outback. With standard Quattro all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, can Audi give a justifiable reason to buy a Allroad over a luxury crossover? 

Performance: The Allroad only comes with a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 211hp. Only transmission available is an eight speed automatic gearbox. Which does a good job of helping the engine feel more powerful than the numbers suggest. Pace around town is decent and on the highway there's good punch thanks to the extra torque. 

Ride & handling: Even though the Allroad has a raised driving position for mild off-roading. The downside is that the Allroad is that there's a bit more body roll than the A4 Avant on which its based on. The ride comfort is also a bit of a let down, there's a bit too much thump over poor road surfaces and the steering is overly light with little feedback. 

Refinement: The Allroad is quiet and smooth at highway speeds. There's a bit of wind noise, but it can be easily drained out with the radio. Suspension and road noise are also well supressed. 

Behind the wheel: There's a wide range of adjustments for the driver's seat and steering wheel. The instrumental panel is easy to navigate and visibility is great thanks to large glass area. 

Space & Practicality: There's enough space for four adults and their luggage. Headroom and legroom and plenty and the boot is a good size as well. The rear seats fold down to add more space, but they don't fold completely flat. 

Equipment: The base trim of the Allroad comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, Audi Concert radio, panorama glass roof and leather surfaced seats. Mid-range trim adds Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights, power tailgate, three-zone climate control and heated front seats. Top of the range trim adds navigation system, keyless start, Audi side assist blind spot dection warning and a upgraded sound system. 

Buying & Owning: The Allroad comes with a hefty price tag which is similar to the Volvo XC70. Even though the Subaru Outback is much cheaper to buy, it doesn't have the styling appeal of the Audi Allroad. Gas mileage a combined 23 miles to the gallon which is decent for a wagon that has all-wheel-drive and weighs near 4,000lbs. Resale value should be good as with all Audis. 

Reliability & Quality: The interior quality is excellent for its class. All the materials feel upscale and the overall impression is superb. Audi hasn't really enjoyed the best reliability record in the past, but from what we've seen in recent years. The question still remains over the longterm reliability of the mechanicals and electronics. 

Security & Safety: The Allroad comes with lots of safety equipment, including six airbags and stability control. Rear side airbags are optional. Deadlocks and an alarmn are fitted as stanard to guard against theft. 

The Allroad is a nice wagon with plenty of luxury features galore. The engine is decent for the task, and fuel economy is respectable. However the bigger question remains. Why Audi didn't offer the A6 Allroad instead of the A4 based Allroad. The price tag would've been a little more justifiable and overall packaging would've been more convincing seeing that the Volvo XC70 and Subaru Outback are both larger vehicles with more space. However, if you want a splash of style, wagon practicality and desire the Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive, the Audi Allroad is the perfect car that blends all three very well.

Devon's Pick: Premium Plus adds Xenon headlamps which look better on the Allroad than the halogen headlamps that come standard on the base trim. Plus it feels like an alround better deal than both the base trim and top of the range. 

Likes: Stylish exterior with luxurious interior, spacious room for four adults with a decent sized boot. Turbo engine has more pep than the figures suggest. 

Dislikes: Priced rather steeply, steering is overly light. Reliability record is still iffy. Doesn't offer adjustable suspension like previous Allroad. Based on A4 platform rather than A6 to make it a real competitor towards the Volvo XC70. 

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