2013 Audi Allroad 2.0T Quattro Long-Term Update 1
A Wagon Queen Family Truckster It Isn't
Clark Griswold would've hated the 2013 Audi Allroad: no ersatz tree defacing the bodywork, no E-Z-Steal hubcaps, no optional Rally Fun Pack, though the Audi's standard roof rack would provide a fine perch for Aunt Edna. Nope, the Allroad is a wagon of a different breed: trim, nimble, bristling with amenities -- and priced high enough to suck up all of Clark's Christmas bonus, and then some.
The as-tested sticker for our long-termer, dressed in top-of-the-line Prestige trim, comes to $51,190, a boatload of bucks for smallish wagon with a 2.0-liter turbo-four. On the other hand, as my colleagues and I have learned racking up more than 8000 miles so far, when you spend time in the Allroad's cockpit, you never forget that you're flying first-class.
I drove my wife and daughter from L.A. to Vegas for a business conference (a.k.a., a tax-deductible swim), and the four-plus hours flew by with ease. The 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat is simply fabulous -- comfy, supportive, quickly configurable to an ideal driving position. The fat leather steering wheel says "money" to your hands every minute of the trip. The MMI navigation screen is crisp and detailed, with useful traffic info that updates on the fly. Note that your map route is turning orange or red and, sure enough, when you reach that location traffic will be slowing or stopped. (Driving to the office, I often check the screen before deciding to hop on the 405 or take side roads.) Also cool: The moving map can display satellite images from Google Earth.
The Audi Side Assist blind-spot detection system works well, lighting a signal in the side mirror if a car (or motorcycle) is hiding to your side. Signal a lane change with someone flying blind and the system will flash a very visible alert. It's welcome added peace of mind -- especially in a state that allows motorcycle lane-splitting.
The Prestige package includes a boffo Bang & Olufsen audio system -- 14 speakers, 505 watts, built-in hard drive, and SD card inputs for your digital music. Alas, much of its sonic goodness is wasted. I giddily loaded up a memory card with lossless audio files (using both FLAC and ALAC codecs), only to discover that the head unit won't play files with bit rates higher than 320kbps. It doesn't play most DVD-A discs, either. (You can, however, watch a video DVD with surround sound.) It's like buying a Ferrari and trying to run it on chocolate milk.
Still, my colleagues and I are thoroughly enjoying the Allroad experience. It's roomy without being big, a willing performer without guzzling fuel, and a sophisticate through and through. Our first service was even gratis, too. In a few months, we'll have to start stalking some snow.
|Service life||5 mo/5099 mi|
|Average fuel economy||22.9 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.85 lb/mi|
|Energy consumption||147 kW-hr/100mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||20/27/23 mpg|