Once upon a time Audi played in the crossover segment not through the introduction of the jacked-up SUV-like offerings it fields today, but rather with a muscled and body-clad wagon that provided a host of unusual features such as adjustable ride height and low-range gearing. That version of the Audi Allroad might have been put out to pasture in 2005, but the name has been revived for the current model year with the 2013 Audi allroad, a different take on the comfortable crossover game. The Audi Allroad is focused more on versatility than on absolute utility, and it makes a compelling argument for luxury buyers who want to step out of the ordinary and avoid the 'me-too-ness' of the premium crossover segment.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Audi Allroad.
01. The 2013 Audi Allroad Isn't Yesterday's Model
The first generation of the Audi Allroad to ply American highways was based on the mid-size Audi A6 platform, featured a twin-turbo V-6 engine, and offered a rugged suspension system that could be raised or lowered in order to tackle off-road obstacles. The new Audi allroad is smaller and more focused on style than guts-and-glory all-terrain prowess, but it still shares similar design cues with its larger cousin: namely, the body cladding and light under-armor plating that indicate this wagon isn't solely intended as a suburban cruiser. The 2013 Audi Allroad is also lighter than the preceding model, which gives it better fuel mileage and a more nimble disposition.
02. The 2013 Audi Allroad Is The Only Compact Audi Wagon In The U.S.
The 2013 Audi Allroad can, in many ways, be thought of as an extension of the now-defunct Audi A4 Avant wagon. Like Volvo, Audi has walked away from offering traditional wagons in the United States, instead choosing to import the Allroad and feature it as a crossover-influenced family transporter. The Audi A4 Avant continues to be available in Europe, and anyone in the know regarding Audi's global product lineup will be instantly familiar with the basic lines of the Allroad. It's worth noting that there is a price to pay when swapping an Avant for an Allroad - the latter's MSRP checks in at over $3,000 more than the 2012 version of the compact wagon.
03. The 2013 Audi Allroad Provides Excellent Practicality
The 2013 Audi Allroad is intended to offer an alternative to the bulkier, less fuel efficient crossover models that are available in the luxury segment. This applies even to Audi's own lineup, where the Audi Allroad compares favorably to the Audi Q5 crossover. Roughly 0.7 inches longer than the A4 and 1.5 inches taller, the Allroad checks in with five passenger seating, and it offers 51 cubic feet of total cargo space with the rear rows folded forward. This shows as a mere 7 cubic feet less than the taller Q5 - a vehicle which doesn't offer the same level of handling or comfort.
04. The 2013 Audi Allroad Offers Limited 'Soft-Road' Capability
The 2013 Audi Allroad isn't designed to tackle the same tough trails that one might approach with a more traditional SUV like the Jeep Wrangler. That being said, it is far more capable of traversing rough terrain than the Audi A4 Avant wagon that it is based on, due to the inclusion of 7.1 inches of ground clearance. The Allroad also boasts the brand's quattro all-wheel drive system as standard equipment, and it can be paired with the Drive Select system that allows for the customization of engine, transmission, and steering inputs to better tackle specific driving scenarios.
05. The 2013 Audi Allroad Features Turbo Power
The 2013 Audi Allroad comes with a single engine option on its spec sheet. The Audi Allroad is equipped with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder mill that makes use of a turbocharger to produce a healthy 211 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission feeds that output to all four wheels (via the previously-mentioned quattro all-wheel drive system), and fuel mileage for the Allroad checks in at 20-mpg in stop and go driving and 27-mpg on the highway. These are excellent figures for a crossover, especially a luxury model. For those who want to shift the transmission themselves, a manual gear selection feature is provided.
06. The 2013 Audi Allroad Is Available In Three Trim Levels
The 2013 Audi Allroad base model is known as the Premium trim, and it brings with it a full load of features including a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, a CD player with satellite radio, 18-inch rims, cruise control, and automatic headlights. The Premium Plus trim introduces seat heaters (with a seat memory function for the driver), HID headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, heated outside mirrors, three zones of automatic climate control, and a power tailgate. The Prestige trim represents the top-of-the-line Allroad, and it adds items such as a navigation system, a blind spot monitoring system, a louder stereo system, adaptive headlights, and keyless entry and ignition.
07. The 2013 Audi Allroad Can Be Customized Via Options Packages
Like most Audi vehicles, the 2013 Audi Allroad offers a wide range of different options packages so that buyers can be selective about what equipment they want to add to the crossover. The Convenience package and the Lighting package are both available with the base model and they provide Bluetooth connectivity, a better trip computer, and an iPod port, and LED running lights paired with HID headlights, respectively. The MMI Navigation package includes the MMI vehicle interface, a voice-controlled navigation system, and a rearview camera, while the Sport Interior package adds bolstered front seats, shift paddles for the automatic transmission, and a unique steering wheel.
08. The 2013 Audi Allroad Is A Safe Family Car
The 2013 Audi Allroad comes standard with multi-stage forward airbags, side curtain airbags that protect the heads of both front and rear passengers, and seat-mounted side impact airbags for those riding in the two forward positions. It's also possible to add rear seat-mounted side airbags as an option. Electronic stability control and traction control are also provided free of charge with the Audi Allroad, and of course standard quattro all-wheel drive gives the vehicle an edge when it comes to finding traction on wet, cold, or slippery roads. Antilock brakes are another safety feature provided with the crossover.
09. The 2013 Audi Allroad Has A Bigger Cousin
As we mentioned earlier, the 2013 Audi Allroad is based on the compact A4 Avant wagon instead of the larger A6 platform used by its predecessor. The A6 Allroad hasn't bitten the dust, as it is still available in Europe in its third generation. The Audi A6 Allroad offers upgrades in terms of interior space and total cargo room, and while it's not nearly as off-road oriented as the first A6 to bear the Allroad moniker, it does feature hill descent control as well as good ground clearance and quattro all-wheel drive. The Audi A6 Allroad does not look likely for the American market, but overseas it comes with three turbodiesel V-6 options as well as a turbocharged 3.0-liter gasoline V-6 that generates 310 horsepower.
10. The 2013 Audi Allroad Competes Against A Limited Number Of Rugged Wagons
The 2013 Audi Allroad does not have any real direct competitors in the United States. The closest vehicle in terms of prestige and price is the less expensive Volvo XC70, a mid-size wagon that adds considerably more passenger space to the equation along with a longer and wider cargo area, while maintaining a lifted suspension system and also offering all-wheel drive. The Subaru Outback is closer in size to the Audi Allroad, and makes a similar 'soft-road' play from a capabilities perspective, but the wagon-based crossover is more than $7,000 cheaper than the Audi and doesn't offer nearly the same level of luxury or refinement.