"The Audi A6 Allroad offers excellent roadholding, 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 road."
The Audi A6 Allroad Quattro takes the latest-generation Audi A6 Avant and gives it the off-road treatment. A 15mm increase in ride height allows greater approach and departure angles, while wheel arch cladding distinguishes it visually from the Audi A6 Avant on which it's based. There's adjustable air suspension standard across the range as well as specially tuned ESP and underbody armour. There are three diesels and one petrol variant, starting with the 201bhp 3.0-litre diesel, a 242bhp 3.0-litre diesel (expected to make up 86 per cent of sales) and a 306bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol. All of these engines are mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The most potent of the range is the 309bhp 3.0-litre BiTDI twin-turbo V6 diesel and it's the only motor to use the new eight-speed transmission.
The Audi A6 Allroad offers a smooth and comfortable drive. It rides well, thanks to its air suspension, which is standard across the entire range. Despite an average 70kg weight saving over the previous model, thanks to an aluminium bonnet, front wing, door parts and tailgate – the Allroad still weighs in at 1,855kg, and it does feel quite heavy with weighty steering and slightly more roll than the regular A6 Avant. Other than that, it doesn’t feel massive departure from its A6 Avant donor car, which is responsive to drive. The seven-speed transmission is smooth, yet comfort levels are excellent, and there's plenty of grip thanks to the standard 18-inch wheels and quattro all-wheel drive. The volume seller will be the 242bhp 3.0-litre diesel, which has loads of torque (580Nm) to make overtaking and motorway slip roads a breeze, with a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds. The 3.0 BiTDI is a monster with its 650Nm and sports car-like 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds.
Inside, there's keyless access to the standard Milano leather seating, as well as Audi's MMI system with satellite-navigation across the range. The leather seats are comfortable and supportive, and of course there's the familiar Audi build quality in the surfaces and switchgear with standard dual-zone climate control and a 180W 10-speaker audio system. Bluetooth and auxiliary connectivity are both standard, while there's Hill Start Assist and parking sensors to help the daily commute too.
Audi reliability is strong, and these engines are also shared with the rest of the A6 range. This means there's been serious investment and ongoing development for what's a volume range, so there should be few problems. The fit and finish and Space Shuttle-like build quality should mean years of trouble free motoring. Warranty is three years/60,000 miles, with four- and five-year warranty options for £560 and £1335 respectively.
Based on the new A6, released in 2011, the Allroad is wider, longer and lower than its predecessor. There's more space inside, with greater headroom both front and rear as well as 20 additional litres of luggage space. The Allroad's cargo area offers 565 litres with its 60/40 split-fold rear seats upright, or 1,860 litres with them folded flat. The air suspension can be raised to make it sit 15mm higher than an A6 Avant for greater ground clearance on rougher terrain, with a 30cm water-fording ability and stainless-steel underbody stone shield.
Value for money
Prices for the A6 Allroad start at around £43,000, with the 242bhp 3.0-litre diesel nearing £45,000. There's an impressive list of standard features – including leather, dual-zone climate control, air suspension and satellite-navigation, but the entry price is much more than its Volvo XC70 rival, which starts at £29,065. The Audi does offer much more equipment and engine choices though, but if you’re not after these, it's not the car for you.
The entire range has start/stop and kinetic energy recovery braking as standard, with the 202bhp the most efficient with 46.4mpg and 159g CO2. Again, the volume-seller 242bhp version has figures of 44.8mpg and 165g/km, which is only a fraction more than the A6 Avant. It's pipped by the most powerful Volvo XC70, the 161bhp 2.4-litre diesel with its six-speed auto, which achieves 49.6mpg but falls behind the Allroad with 179g/km of CO2.