By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 7.5
For the non- SUV driver who still needs the kind of capability and capacity only an SUV can provide, there’s the 2016 Audi Allroad luxury wagon. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Allroad is endowed with additional ground clearance and protective cladding that permit it to venture lightly off-road. In terms of luxury, the Allroad outshines the Volvo V60 Cross Country and Subaru Outback Limited, although it also costs substantially more. The Allroad’s trump card is its ability to mimic luxury-car ride, handling and interior ambiance in a package that doesn’t feel bulky or claustrophobic. Unfortunately, the Allroad offers only one engine option that is not as fuel-efficient as the Q5’s diesel or as powerful as the V6-powered Cadillac XT5 or Infiniti QX50.
If you dislike the look and feel of most luxury SUVs, but you need the interior space and versatility they provide, the Audi Allroad wagon for 2016 is the perfect solution. A luxurious interior is complemented by advanced electronics, a turbocharged engine and standard AWD.
The Audi Allroad doesn’t come cheap, especially when loaded with options. If you’re looking to be spoiled but not that spoiled, the Subaru Outback Limited is actually more accommodating both on- and off-road, plus you’ll have the option of a 6-cylinder engine.
KBB Expert Ratings
Changes to Audi’s 2016 Allroad wagon are limited to some option shuffling. Premium models gain a multifunction 3-spoke steering wheel and available Advanced Key, while the Premium Plus sees the Bang & Olufsen audio system added to the available Technology package.
We love the way the 2016 Audi Allroad wagon rides and drives, but its fuel economy is woefully lacking. EPA figures aside, the Allroad’s potent 2.0-liter turbo is a perfect...
... fit. We learned all about the Allroad’s capabilities on a recent mountain road trip where winter attacked us full force. The levels of rain, sleet, snow and driving wind we encountered were enough to force lesser cars toward the first exit ramp. Our Allroad, however, gave us the confidence to push on, safely arriving at our destination with a new respect for Audi’s luxury wagon. In everyday traffic, the Allroad rides a bit stiffer than one might expect, and its steering can feel vague at times. And, while Audi doesn’t advise taking the Allroad off-road, we’re fairly confident the 7.1 inches of ground clearance and quattro all-wheel drive can safely tackle sandy desert washes and snow-covered logging roads.
AUDI CONNECT W/GOOGLE MAPS
Although it requires a monthly subscription fee, we think the Google maps Street View image is one the best toys in the Audi connect toy box. Owners can also program the navigation route from a home computer, use voice commands to enter a destination and connect up to eight Wi-Fi devices.
BANG & OLUFSEN AUDIO
As part of the $4,000 Technology package, the 505-watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system doesn’t come cheap (it was an $850 stand-alone option last year), but for audiophiles, it’s well worth it.
The 2016 Audi Allroad wagon may not look as roomy as the Q5 SUV, but an additional 3.5 inches in length give it similar cargo volume at 27 (Allroad) vs. 29 cubic feet. With the rear seats folded, 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 regularly transport adults in back. Moving to the front seats, the Audi Allroad offers the same magic mix of materials, quality and design that keeps Audi interiors at the top of the rankings.
Like Samson drawing power from his long locks, Audi’s 2016 Allroad sports wagon also derives much of its strength from an aesthetic source: contrasting, matte-finish wheel arches. Yeah, there are 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 leather seating and other luxury basics, Audi’s Allroad wagon for 2016 includes a panoramic sunroof, HID headlights with LED running lights, heated front seats and a 6.5-inch color screen with audio/climate/vehicle controls. Also onboard are Bluetooth prep, 3-zone climate control, a power rear liftgate and Audi’s music interface that allows accessing music from an iPod or iPhone and control of said device via the car’s audio system.
A loaded 2016 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, including side-assist blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and navigation with Audi connect. Other options of note include Advanced Key keyless entry with push-button start, Bluetooth for streaming audio, sport front seats, rear-side airbags and the Bang & Olufsen audio upgrade.
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 AWD. Audi says the 3,900-pound Allroad will scoot to 60 mph in 6.4 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 almost identical as the heavier (by 200 pounds) and taller (by seven inches)
crossover. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
220 horsepower @ 4,450-6,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (gasoline), 15/21 mpg (E85)
The 2016 Audi Allroad’s $43,625 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is actually about $3,500 higher than the Audi Q5’s, but it does offer more standard equipment. If that’s way out of your budget, a Subaru Outback is the obvious alternative. If money is not an issue, the Infiniti QX50 is nearly wagon-like, or you can go with the BMW 328i xDrive, Volvo V60 Cross Country or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Volvo’s XC60 Cross Country offers more power and interior space for about the same price. Resale value promises to be an Audi Allroad strong suit. To be sure you’re making your best deal, check our Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Allroads.