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2014 Audi allroad quattro: The A4 sports wagon

Audi A4 in a sport wagon version
Audi A4 in a sport wagon version
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2014 Audi allroad quattro Tiptronic Premium Plus

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When you think of Audi, you do not readily think station wagon or what many call a sport wagon. But, Audi has one – the 2014 Audi allroad quattro which is the sport wagon version of the Audi A4 – performing much like the A4 while offering broader capability for the owner.

2014 Audi allroad quattro Premium Plus
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The allroad quattro is not just a smaller version of the Audi Q5 crossover either.

Instead, the allroad quattro blends the best attributes of the luxury level and high-performing quality sedans they are known for with the cargo capacity of a crossover like the Q5.

Adding the quattro all-wheel drive, the allroad gives the driver superb all-weather and light off-road driving performance dynamics unmatched in the category.

The 2014 allroad quattro (which returned to the U.S. market last year after seven-year absence) comes in three trim levels – Premium (MSRP $40,700), Premium Plus (MSRP $43,300) and Prestige (MSRP $49,200).

We recently spent a week driving a 2014 Audi allroad quattro Tiptronic Premium Plus in Moonlight Blue Metallic (optional for $500), Black Interior with leather seating and a Panorama Sunroof with power sunshade for a MSRP of $43,800.

The Premium Plus Package (included) adds some nice extras to the already well-equipped allroad including auto-dimming interior mirrors, power-folding heated auto-dimming exterior mirrors, heated front seats, three-zone automatic climate control, power tailgate and the Audi xenon plus lighting with LED day time running lights and tail lights.

Particularly we were impressed with the panorama sunroof. Having a dark colored car with dark interior in leather and panorama sunroof in Texas can present a serious challenge to interior comfort and operator convenience from glare and heat transfer. The Audi panorama sunroof, with its deep-tinted sunroof glass, along with the sunshade, all but completely mitigated that problem.

Our Audi allroad test vehicle also was equipped with the Audi MMI Navigation Plus Package for $2,600. It added a CD/DVD-player with HD-radio to the standard Audi Premium Sound Concert Radio system that included SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Also included was the MMI Navigation with voice control, a color driver information display and the Audi Parking System with rearview camera.

Our 2014 Audi allroad quattro Tiptronic Premium Plus final delivered price was $47,745.

Our test car, as are all 2014 Audi allroad models, was powered by a 2.0 TFSI turbocharged and direct-injected, four cylinder engine that delivers 220 horsepower with 258lb.-ft. of torque through the Audi Tiptronic eight-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy for the allroad is rated at 20/27 mpg City/Highway with an expected average of 23 mpg.

Performance with the Tiptronic shift is very sporty and the allroad will make 0-60 in just over six seconds – if you are inclined to check that out.

The driving dynamics from the power train are enhanced by the standard quattro all-wheel drive that comes with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with an off-road mode and electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering that help with vehicle stability in bad weather or challenging road conditions.

The ride experience and control is further improved by the standard 18-inch wheels with higher profile tires that are standard (19-inch wheels are available).

Weighing in at just under 3,900 pounds on a wheel base of just over 110 inches, the allroad profile is deceptively low to the road at 58-inches of height but still provides a very adequate 7.1-inches of ground clearance - sporting stainless steel front and rear skid plates - for those trips onto country roads or down to the beach.

The allroad seats five with very comfortable front cockpit and passenger seating and feature functionality controls easily in reach.

However, the back seat space is a bit tight and, when a front seat is pushed back to accommodate a tall person in the front, the rear seat leg room is seriously limited. Cargo capacity is actually pretty good (50.5 cubic feet) with the rear seat folded down.

Personally I would add that - though the driver seating and space was more than adequate for my height and frame - once inside, I found the door entry tight requiring a bit of effort on my part to both get in and out. The relationship of the B-pillar to the driver seat to the steering wheel along with the low slope on the roof line is not as well designed for us bigger folks as it might be.

However, in summary, the Audi allroad quattro Tiptronic is good, very good actually, every bit of what you would expect an Audi, including a sport wagon, to be.