£46,505 - £56,480 Price range
43 - 50 MPG
Audi was one of the first manufacturers to explore the concept of a more rugged version of its estate cars, and the A6 Allroad is the latest in the line. It gets very good reviews from the critics, scoring highly in most areas despite its extra expense over the equivalent A6 Avant.
Of particular praise are the car’s extra off-road ability – even if it’s no Land Rover – and the increase in ride comfort over the already-respectable Avant. Is it still capable of going head to head with the Volvo XC70? Read on to discover what else the experts have said.
Cheapest to buy: 3.0-litre 218hp Standard diesel
Cheapest to run: 3.0-litre 218hp Standard diesel
Fastest model: 3.0-litre 320hp Sport diesel
Most popular: 3.0-litre 272hp Sport diesel
No surprises here – Audi continues its high standard of interiors with the A6 Allroad. It’s as spacious as the A6 Avant on which the Allroad is based, and the cabin is standard Audi A6 – beautifully trimmed, impeccably built and among the highest-quality of any vehicle on the road. The boot is huge too.
Allroad models come as standard with Milano leather trim, bespoke badging and sat-nav. The A6 has the same strengths and weaknesses as other A6 models for comfort too – it’s refined and the seats are comfortable, but some drivers may find the offset pedals compromise the driving position.
The extra few inches of ground clearance do have an effect on the way the Allroad drives, but not enough to make you think twice about buying one. Reviews say the all-round air suspension “delivers a wonderfully comfortable ride”.
Because the suspension’s height can be adjusted (as much as 45mm upwards), it has enough ride height to “scramble its way over modest obstacles without expensive crunching sounds”, while at speed the car lowers by 15mm to improve aerodynamics and stability.
Testers say it handles as well as the Avant and “wafts along serenely”, though you do feel the extra weight in cornering and there’s a little extra body roll as a result. There’s good grip available though, and it’s a good motorway cruiser.
Audi offers two engine sizes in the Allroad: A 3.0-litre TDI diesel in two power outputs which almost everyone will buy and a mighty twin-turbocharged 3.0 BiTDI diesel which the press adore.
They will all do more 40 mpg if you’re careful (46 mpg for the most economical) and the BiTDI has 309 horsepower and a massive 479 lb ft of torque for hot hatch-beating performance. The twin-turbo car even has piping to enhance its sound in the cabin – the phrase “V8-like” is mentioned on occasion.
The BiTDI's two turbochargers work in series, one helping you along at low engine speeds and the larger unit taking over at 2,500 rpm. Reviews say there's a total lack of turbo lag - that delay you'll feel when hitting the throttle in some turbocharged cars - and performance is effortless. It's also refined, with a sporty edge - a flap in the exhaust opens to give the BiTDI a V8-like burble.
Throw in 40 mpg economy and the BiTDI is a very tempting package - if you can afford it.
Audi's V6 diesel is a refined unit with "considerable low-down torque". There's not much diesel noise and so punchy is the higher-powered diesel that one tester even suggests the lower-power unit might be suitable for most buyers!
The standard A6 saloon was awarded a five star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests, so it’s safe to assume that the Allroad will be just as sturdy.
In addition to the usual safety kit, the Allroad has adaptive cruise control, ‘active lane assist’ which steers you within your own lane if you begin to drift into the path of another vehicle, and a infra-red camera to aid vision during night-time driving.
Prices for the Allroad start at just under £44,000. Both 3.0 TDI models are relatively economical and get relatively low car tax ratings. Residual values are strong too, but servicing and parts are expensive and testers warn that the price can quickly spiral upwards as you add options.
There’s certainly a case to be made for looking at the regular A6 Avant here. Also available with all-wheel drive, it’ll do most of what the Allroad will do for considerably less money. Of course, it won’t venture quite as far off-road, but there are plenty of other capable vehicles if you need to do that on a regular basis.
One reviewer describes the Allroad as “all the car you’d ever need”, and he may be right – the extra off-road ability makes this A6 variant a seriously multi-talented car.
There’s a nagging feeling though that you’d be even better served by the A6 Avant, given the Allroad’s expense. If you can justify the extra cost then take one for a test drive and see if you’re not quite taken by it…