2013 Audi allroad: First drive

FIRST DRIVE

Back from the dead, the all new allroad rides on the same platform as stablemates A4 and A5, but kind of mixes the two for a better experience. Ride heights doubles from the A4, adapts the A4’s length, but borrows the wider track of its A5 brethren. The first thing you’ll notice about the new allroad, besides the tubular light design taken from the 2013 A4, is the new, striking, in your face chrome grille. The grille is slanted, much like the rest of Audi’s lineup. Looking much like the outgoing Avant, the allroad has a much more aggressive tone, with different color fender outlets and a lower body treatment. Color me surprised, Audi may have created a wagon that Americans can enjoy looking at.

Jumping inside, you’ll see an interior layout that blends the A4 with the Q5. Definitely a roomy and cool place to be. Step on the brake, start your engine and you’ll be greeted with a nice burble from the turbo I4. Wait, an I4 cylinder in the allroad?! Is Audi crazy?! Maybe. Mated to the 8 speed auto, the gearing is a bit shorter to compensate for the extra amount of vehicle. And my does it compensate. Excellent job to Audi for making a cargo hauler/soft roader actually feel as sprightly as its smaller siblings. With just a bit of lag at the bottom, the 4’s torque makes this engine feel right at home. No complaints here about power. Just dont expect to go the speed limit without cruise control. Maybe Audi did too much compensating, as no matter what gear you’re in, power is there regardless. I just wish Audi would have given this the excellent 6 speed as well, but 99% of actual customers could care less.

Ride and handling, again, top notch, with an actual feel that might surprise you. If I had to explain the way the allroad feels, I’d say a taller, smoother S4. Don’t expect this to blow your mind like an S5 would, but be prepared for amazement throwing this vehicle around in the twists. Half way into the drive, I swore I was driving something MUCH smaller, until we got to the highway. If gas were to ever go down to 2 bucks a gallon and I could have my choice of any vehicle to take cross country, no doubt about it, I would choose this. Highway comfort, road isolation, everything about this wagon gets a 10 from me. Sorry, no off roading for us, as Audi didn’t place that in the plans, but maybe if we got a review unit…..

Simply put, if you don’t want a big CUV, but you’re not feeling wagons too much, I can’t think of a better alternative. Nice job, Audi. Not many people are able to rekindle a failure, and turn it into an absolute success.


Photo Credit:  Audi

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