Audi Allroad
By: Mike Febbo

We Like: Car-like road manners, combination of torque and fuel efficiency.

We Don't Like: Lack of real offroad prowess. Really is an A4 Avant with plastic flares.

The Allroad returns from a seven-year hiatus leaner, meaner, and based on the A4 rather than the A6. The previous Allroad used an adjustable air suspension that often proved problematic over time, and it was powered by either a twin-turbo V-6 or a naturally aspirated V-8, both of which had a real taste for fuel. This version uses the 211-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that returns an EPA-rated 27 mpg on the highway.

The overall staff opinion of the Allroad was very positive. The interior was universally praised, with comments ranging from Floyd's "typical Audi: well-executed with top-notch craftsmanship" to Allyson Harwood's "elegant and simple with high-quality materials and cool features." The infotainment system has been upgraded, leading Loh to say, "Google Earth execution in nav makes it appear iPhone-current, while others look Garmin-dated."

The driving experience was even more impressive than the build and material quality. Markus logged, "Least body roll, best grip, strong acceleration and braking. Most fun-to-drive car, er, SUV here." Added Lassa, "Superb handling, and good brakes. It's the one I most wanted to keep driving around the Porsche circuit." The Allroad's sport sedan-like handling and rear-biased AWD made it a favorite on the road course. The seating position, precise steering, and comfort made it a hit on the highway as well. So what happened to this much-loved German?

"If it walks like a station wagon and talks like a station wagon, then it's a station wagon. Enough with calling everything with four wheels and some additional cargo space a crossover," Floyd said. Our staff unanimously agreed the Allroad is a station wagon with a slight height advantage. Mortara summed it up: "If I want an Audi SUV, I'll get a Q7, Q5, or Q1." While we were expecting a significantly refreshed Q5 with Audi's astounding 3.0-liter turbodiesel to show up and play, it missed the boat in Germany, literally.

Several editors decided that, were it their money, the Allroad would be the car they'd take home, but the fact that everyone couldn't stop referring to it as a car ultimately was its downfall.

2013 Audi Allroad Quattro
BASE PRICE $40,495
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door wagon
ENGINE 2.0L/211-hp/255-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3877 lb (53/47%)
WHEELBASE 110.4 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 185.9 x 72.5 x 58.0 in
0-60 MPH 6.5 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.0 sec @ 92.4 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 120 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.1 sec @ 0.64 g (avg)
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 169/125 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.86 lb/mile