|January 16, 2013
Long Term allroad introduction
By: Kris Hansen
Introducing the latest model to grace the AudiWorld garage - the 2013 allroad quattro. We'll be conducting an extended review on this new model, and are looking forward to getting to know more about this exciting car.
This 2013 allroad marks a return to the market for this model, last seen in the USA for the 2005 model year. The original 2001 allroad model was based on the C5 platform A6 Avant, and featured a 2.7 liter twin turbo V6 engine, with either a 6 speed manual, or 5 speed Tiptronic transmission. To give the car some "off road" credentials, the allroad was fitted with larger tires, plastic body cladding, underbelly protection, and height adjustable air suspension. At its highest setting, the C5 allroad had nearly 8 inches of ground clearance, which for comparison was equal to that of the Ford Explorer SUV of that time. After the C5 chassis ran its course in the USA, likewise the allroad model vanished from dealerships.
Meanwhile, in Europe the allroad lived on
through the C6 and now the C7 A6 models, though it was never brought here. To expand the model range, Audi introduced an A4 Avant based allroad in 2009. Based on the B8 A4 Avant, this model featured the rough and tumble good looks of the A6 allroad, and even though it did not receive the height adjustable air suspension, it rides on a higher, more off road friendly set of springs.
With the introduction of the updated 2013 model year A4, Audi announced that they were discontinuing the Avant model for the USA, which saddened Avant fans, however few of them there are apparently (we are included in the group of Avant lovers). This decision was based on the relative lack of sales for the Avant model, espeically when compared to the Q5 and Q7 models, which undoubtedly took a large chunk of Avant buyers. This is all understandable to us, even though we are sad about it.
Or, we WERE sad about it. See, Audi also announced that they were bringing back the allroad for the USA market for 2013, and we were happy again! While some C5 allroad enthusiasts will criticize the A4 allroad for lacking air suspension and therefore not being a "real" allroad, we don't mind not having to worry about the relatively fragile air suspension system as the years go on.
The fixed ride height appears to be a perfect blend of rugged off road looks, and reasonable ground clearance, while not feeling tippy in any way. Thanks to the longer travel, the allroad is exceedingly good at soaking up rough roads too. Audi lists the "loaded" ground clearance at 7.1 inches, which should be sufficient for most excursions to shopping malls, or even into the back country. We're looking forward to finding out.
The A4 allroad makes use of Audi's excellent 2.0TFSI engine, mated to the 8 speed tiptronic transmission. While not the most powerful engine in the A4 parts bin, the 2.0TFSI is nevertheless more than up to the task of bringing the allroad up to speed with a quickness - Audi claims 0-60 in 6.5 seconds, which is certainly brisk if not earth bending. Honestly, we do not think the point of the allroad is all out maximum performance, and we are absolutely certain that the 2.0TFSI is more than adequate. Would we love to see the allroad offered with the 3.0TFSI? Absolutely! Same can be said for the 3.0TDI engine. But for now, we'll enjoy the 2.0TFSI.
Our Phantom Black over black allroad is a Prestige model, with the sport interior package. The Prestige model gets the buyer some very desirable pieces of equipment all in one convenient package. MMI Navigation plus with wireless data is a huge one, as is the Advanced key and Bang and Oulfsen sound system. Have a look at the monroney for pricing specific to this car.
The rest of the package consists of: Audi Adaptive Lights,
Audi Side Assist,
Auto dimming mirror w/compass
Power folding heated exterior mirrors,
Audi Music Interface with Ipod cable,
Bluetooth mobile phone prep,
Driver information system w/trip computer,
Heated front seats w/ driver side memory,
Homelink garage door opener,
Audi xenon plus w/LED DRL,
Three zone climate control and
We love the sport interior, and honestly, at $500, it's an absolute bargain. The smaller, thicker 3 spoke steering wheel alone is worth the price, and when you plant yourself in the comfortable and supportive sport seats, with the slide out thigh supports, the decision becomes automatic.
We're still getting familiar with the car, though in all honesty, its nothing terribly unfamiliar, since we're already well versed with the B8 platform. What we're excited about with this car is all of the cool places we're going to take it, and since it's still winter here in Vermont, we're genuinely hoping for the chance to take this car through some deep, fresh powder. Eagle eyed readers will also notice that the car is wearing non-standard allroad wheels - our car has been fitted with some smaller diameter wheels and snow tires, we'll be mounting the standard 5 spoke wheels once the ground thaws.
Stay tuned for frequent updates, and by all means, feel free to send us any special requests, questions or suggestions either via email, or in the A4 allroad forum here on AudiWorld.