By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.8
How do you sell a wagon to an American? Make it look a little more like an SUV. The micro-beloved Audi A4 Avant wagon has been replaced in Audi's U.S. lineup by a raised and ruggedized A4 Avant called the 2013 Audi Allroad. In addition to an extra 1.5 inches of ground clearance, stainless steel skidplates and distinctive paint scheme, the 2013 Allroad is differentiated from the 2012 Audi A4 wagon by a host of upgrades that benefit the entire Audi A4/A5 lineup for 2013. We're glad the Allroad is back – the A6-based Allroad that went away after 2005 is a cult classic – but this new one has the daunting task of competing for attention with Audi's terrific Q5 compact crossover.
Chances are you're either indifferent to the Audi Allroad – like most wagon-fearing Americans – or you love it. More versatile than an A4 sedan, (seemingly) more sensible than a Q5 crossover and more distinctive than either, the Allroad is one of a kind.
Surprisingly, the 2013 Audi Allroad is no more fuel efficient than the larger and roomier Q5 crossover. And the Allroad's starting price is higher, too.
The return of the Audi Allroad coincides with a mid-cycle makeover for the broader A4/A5 lineup, incorporating updated front-end styling, interior enhancements and electric power steering.
Driving Impressions The reborn Audi Allroad is more confidence-inspiring than exciting, which is just how Allroad owners want it. In our first couple hours behind the wheel we were attacked by torrential...rains on a mountain highway in Colorado, where the Allroad felt as situationally perfect as a Mai Tai in Hawaii. The outgoing Audi A4 Avant wagon and its lower center of gravity would have been even better, but that's the magic of the Allroad's added cladding and raised stance: It just feels more comfortable with foul weather. We didn't get into any off-road shenanigans, but with 7.1 inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive, we're sure the Allroad can handle anything a sane owner would throw at it. In normal driving, the Allroad lived up to our Audi expectations, although it was a little stiffer on the highway than we expected (not helped by the optional 19-inch wheels and lower-profile summer tires on our test car), and highway course corrections required more effort than we like (a result of a new electromechanical power steering system rolled out across the A4/A5 lineup for 2013).
Arguably the finest navigation system you can buy, Audi connect features a dedicated Internet connection ($25-$30/month through T-Mobile) that enables detailed Google maps with Street View of your destination, the ability to send a destination from your computer to your car, the ability to connect eight Wi-Fi devices at once, and Google Voice Local Search, which makes it easier to enter a destination via voice.
BANG & OLUFSEN AUDIO
In the top-dog Audi A8, a B&O audio system will set you back $6,300. In the Allroad, it's only $850. No, it's not as powerful or robust and it doesn't have the tweeters that rise magically from the dash, but it's a nice system nonetheless.
The 2013 Audi Allroad is actually 3.5 inches longer than the Audi Q5 crossover, which helps it deliver similar cargo volume at 27 (Allroad) vs. 29 cubic feet. With the rear seats folded down, the difference grows to 50 vs. 57 cubic feet. The Allroad does, however, give up a couple inches in rear legroom to the Q5, which is something to consider if you're weighing the two cars and regularly transport full-grown humans in back. Moving forward to the pilot and co-pilot positions, the Audi Allroad offers the same magic mix of materials, quality and design that keep Audi interiors at the top of the rankings.Exterior
Like Samson drew power from his long locks, the 2013 Audi Allroad also derives much of its strength from an aesthetic source: contrasting, matte-finish wheel arches. Yeah, there's the raised ride height and stainless steel skidplates, but the arches are the Allroad's black turtleneck. Of course, Audi will gladly paint the whole car one color – but only if you give them another $1,000 (and only on silver, black and white models). In addition to the evolved front-end design bequeathed to the whole A4/A5 lineup for 2013, the Allroad gets standout grille styling defined by shiny vertical elements.
The 2013 Audi Allroad has a starting sticker price of $40,495. In addition to leather seating and other luxury basics, the base Allroad includes a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats and a 6.5-inch color screen with audio/climate/vehicle controls.
Those cool Audi LED running lamps cost extra, but so do keyless entry and start, Bluetooth wireless technology, and other modern amenities you might expect to see on the standard equipment list of a $40,000 car today. A loaded 2013 Audi Allroad runs close to $60,000 and includes the world-class infotainment suite detailed in our Favorite Features section of this review, plus an impressive set of driver assistance and personalization technologies.
Other than unremarkable fuel economy, we like everything about the Allroad's familiar powertrain. The renowned 2.0T engine is matched with a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic routing power to all four wheels via Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi says the 3,900-pound Allroad will scoot to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is quicker than we might have guessed based on our initial drives. On one hand, those drives took place at altitude, where thinner air can affect power output. On the other hand, turbocharged engines take less of a hit at altitude. Curiously and disappointingly, the Allroad's rated fuel economy is the same as the heavier (by 200 pounds) and taller (by seven inches) Audi Q5 crossover. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 4,300 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg
By Dave on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great value, fun to drive, reliable, best traction"
Cons: "user controls, no manual tranny, what cupholders?"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My goal is to keep this review objective by considering my allroad ratings and comments against other relevant AWD/4WD vehicles I have owned. e.g. Subaru Outback, Volvo S70, first gen Audi allroad, 2004 Audi A4, and a bunch of SUVs large and small. My experience includes 35 years of city, country, and mountain driving in all conditions. I have owned the 2013 allroad for 2.5 years as of this review. This second gen allroad is fun to drive and surprisingly fast and responsive for a 2.0L engine. Fuel economy is good at 30 mpg highway, ~19 overall if you spend time in traffic or the city. It handles well for a wagon, but it's not an RS4 or M3 so remove that thought from your mind... ;) I enjoy driving it because it's fun. My wife likes driving it because it feels stable, predictable and safe (and fun, but she won't admit it). Something for everyone. The lower center of gravity vs. SUVs is very welcome on snowy roads. I have yet to experience an AWD system that works as well as Audi's Quattro. Nothing replaces driver skill, but I have experienced some very slippery road conditions where the traction control and correction really helped and probably avoided an accident in one case. IMO, Audi is way ahead of the pack in AWD and traction control. Even when trying, it's hard to break the car loose in the snow. Remember the old days when you took your parents car out in the snow to "have fun". Well this car's a spoiler - it doesn't play that game well. The only drawback is that it can make you feel like a better driver than you are (if that's a drawback). The extra inch of ground clearance adds versatility and safety for rough and snowy roads, but does create more body roll in corners compared to the standard A4 yet still has solid cornering control. It is essentially the former A4 Avant (wagon) with the A5's wider track. Hence the wheel well flares. The wider track provides more stability and control. The fit, finish and quality of workmanship is impeccable. The seating configuration and comfort is very good. I do have to give a slight comfort nod to Volvo, though. As for the review that claims the car to be too small for average adults, I'm scratching my head. I'm also 6' and 195 lbs and have never had a problem entering the vehicle. There is plenty of legroom and headroom. Now it can be difficult to climb into the driver's seat if a smaller person has moved the seat well forward and you forget to adjust it first. But the car includes an auto adjusting seat memory function tied to "smart keys". You just have to enable it on the onboard computer and the seat will adjust when you open the door. Just don't switch keys with the other driver. :) I chose the Premium Plus model as it comes with all the most desirable options without breaking the bank. $44K MSRP at the time. Think about it, that's not much more than a decently equipped Subaru... The Prestige model was significantly more and strangely was more expensive than adding the same extra equipment options to a Premium Plus model. Consider buying the Premium Plus and adding the options you desire to avoid paying for those you really don't care about. The biggest drawback to all Audis is the user interface controls. It is not very intuitive and takes some time to learn. The salesperson took time to show me how to operate all the controls at delivery. That's a great service, but it's also necessary. :-\ The older generation of Audis is more intuitive. But it's a company of engineers and I guess they just think differently... Fortunately, they also build well engineered vehicles."
12 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Colorado and Allroad on Friday, September 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, good gad mileage"
Cons: "Limited leg room in the back seat."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have had this car for more than two years in Colorado. I have really enjoyed the car. It's not likely I would spend this much on a car in the future at the same time no other car pleases me as much. We use it for road trips, long weekends, shopping, second hand stores, camping, hauling stuff galore. Trips to the airport, the mountains in summer and winter, and it's done all of this so far flawlessly, comfortably, and reliably. I like wagons so in a smaller consumer group but it's been perfect for our lifestyle. I may have given subaru more of a look with the new 2015 outback but when I bought the Allroad they only had the clark griswold model. I am taking good care of it and hoping we can keep it along time. So far so good and we have crossed 38000 miles. I also read a review of a guy that said he was to tall for it at 6'1. I'm also tall and the same size as the other reviewer and find it comfortable and fine. I think though the Allroad is a car you "get in" and the q5 is a car you "get on" if you get the difference."
12 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Marie on Sunday, July 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car replaced a 2002 MB E320 4MATIC wagon. I initially bought a 2012 A3 but it was too small. The allroad is perfect - size, luxury, features - everything!"
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Sal on Sunday, March 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sport Handling, Sleek Body, Smooth Operation,"
Cons: "Don't Know, Have to give it some thought"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"A very well designed, comfortable vehicle, with sleek body, that is both comfortable and yet having a very business demeanor. Driven conservatively it's silky smooth through the gears. Attack the corners and the quick steering will rival an 3M. (I've owned two) It has every conceivable feature that can be found in a top flight luxury car including MMI, Bang & Olufsen w/26GB Hard Drive, Memory Settings, Panoramic Glass Roof, Power Rear Deck Lid, Keyless Ignition, Eight Speed Automatic Transmission, Back up Camera w/Sensors, GPS, Paddle Shifters, 8 way Power/Adj. Bolster/Adjustable Thigh Support Sport Seats. In short, one amazing sport wagon. You'll never regret owning one...."
16 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By jws on Monday, August 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "handling, luxury, look, power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"From the look to the interior to the power to the feel, this the finest car I have ever ridden in. I haven't found any weak points. The extra clearance is a big plus. A friend told me it looked it was going 80 MPH when it was just standing still. Get this car."
12 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By GRod on Tuesday, April 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "My wife, 5'1", likes it."
Cons: "Small car if you are average size."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have owned 2 A6s. I loved them. Room, comfort, great road cars. My wife liked the Allroad and we purchased it. I am only 6', 190, not a "big guy" by any stretch, but I hit my knees on the door frame every time I get into the car. I prefer my old Ford Ranger pickup to getting into this car. The car completely fails to meet my expectations from an Audi. As I said, it is my wife's car and she likes it. It gets 30MPG on the highway and looks nice. It is just not comfortable if you are an averaged sized man."
23 people out of 45 found this review helpful