Audi A4/A6 Allroad Review

By: Scott Newman

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Audi A4/A6 Allroad Audi A4/A6 Allroad Audi A4/A6 Allroad
Audi A4/A6 Allroad Audi A4/A6 Allroad Audi A4/A6 Allroad
Audi A4/A6 Allroad Audi A4/A6 Allroad Audi A4/A6 Allroad

Road test: Audi gives its wagon range a lift and hits the sweet spot.

Audi A4/A6 Allroad Review
Road test: Audi A4/A6 Allroad

 

Audi A4/A6 Allroad 

Trying to combine two successful concepts into one, even better idea rarely results in success. Anyone who's watched Alien vs. Predator or listened to Metallica's S & M album will know what I mean. But what if, just once, the result became the best of both worlds?

In theory, Audi's A4 and A6 Allroad models should be neither fish nor fowl - not as versatile as a true SUV, yet compromised dynamically compared to the regular Avant (wagon) models. In reality, they strike a rare balance between usability and entertainment.

Supply will be limited to just 150 of each, at $69,900 for the A4 and $117,900 for the A6. The A6, in particular, is well-equipped, with 20s, air suspension, electric tailgate and much more, all standard. There is less standard kit on the A4, but all the basics - leather, sat-nav, 10-speaker stereo - are there, though $1650 for metallic paint is perhaps a bit rich at this price point.

On the road, the A6 Allroad is a genuine surprise. With 180kW/580Nm on tap from its 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6, it is impressively rapid - 0-100km/h is claimed to take just 6.6 seconds - and its broad torque curve means that it doesn't really matter what gear you've chosen in the seven-speed dual-clutch 'box, it just surges forward.

Tight corners expose its 1930kg kerb weight, but in fast sweepers the amount of grip would potentially leave many sportier cars lagging behind. And when the road runs out, just press a button, jack up the air suspension and keep going. You'd never take it hardcore off-roading - those 20-inch rims are too vulnerable - but it shrugs off water crossings and washouts, which is probably more than most owners will subject it to.

But if the A6 is a surprise, the A4 is a revelation. What a sweet package. Australia has previously been denied the smaller Allroad so as not to steal the Q5 SUV's thunder (they would have launched at around the same time) and because the 2.0-litre turbodiesel was, until recently, manual-only.

With just 130kW/380Nm to play with and riding on 245/45R18 tyres, the A4 lacks the huge grip and outright punch of its bigger brother, but every part of the car feels nicely in proportion with everything else. As torrential Queensland rain turned roads into rivers, it scythed through standing water and was an entertaining and confidenceinspiring partner in the slippery conditions. That diesel four-pot even makes a nice growl when pushed.

Apparently, your typical Allroad buyer has quite a few cars, which is ironic given the models' breadth of abilities make them perfect do-everything transport. If you lived near an autobahn or do a lot of towing, the A6 makes sense, but for me, the just-ascapable - and $48,000 cheaper - A4 Allroad will do just fine thanks.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Audi A4 Allroad

 

Engine: 1968cc 4cyl, DOHC,16v, turbodiesel

Power: 130kW @ 4200rpm

Torque: 380Nm @ 1750-2500rpm

Weight: 1705kg

Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch

0-100km/h: 8.1sec (claimed)

Top speed: 210km/h (claimed)

Price: $69,900

 

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