Best Value in its Class for All Seasons
By Dave on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
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."
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