Most Americans seem to dislike wagons, maybe because the name conjures up images of a large vehicle with fake wood grain siding, vinyl bench seats that stick to your legs, a lazy-revving V-8 engine, and a body that wallows about in the turns. The Buick Roadmaster is a great example. In Europe, however, the wagon, or estate as it is called…..sounds much better.…..is still very popular. SUVs are gaining popularity but there are still a good selection of high performance wagons available, if you don’t live in the US.

So onto the allroad in question….it doesn’t have much competition, except from the BMW 3 series wagon. The 2015 Audi allroad Quattro is based on the A4 platform and is lifted by 1.5 inches to give 7.5 inches of ground clearance. It gives up an inch to the Subaru Outback but for most situations, it works. Power is provided by the 2.0 Turbo four used in the Audi Q5, providing 220 [email protected] 6000 and 258lb ft @ 1500. Being 190lbs or so lighter than the Q5 the allroad has some get up and go and provides brisk if not scintillating performance. 0-60 takes 6.5 seconds and the 8 speed auto provided almost seamless shifts.

Will It Go Offroad?

Short answer is yes……but it’s no Jeep. We took it on some truck trails in San Diego’s back country and it copes very well and the ride over loose bumpy terrain is very good.  Traction in the dry (it doesn’t rain here) is phenomenal, we couldn’t break traction even on the steep bits under power. After a couple of miles of reasonably rapid progress we came across an abandoned ATV blocking our way, with what appeared to be a broken front suspension. This was a fairly rutted section of road and the only way past was to traverse the deep ruts and hope we didn’t get stuck. We didn’t. The road dead ends about a 1/4 mile later at the top of the mountain. Job done. The descent was just as easy and even on the steep declines the Audi was surefooted and comfortable. It may not be able to cope with all roads but it goes where many cannot.

Handling On Road

The Audi hides it’s slightly higher stance well when on regular pavement with a hint of body roll in the turns. Yes it could use a bit more power but we think the typical buyer will be fine with what it has. The Quattro provides sporty handling unless you plow into a corner carrying too much speed, and then it under-steers until you back off.  The wagon’s low center of gravity is the best reason for this car and  it makes it feel light and not top heavy like SUVs.

Cruising at highway speeds is pretty refined and the engine is relaxed and has low lvels of noise and ha

Interior

The standard seats are comfortable if a little flat and the dash is the older style, which still looks and feels great but is in need of a makeover al la Audi A3. The tech package in the Allroad was fine for Bluetooth, but the lack of USB ports is a miss. Cargo capacity is 27.6 cu ft with the seats in place and is slightly smaller than the 29.1 available in the Q5. That said the allroad is a bit more stylish and a sportier handler.

What’s it Got?

Standard features for the base Premium trim include 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and leather upholstery.Additional features include: eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar for the driver), Bluetooth and a 10-speaker audio system with CD player, iPod connectivity and satellite radio. Our tester came with the Premium Plus Package ($2,100) that adds keyless ignition and entry, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, heated front seats and driver memory settings. The Technology Package mentioned earlier ($2,900) includes a rearview camera and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitoring system and Audi Connect.

Verdict

Audi sells nine Q5s for every Allroad so we doubt that they will spend too much time on revamping this car, but as it stands it’s a great alternative to a tall SUV. There are only a couple of other competitors in the sports wagon market, the BMW 328i xDrive sports wagon and the Volvo V60.  The allroad is a great choice.

2015 Audi allroad Quattro Numbers

ENGINE Turbocharged DOHC 16-valve inline-4
POWER 220 @ 6000
TORQUE 258 @ 1500
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
0–60 MPH 6.5 sec
¼-MILE 14.9 sec @ 92
TOP SPEED 128 mph (Limited)
CURB WEIGHT 3901 pounds
EPA CITY/HWY 20/27 mpg

Original Article