2016 Audi Allroad 2.0 TFSI Quattro Review
Now, this is our kind of ride. All the seating, roominess and active-lifestyle cargo capacity of an SUV combined with the lower ride-height and better handling of a sport wagon, not to mention drop-dead gorgeous styling. Allroad’s turbocharged and direct injected 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engine delivers a potent 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic that connects to Quattro all-wheel drive, a combination that results in a 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph and speed-limited terminal velocity of 130 mph. I found there was more than enough output for spirited acceleration and even more for highway passing performance, where the Allroad truly shines. It’s sublime on a sinuous side road too, despite coming standard with an off-road suspension. No matter the road surface the Allroad boasts a decidedly smooth and comfortable ride, delivering a very high level of functionality, luxury, performance, safety and economy. On top of all that, Allroad’s design still looks fresh and oh-so good. Truly, the Allroad has it all.
OK, Audi has raised the Allroad’s suspension beyond the A4 sedan and previous A4 Avant this crossover model is based on, so you get better outward visibility, but it’s no Q5 as far as ride height goes. Speaking of the Q5, and other Q models, Allroad was the name given to the coveted four-ringed brand’s first crossover vehicle that entered the scene in ‘99 atop the larger A6 platform, a model that’s still going strong in other markets, but the more compact D-segment A4-based Allroad suits our entry- to mid-level luxury market nicely while this Allroad’s slightly taller ride height and standard four-wheel Quattro traction complements our colder states’ climate ideally as well.
As you can probably tell the Allroad still sits lower than the Q5 that shares its MLB platform with the current A4 sedan and A4 Avant, the latter a five-door wagon that as mentioned is no longer available in our market. The Allroad essentially replaced the Avant back in 2012 for the 2013 model year when the rest of the A4 line received a mid-cycle upgrade. It still rides on the brand’s eighth-generation B8 platform architecture, so enjoy it while you can because an entirely new B9 will soon be upon us.
I’ve seen the upcoming A4 sedan and while it’s gorgeous the current Allroad is still a very elegant looking five-door. It includes the A4’s usual LED-enhanced headlamps, albeit these bookending a unique bright chromed waterfall grille that hovers above an aluminum-look brush guard undertray that I’d certainly hate to scratch on any untoward rocks or stumps. Medium gray body-cladding bisects the two metallic elements before wrapping around a set of circular fog lamps ahead of arcing over each wheel as it continues its rearward path, the Allroad a thoroughly rich yet rugged looking little wagon. Additional touches include aluminum-look rocker mouldings and the same brushed alloy for the roof rails, while a large aluminum-finish rear valance framing big chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes puts a classy cap on the rear end design. It’s a sweet looking low-riding crossover, especially in metallic black.
Inside, it boasts black leather upholstery and patterned aluminum inlays, lots of additional brushed aluminum trim and, of course, Audi’s superb quality materials plus excellent fit and finish. Nice details in my tester included an optional race-inspired flat-bottomed leather-wrapped sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, fabulously supportive and comfortable powered leather sport seats with four-way lumbar support on the driver’s side, three-way heatable seats that really sizzle in their top temperature, a sunglasses holder in the overhead console that’s ideal for your Audi Sport Gloryfy shades, plus a reverse monitor with active guidelines so you don’t scratch the R8 in your adjacent stall, as well as a very effective navigation system, an open and airy panoramic sunroof, and Audi Drive Select with Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Individual modes.
As you might have suspected I left it in Dynamic, which is Audi-speak for sport mode. This way I was able to make the most of the Allroad’s turbocharged and direct injected 2.0 TFSI four-cylinder engine, this being the only engine for the Allroad albeit amply potent with 220 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque mated to a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic that connects through to Quattro all-wheel drive, a combination that results in a 6.4-second sprint to 60 mph and speed-limited terminal velocity of 130 mph. That’s about a half-second quicker to 60 than the aforementioned Q5, incidentally, the 3,891-lb Allroad about 200 lbs lighter, so needless to say I found there was more than enough output for spirited acceleration and even more so for highway passing performance, where the Allroad truly shines. Don’t get me wrong, as it’s sublime on a sinuous side road as well, the slightly higher riding wagon hardly feeling much different than an A4 sedan when pushed hard through complex curves despite coming standard with an off-road suspension, its extra wheel travel actually helping over bumpy sections that could otherwise upset a stiffer undercarriage, while no matter the road surface being covered, gravel included, the Allroad delivers a decidedly smooth and comfortable ride.
This versatility comes from a five-link double-wishbone front strut suspension assembly and trapezoidal link rear setup that’s directed via speed-dependent electromechanical power steering; electronic traction and stability control managing any situation that overwhelms the mechanical components, while braking is strong thanks to ABS-enhanced dual-circuit, diagonally-split four-wheel discs with electronic brake-force distribution, emergency brake assist, and brake disc wiping.
While I’m talking features, the Allroad, which starts at $42,700 plus freight and dealer fees in base Premium trim, includes a wealth of standard convenience and luxury kit such as auto on/off bi-Xenon HID headlamps with dynamic auto headlight-range adjustment and washers,separate LED daytime running lamps, front and rear fog lamps, LED turn signals integrated into the side mirror housings, LED taillights, high-gloss exterior window surrounds, aluminum roof rails, dark tinted rear glass, unique “allroad quattro” branded aluminum doorsills, an interior lighting package, heatable windshield washer nozzles, rain-sensing wipers, an electromechanical parking brake, heatable powered side mirrors, powered windows with auto up/down all-round, a tilt and telescopic leather-wrapped three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, cruise control, a multi-information display ahead of the driver, powered front seats with fore/aft, height, angle of seat cushion and seatback plus four-way powered driver’s seat lumbar support,leather upholstery, aluminum inlays, a rear center armrest with integrated cupholders, tri-zone automatic climate control, Audi’s MMI infotainment system, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with auxiliary and USB plug-ins, satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming, the Audi Music Interface, an alarm, a Homelink universal garage door opener, a panoramic glass sunroof, a powered tailgate, and more.
Available upgrades in this trim include a $2,100 MMI Navigation Plus package that adds navigation, voice recognition, a color multi-information display, Audi Connect internet, HD radio, and a DVD player, while additional standalone features include proximity-sensing passive access with pushbutton ignition for $500, three-way heatable front seats for $500, rear side-impact airbags for $350, alternative alloy wheels and more.
Alternatively you can opt for Premium Plus trim that starts at $44,800 plus freight and adds the proximity access and pushbutton start as standard, while also including an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a digital compass and more, but more importantly this upgraded trim giving access to a $4,000 Technology package that includes everything from the MMI Navigation package as well as Bang & Olufsen audio, Parking system plus with a rearview camera, and a suite of Audi Side Assist active safety features, plus a $750 Sport package featuring the sport steering wheel with paddles, sport seats, black roofliner and Audi Drive Select system noted earlier.
Lastly, my tester included $575 Mythos Black metallic paint bringing the total to $49,525 plus freight, which in my opinion is quite reasonable for such a stylish, nicely finished, well-equipped CUV.
What might be most impressive to those unfamiliar with Audi wagons and crossover SUVs is the attention paid to cargo area details, including my tester’s beautifully finished ribbed stainless bumper protector, the deep rich carpets on the cargo floor and sidewalls, stylish yet robust chromed metal tie down hooks, and what is easily the most sophisticated cargo cover on the planet, that slides up and out of the way or retracts ahead of being removed fully if required. The rear seats fold 60/40, which was my only disappointment with the car. Rather than maximizing passenger/cargo flexibility with a 40/20/40 rear seating configuration like Audi did with the Q5, the Allroad gets the same seatback design as the A4 sedan that ultimately limits its possibilities. I could live with it of course, but it could be so much better.
An all-new Allroad based on the B9 platform will be arriving next year, and while this updated model has my curiosity piqued I certainly wouldn’t hold off buying today’s version if in the market. It’s a well-proven product that delivers at a very high level of functionality, luxury, performance, safety and economy, the NHTSA having given this year’s model a 5-star crash test rating, while Audi claims an efficient EPA fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city, 28 highway and 24 combined. On top of all that its design still looks fresh and oh-so good. Truly, the Allroad has it all.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, American Auto Press; Photo credits: Karen Tuggay, American Auto Press; Copyright: American Auto Press