"Well built and comfortable, the four-wheel-drive Audi A6 allroad is a practical alternative to a full-sized 4x4."
The A6 allroad quattro is based on the A6 Avant, but gets a raised ride height, big bumpers and wheelarch extensions. All models come with adjustable air-suspension and four-wheel drive, meaning the car excels at towing. Just three engines are offered, with the two V6 diesel options by far the most sensible. There are no direct rivals to the A6 allroad; instead it serves as an alternative to large conventional 4x4s such as the Land Rover Discovery 4 and Volvo XC90.
The A6 allroad's high driving position offers a commanding view of the road ahead, while a thick steering wheel and heavy feel to the controls reinforce this car's robust nature. Adjustable air-suspension allows the driver to drop the body down low to the road for the best handling, or lift it high to clear obstacles off the beaten track. The allroad will go much further off-road than the regular A6 Avant. All three engines are powerful. A slick-shifting automatic gearbox is fitted to most models, although there is the option of a manual with the 3.0 TDI diesel – which improves performance and economy.
Thanks to the taller suspension and a special “Comfort” mode for the adjustable air-suspension, the A6 allroad is even more comfortable than the already relaxing A6 Avant. The standard leather seats are exceptional too and the massive range of adjustment available in them - and the steering - means it's very easy to find a good driving position.
The A6 allroad is well built, but repeated off-road use will damage the air-suspension, which is ferociously expensive to repair. In the 2010 Driver Power survey, most A6 owners reported their cars proved hard wearing, but did say mechanical failures were expensive to put right.
If you need more room than the A6 allroad offers, then you better start thinking about hiring a van! Even with five passengers on board the car never feels claustrophobic. At the back there's a 565-litre boot, but fold the seats flat and this extends to 1,660 litres to the roofline. The interior also has tougher materials than in other A6 models to cope with life off-road.
Value for money
Simply put, the A6 allroad is an expensive, luxurious off-roader disguised as an executive estate car. But that's not to say it isn't good value. It features a higher level of equipment than the standard A6 Avant, and has a wider breadth of talents thanks to its off-road abilities.
If you're concerned with fuel economy and tax, stay away from the 3.0-litre petrol engine. Both diesels offer similar performance to the petrol, plus better fuel economy and emissions. Even so, the A6 allroad is a big, heavy car, and fuel consumption is poorer than the standard A6 Avant's.