After a seven-year absence, Audi’s 2013 allroad quattro (AWD) is back and is a formidable crossover vehicle that is based on Audi’s A4, but with a one-inch wider track a 0.7 longer length and 1.5 more ground clearance for a total of 7.1 inches. And with the wintry weather we’re having, an all-wheel drive wagon is a necessity if you absolutely have to travel, be for work, catch a flight or keep doctor appointments. And it can be done in style, for a price.
Powered by a 2.0-liter, 211-hp turbocharged four-cylinder with 258 lb/ft of torque and when coupled to a slick shifting 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, the allroad has spirited acceleration. Audi claims it does 0-60 in 6.5 seconds and I don’t doubt it as it quick from a standing stop.
The allroad sports a stylish, exterior and upscale interior with a choice of three trims (two of which are optional) that adorn the dash, doors and console. Leather heated seats, a large (32.5x26-inch wide) sunroof that opens half way and a low 17-inch step-in make for a comfy, secure cabin.
My Premium Plus optioned ($3,300) model came with auto dimming interior lightning, power folding outside mirrors, iPod interface, Bluetooth prep, xenon lighting, power tailgate, 505-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers and more.
One of the first quirks I noticed though was that the door sills are eight inches wide, which requires a giant-step inward and outward. And because of a wide, high transaxle hump, the rear seats can only accommodate two adults, or three teens. I also found that it’s a two-step procedure to adjust the fan speed, which should only be one-step.
Back in the cargo hold, there’s a spacious 40.5 inches of depth, 40 of width and 28 of height or 27 cubic feet unless the rear seats are folded, which then gives 68 inches of depth or 50 cubic feet of space. And lift-over is a mere 26 inches. There is also some small storage space beneath the cargo floor, but it shares it with the shrink spare tire.
Allroad’s ride is firm on 18-inch (19s are optional) Pirelli tires but not punishing. And although it’s an AWD, you wouldn’t want to take this beauty off the beaten path. Handling is taut and controlled and a bit on the sporty side. Steering is light and electrically boosted that makes parking easy. Included are safety features like ABS, ESC and the allroad carries a five star government safety rating for rear seat side crash and four for front seat. Frontal crash was not rated.
Now here’s the bad news. This strikingly good-looking crossover tested had a base price of $39,600 but escalated to $44,270 after adding the Premium Plus package and $475 for Moonlight Blue Metallic paint. If you can settle for Glacier White, Ice Silver or Phantom Black paint, there’s no extra charge.
There’s also the top-line Prestige version that fetches $48,800. What is troubling is that the Premium Plus tested didn’t have GPS Nav or a rearview camera, two items that are included in many, much less expensive Asian and Korean brand cars, even some Chevy, Ford and Chrysler models.
Opting for the top-line Prestige option comes with Audi’s Side Assist (monitors and alerts blind spot areas as well as fast approaching vehicles out to 150 feet) and Audi Drive Select (advance control of steering, transmission shift points and engine response to driver inputs and selectable Comfort, Auto, Dynamic or Individual settings). There’s also Audi’s Adaptive Cruise (that uses radar to measure distance to a vehicle ahead and gives alerts) and Audi’s Connect gives Google searches, plus Google Earth terrain imagery that can send destinations from any browser to the car while incorporating Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus.
Allroad is a lot of fine crossover but it costs a lot as well. With all the competition in this class from BMW’s X3, Mercedes’ GLK, Infiniti’s JX, Cadillac’s SRX, Acura’s RDX and even Audi’s own Q5, I’m puzzled as to who would buy this vehicle instead of the aforementioned. Personally, I’d opt for the Q5 as it appears to have more interior space but with slightly less sporty looks.
To check out an allroad, stop by Knopf Audi on Lehigh Street in Allentown. And to automatically receive auto news and reviews from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.