Review

Audi A6 Allroad quattro estate

Price  £45,255 - £51,620

Audi A6 Allroad quattro estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Smaller than a full-size SUV
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Powerful top-spec model
Cons
  • More expensive than rivals
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Not the best off-road

At a glance

The greenest
3.0 TDI quattro S tronic 218PS 5dr £45,255
The cheapest
3.0 TDI quattro S tronic 218PS 5dr £45,255
The fastest
3.0 BiTDI quattro tiptronic 320PS 5dr £51,620
Top of the range
3.0 BiTDI quattro tiptronic 320PS 5dr £51,620

"The Audi A6 Allroad estate offers excellent handling, quality and luxury in a practical and stylish body. It’s also fast, frugal and user-friendly, with the benefit of being able to tackle the odd muddy track."

Take the latest Audi A6 Avant, beef it up for going off-road and you get the Audi A6 Allroad quattro. It has a 15mm increase in ride height, extra wheelarch cladding and some underbody protection to make it tougher and more durable. And it certainly looks chunkier than the standard A6 Avant, with a more rugged exterior. Adjustable air-suspension is fitted as standard across the range, as well as specially tuned electronic stability control to help when things get slippery.

There are three diesel engines to choose from: a 201bhp 3.0-litre, a 242bhp 3.0-litre (expected to make up 86% of sales) and a 309bhp 3.0-litre with two turbochargers. The first two engines are paired with an efficient and effective seven-speed S tronic gearbo, while the more powerful BiTDI twin-turbo V6 diesel is the only Allroad engine to use Audi's newer eight-speed gearbox.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

The four-wheel-drive system is surprisingly efficient given the impressive performance

All A6 Allroad models have stop-start and brake energy recuperation technology in order to boost economy. The entry-level 202bhp 3.0-litre TDI quattro is the most efficient engine in the Allroad, returning 46.3mpg fuel economy and emitting 159g/km of CO2.

The biggest seller is the 242bhp version, which returns 44.8mpg and emits 165g/km of CO2 – a little less impressive than in the standard Audi A6 Avant estate. The 161bhp 2.4-litre diesel engine in the Volvo XC70 is more economical, but it's also much slower and pumps out an unimpressive 179g/km of CO2.

The top-of-the-range Audi A6 Allroad 3.0-litre BiTDI quattro returns 42.2mpg and emits 176g/km – but that's the price you pay for going from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds. It's also worth noting that because the Allroad is a large Audi, parts and servicing will be quite expensive.

Engines, drive & performance

3.8 / 5

Smooth and very responsive, the A6 Allroad is the perfect motorway crusier

The Allroad is smooth and comfortable to drive, rather than particularly exciting. That’s not to say there isn’t enough performance – on the contrary, all the diesels have plenty of shove – but it feels like a calm cruiser rather than an out-and-out sports car.

Despite weighing 70kg less than the previous model thanks to its aluminium bonnet, front wing, door parts and tailgate, the current Allroad still tips the scales at 1,855kg. The steering is weighty, while there’s slightly more body lean than in the regular A6 Avant. Beyond that, it’s not massively different from the standard car, which is pleasingly precise and responsive to drive.

The seven-speed gearbox is smooth and there's plenty of grip thanks to the standard 18-inch alloy wheels and quattro all-wheel drive. The biggest seller will be the 242bhp 3.0-litre diesel engine, which has plenty of power for overtaking and motorway slip roads, going from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. The 3.0-litre BiTDI is a real monster, however, offering sports-car-like acceleration of 0-62mph in just 5.6 seconds.

Interior & comfort

4.6 / 5

Very comfortable over long distances thanks to a plush and well built interior

Unsurprisngly for a big Audi, the A6 Allroad quattro is an extremely comfortable car. Inside, every model has standard leather seats, plus Audi’s MMI Radio Plus system with sat nav. Once you’ve used the keyless access to get in, the leather seats provide a great balance of comfort and support, while the switches, controls and surfaces are all up to Audi’s very high standards.

There’s also two-zone climate control and a 180w, 10-speaker stereo, which comes with Bluetooth and MP3 player connections as standard. Elsewhere, hill-start assistance and parking sensors make for a stress-free driving exerience in town, while the air suspension offers a smooth and comfortable ride, effectively absorbing nearly all bumps and potholes. The interior is well insulated from engine, wind and road noise, too.

Practicality & boot space

4.6 / 5

The new A6 Allroad is slightly larger than its predecessor

Like the standard A6 on which it's based, the Allroad is wider, longer and lower than the previous model, which means it’s much more spacious inside. It offers improved headroom front and back, with additional luggage space in the boot, which holds 565 litres with the standard 60:40 split-folding rear seats in place. That expands to a hefty 1,860 litres when you lower them, which trumps a BMW X5.

If you intend to tackle some rougher terrain, you can raise the air-suspension by 15mm to give you more ground clearance. The Allroad can ford 30cm of water and has steel underbody protection to guard against damage from rocks and stones. The other benefit of the Allroad's raised height is that it’s easier to load the boot than in the standard Audi A6.

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

Build quality is top-notch and engines have proven to be reliable

The standard A6 and A6 Avant both secured the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests. Of course, all models have the added bonus of the quattro four-wheel-drive system, making them safer in bad weather conditions. Every Allroad also has a driver information system, tyre-pressure monitoring, electronic stability control, seat belt monitoring, airbags, ISOFIX child-seat mounts and parking sensors as standard. You can also add radar-guided cruise control and lane-keep assistance as optional extras.

As proven by Audi’s 10th place in the manufacturer rankings of the Driver Power 2013 customer satisfaction survey, the brand majors on reliability, and the Allroad’s engines have been tried and tested across the rest of the A6 range.

The standard A6 placed 27th in the top 100 cars, too. The fit and finish is second to none, so we predict years of trouble-free motoring for anyone who chooses to run one as a family car. You get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with the option to increase to four or five years for £560 and £1,335, respectively.

Price, value for money & options

2.8 / 5

All models are expensive and as with all Audis, the options list is extensive

The Allroad is significantly more expensive than the standard A6 Avant, but you do get an impressive amount of standard features and accessories. These include leather seats, a Bluetooth phone connection, two-zone climate control, air-suspension, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated door mirrors, an electrically powered tailgate, a DAB digital radio, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, keyless go and sat nav.

The Allroad is more expensive than its key rival the Volvo XC70, so you need to decide if all that equipment is really worth it. And, if you get carried away with the options list, you could easily add another £10,000 to the price in the blink of an eye.

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4 / 5
We drove the punchy 242bhp 3.0 TDI on German roads, and it delivered a slightly softer ride than the regular A6 Avant, even on optional 19-inch alloys. It handles almost as well thanks to the standard adjustable air-suspension, which lets you pick and choose ride height.
3 / 5
The petrol engine, too, gives strong performance, but only if you work it comparatively hard. Not only are the diesel engines more relaxing to drive, they’re easier on the ear, too, because you don’t have to keep the revs up as high for as much of the time as you do with the petrol.
As is now an allroad tradition, the wheel arches, bumpers and sills are painted in a contrasting colour, but can be body-coloured if the optional aluminium exterior package is specified. Java Brown paint is available exclusively for the new A6 allroad.
Last updated 
23 Jan 2014

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