Like the A4 sedan, the 2014 Audi Allroad 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder receives a bump in power, rising from 211 hp to 220...more
The formula behind Audi's Allroad -- take an all-wheel-drive station wagon, raise its ride height, fit SUV-ish wheels, and call it a day -- dates back to 1999, when the automaker launched the A6 Allroad in North America. Despite developing a second-generation A6 Allroad for Europe, it never came stateside. Audi discontinued the Allroad in North America after the 2005 model year in favor of the Q7, suggesting that Americans prefer SUVs over SUV-esque wagons. Interestingly, Audi decided to revisit an SUV-esque wagon in 2013, when it dropped the A4 Avant station wagon from its North American portfolio and added the new A4 Allroad to its lineup.
Audi won't sell you a brand-new A4 Avant in North America, but there is still a way to order a new A4 wagon here in the U.S. -- so long, of course, as you don't mind it masquerading as a crossover. Audi bills the 2014 Audi Allroad as a "crossover with the refinement of a luxury car," but in actuality, it's an A4 Avant on stilts.
In addition to a ride height that's some 1.5 inches taller than a normal A4, the 2014 Allroad boasts larger wheels -- eighteen-inch alloys are standard, nineteen-inch rims optional -- flared fenders, butch rocker panels, and fascia accents designed to resemble skid plates. Whether that tricks wagon-phobic consumers into considering the Allroad is unknown, but in our eyes, the Allroad still blatantly looks like an Avant.
Like the A4 Avant used to be, the 2014 Audi Allroad is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder, whose output is bumped up to 220 hp for the new model year. That still trails the six-cylinders in the similar Volvo XC70 and the Subaru Outback 3.6 by roughly 20 to 60 hp and 36 hp, respectively. That said, thanks in part to an eight-speed automatic and a relatively svelte curb weight, the Allroad returns EPA fuel-mileage ratings that best both the Volvo and the Subaru.
As you'd expect from what is essentially an A4 2.0T Quattro on stilts, the 2014 Audi Allroad drives like an A4 but with a little more body roll and steering that is less sharp than normal. The 2.0T serves plenty of power, and the eight-speed automatic delivers crisp, quick shifts.
The 2014 Audi Allroad is an attractive package for someone seeking the practicality and traction of an SUV or a crossover but without the form factor of the sport-ute masses. Oddly enough, the Allroad's toughest competitor might come from the Audi Q5, a more conventional crossover that still drives well, offers more cargo space, and -- remarkably -- costs roughly $3700 less.
- BMW X1
- Land Rover LR2
- Subaru Outback
- Volvo XC70