By Kris Hansen
The month of July was tremendously busy for our allroad. Not a single weekend went by without the car being called into duty for car show related road trips, both to Waterfest and Wolfsgart, as well as hauling out mountain bikes to the trailhead and general touring the roads of southern Vermont.
Roughly 5 months and 8000 miles into our long term experience, the allroad is truly feeling like it is broken in, and has become a beloved family member. Everything about the allroad is now familiar. The controls fall perfectly to hand, the seating position is perfect. It is, at least for now, our car.
We toured through southern Vermont earlier in July, and found that the allroad was perfect for this task, since in some cases, the roads were not in the best state of repair, thanks to recent storm damage. This was one of the most severe challenges the allroad faced on a paved road. There were bumps and broken pavement that would surely result in a standard car touching the ground, or at the very least, having a much rougher ride.
When the going was smooth, the allroad proved to us that it has proper Audi handling mannerisms. Blessed with a blend of A4 and A5 suspension geometry, but longer travel and allroad specific tuning, the true sporty nature of the chassis comes to a head. This is a car that gets better the harder you push it. Taking it DEEP into corners is fun and rewarding to skilled drivers.
We’ve mentioned before that the allroad’s 2.0 TFSI engine has ample power for all but the shortest passing zones, and that it is generally best to keep it lower in the revs, where the torque is fat and turbo boost is strongest. On our trip to Waterfest, we had the chance to compare the allroad directly to its slightly more hyper sibling, the RS 5. One might argue that this is not a fair comparison, and we’d be the first to agree, however, it drove solidly home the difference in driving TORQUE vs. driving HOSEPOWER.
Even though the allroad doesn’t make as much peak torque as the RS 5, it makes it at such low rpms that it actually feels more satisfying off the line, and doesn’t require wringing its neck to get the most out of it. The RS 5 on the other hand makes incredible power, but very high in the rpm band, which means it feels a little soft off the line and genuinely requires keeping the pedal on the carpet till the top of the tach.
Don’t’ take this the wrong way though, the RS 5 will flat out stomp the allroad in a drag race, but it should considering it’s got twice the engine and more than twice the power. In the real world, where you don’t always have the room to take a car up to 8000 rpm, like in general day to day driving, the allroad really holds its own in terms of smiles per mile.
Our road trip to Waterfest will be our last long distance trek with the allroad, but it is a big one. As always we have to haul boxes of Tshirts and stickers, chairs, our tent, and all the other necessary supplies and gear for a weekend of fun in the sun surrounded by the biggest VW and Audi show in the USA. As we have come to expect from the allroad, a cargo hold full of bulky heavy items does nothing to diminish the ride quality and crisp handling dynamic. that’s what we love most about the allroad, it is completely unflappable. Heavy loads, horrible roads, it soaks it all up and begs for more.
On the economy front, we find that on long trips, 30mpg is relatively easy, even at higher speeds. The 2 liter engine us torqey and the 8 speed transmission gives it very long legs, for completely effortless and frugal cruising.
As we near the end of our allroad experience, we feel a little sad that we won’t get to spend any more time with this great car. The ruggedly handsome exterior, comfortable and familiar interior combined with the eager 2 liter engine and great Audi handling combine into one hard to beat package. We look back with fondness on our mountain biking trips, our ski trips, driving to New York for the NYIAS, and all of our other awesome adventures.
Yes indeed, the new Audi allroad is one great car! We’ll miss it.