The 2013 Audi Allroad is Eager to Please

DSC_0540You’re a young, upstart professional in a rugged climate with a toddler and a yellow lab – the perfect demographic for the 2013 Audi Allroad.  CUVs and SUVs are too large for your bungalow’s parking pad and besides, you want to minimize your footprint.

No, the 2013 Audi Allroad doesn’t run on organic flour and patchouli, but it does fit the bill for a versatile and efficient kid/dog-mobile that will lend you a degree of exclusivity.

DSC_0545My wife says she dislikes wagons of all sorts, but when the 2013 Audi Allroad pulled up in front of our house, her perception changed.

“Looks like an A5,” she said, and she’s right- the Allroad’s 1.0-inch wider track front and rear (compared with the A4 Avant) were lifted straight from Audi’s sexy coupe.

Mission accomplished, then. Also, by way of Audi’s single-frame grille, LED headlamps and taillamps, raised roof rails and tasteful cladding.  It’s a looker, and its muscular profile turns quite a few heads.

Inside, the 2013 Audi Allroad’s cabin is typical A4, stark and functional. In Audi speak, stark and functional means ergonomic perfection, and all controls are accordingly easy to use.  Climate and radio functions are straightforward, and the latest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment interface is easy to operate at a glance.

Worth noting, the Allroad’s LATCH child seat anchors were by far and away the easiest I have ever used.  They’re perfectly spaced and are accessible in plain view – no digging or fumbling.

None of this would matter without a comfortable and versatile interior space, and on this note, the new Allroad delivers in spades.  Compared with its A6-based predecessor, the A4 Avant-based interior feels positively cavernous, especially for front seat passengers.

DSC_0555The increased dimensions (namely a 1.4-inch-longer wheelbase) contribute to a smoother ride, says Audi, and I believe it.  The old model’s Delphi adjustable suspension has been eschewed in favor of a simple and compliant steel spring independent setup, which did an excellent job of maintaining balance both on- and off-road.

Outdoorsy types need not fear, as the 2013 Audi Allroad’s ride height still maintains a 1.5-inch advantage over its A4 Avant cousin (7.1 inches total) and the chassis is equipped with a variety of skid plates for underbody protection.

Ascending to your campsite in the hills is effortless thanks to Audi’s direct-injected, turbocharged 4-cylinder TFSI engine.  Good for 211 HP and 258 lb-ft. of torque, the chain-driven mill sends power to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Audi says the combo is good for a 6.5-second 0-60 sprint and a top speed of 130 MPH.  Although I stake no claim to the latter, I can certainly attest to the powertrain’s relaxed nature while lugging the Allroad’s 3,891 pounds of aluminum and steel up even the steepest mountain grades.

DSC_0557During my week of mixed mountain, city, and highway testing, the TFSI-equipped Allroad averaged a respectable 22.9 MPG- not far off the EPA’s 23-MPG rating.  Worth noting, longer highway stints regularly saw closer to 30 MPG.

Competition for the 2013 Audi Allroad is really limited to the dated 2013 Volvo XC70. Consumers will likely cross-shop the Allroad with CUVs such as the 2013 Volvo XC60, 2013 BMW X3, 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK and even the 2013 Audi Q5.

There’s something to be said about having an economical, versatile “anti-CUV” with a certain degree of exclusivity.  With an as-tested price of $47,395, which included navigation, a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlamps and keyless access, the 2013 Audi Allroad does also provide excellent value within its class.

On the recommendation scale of:

–   Buy it

–   Lease it

–   Rent it, or

–   Forget it

I give the 2013 Audi Allroad a BUY IT!

The new Allroad is a magnificent replacement for the 2000-2005 A6-based model.  Do I miss the 2.7-L turbocharged V6?  Sure, but with today’s fuel prices, I’ll gladly take the TFSI/8-speed combo, especially considering its identical 258 lb-ft. of torque.

DanbDaniel Buxbaum has had a life-long passion for all things automotive. His background as a Porsche, Audi and BMW service advisor brings a more technical approach to his writing. Dan’s passion for automotive journalism secured him a position as regional manager and contributing writer for Parts & People, a multi-region automotive trade publication. Dan is also an active member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) and Motor Press Guild (MPG).