- Dynamic styling and packed with the latest technology
- Estate-car practicality but very capable off the beaten track too
- Exceptionally comfortable for extra-long journeys
- Pricey especially when options are factored in
- Slight lag when sharp bursts of pace are required
- Some rivals have more boot space
The Audi A6 Allroad has all the practicality of a family SUV without the high-sided design. It also offers the handling capabilities and driving dynamics of an estate car making this vehicle a very unique all-rounder with bags of appeal.
It has a raised ground clearance so is ideal for towing a trailer across campsites and in addition, it is easy on the eye, packed with all the latest technology and really comfortable to drive.
Buyers can choose from Sport or Vorsprung models with a choice of two diesel or one petrol engine. The 45 uses a 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine that produces 231hp and 500Nm of torque, while the more powerful 50 version delivers 286hp and 620Nm of torque. A 55 TFSI petrol version produces 340hp.
On The Road
Having clocked up in the region of 600 miles during a week-long loan, I can honestly say that the Audi A6 Allroad is one of the most comfortable cars on our roads today. We opted for the 3.0-litre V6 45 TDI quattro model in Sport specification that delivered 231hp and 500Nm of torque. This powerful engine can power the car from 0-62mph in an impressive 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 155mph.
This is a vehicle that eats up the motorway miles for fun, but enjoys being unleashed out on the open road too where it can power its way along the country lanes without the slightest hint of body sway through tight bends. The acceleration through the eight-speed automatic gearbox is perfectly timed and there are paddles for extra driver engagement.
The quattro all-wheel-drive system delivers excellent grip in more adverse driving conditions and there are also drive modes to flick through called Allroad, Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual that alter the characteristics of the car considerably. Needless to say, the Dynamic mode really sharpens up the car’s reactions.
On the downside, the A6 Allroad is a heavy vehicle and weighs in at 160kgs more than the standard A6 Avant and that does put extra strain on the powertrain with the occasional lag in power. Once it gets going though, this powerhouse keeps on giving. If you are craving extra power there is the 50 TDI version or the mighty 55 TFSI petrol-driven alternative.
The Audi A6 Allroad is no sports car, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s an over-sized load-lugging people carrier. Yes, it ticks those boxes practicality-wise, but still delivers when it comes to ride and handling with excellent comfort levels for all five occupants. It’s a car that is at its very best when cruising along motorways or dual carriageways in Comfort or Auto mode where it is beautifully balanced and poised.
But it has an edge to it too when faced with more challenging B roads with lots of twists and turns. The steering is nicely weighted through the bends and if you flick across to Dynamic then expect stiffer air suspension, faster gear changes and a sharper throttle response.
But it’s worth remembering the A6 Allroad is not meant to be a sports car – Audi has other options for that. So most day-to-day drivers will simply leave the car in the Auto setting and let the onboard technology do its job and determine the best mode for the driving conditions.
One of the main advantages of choosing the A6 Allroad is the off-road ability. While it’s no hard-core 4x4, it can easily tow a caravan or trailer across uneven surfaces. The ground clearance can be raised by 30mm and this can be increased by an additional 15mm if the terrain gets more demanding.
There’s no denying the Audi A6 Allroad is a great looking car. Despite covering so many practical needs, it maintains a dynamic appearance guaranteed to turn heads. It looks more appealing than the A6 Avant model thanks to its more upright and muscular styling and eye-catching design features include a large front grille housing the Audi rings, rear privacy glass, sweeping light clusters with signature daytime running lights, roof rails and 19-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels to complete the look.
There is underneath body protection for added assurance should you venture off-road and additional protection to the wheel arches and side sills.
Move inside and the A6 Allroad is sheer class with the finest materials combining to create an upmarket, clutter-free cabin of the highest premium order. The leather seats offer supreme levels of comfort and there are the likes of ambient lighting, gloss black trim, aluminium inlays and plenty more besides.
When it comes to driver refinement, the A6 Allroad is the complete package. It may not be as fierce as some rivals, but instead it delivers excellent levels of comfort. And the cabin remains remarkably hushed even when driven at pace with all occupants protected against engine, road surface or wind noise.
Special mention too for the highly efficient suspension system that does a worthy job of smoothing out the road surfaces, unless the car is being driven in Dynamic mode where the system hardens up and you do feel the occasional bump and dip along the way.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
With powered seats and a fully adjustable steering wheel, finding that perfect driving position inside the A6 Allroad takes just a matter of seconds. Thanks to the upright and slightly elevated seating position, the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility.
Once sitting comfy, there is a wealth of on-board technology to explore with many systems accessed via the smart double touchscreen with haptic buttons or via the multi-function steering wheel. The top screen measures 10.1-inches and is where all the infotainment systems are located while the lower 8.6-inch screen houses the climate control settings with additional individual buttons for drive modes, hazard lights and quick keys to the likes of front and rear screen demisters.
Our test car featured a Technology Pack costing an extra £1,495 and this will appeal to anyone wanting the highest level of connectivity and navigation. It includes MMI Navigation Plus, Virtual Cockpit and Audi Phone Box with wireless charging. The Virtual Cockpit allows you to personalise the display screen behind the steering wheel according to taste and requirements and looks ultra-modern and stylish.
Other creature comforts included heated seats, 4-zone deluxe air conditioning, a special music interface for back seat passengers and full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Space & Practicality
The Audi A6 Allroad sits in quite a bespoke sector in the market. It’s not an estate car despite offering impressive storage limits. And it’s not a bulky high-sided SUV either although it is a spacious five-seater with ample room for five adults to travel in comfort with oodles of leg, head and elbow space in the back.
The tailgate is power operated which is handy when approaching the car laden down with shopping bags and the square wide boot opening makes transporting awkwardly-shaped items that much easier.
When it comes to storage limits, the A6 Allroad boot can swallow 565 litres of kit. This limit increases to an impressive 1,680 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. In addition, there are numerous convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the car, including practical door pockets, cup holders, a central cubby box where the USB ports are located and a decent-sized glovebox.
There’s no denying the fact that the A6 Allroad is a large vehicle measuring just shy of five metres in length, so you will need an extra-large parking space. But with the excellent all-round visibility plus parking sensors, a rearview camera and park assist, squeezing into tight gaps is made all the simpler.
And for those family holidays away from it all, the car can tow a trailer weighing up to 2.5 tonnes. This is where the Allroad setting comes into play helping the car conquer more challenging surfaces with the raised ground clearance offering extra protection to the bodywork.
The Audi A4 Allroad test car was priced at £52,985, although a number of optional extras, which is par for the course with premium brands, saw the final cost rise to £60,485. And it’s worth remembering that Audi’s closest rivals will also be from high-end car makers with price-tags to match.
According to official figures, the A6 Allroad Sport can deliver combined fuel economy of 37.7mpg with a carbon emissions figure of 153g/km. This CO2 figure would result in a first year Vehicle Excise Duty cost of £530 which would be reduced to £145 after that. However, the bills don’t end there as all cars costing more than £40k have an additional surcharge of £320 for the first five years.
The test model would have a Benefit in Kind rating of 34 per cent, increased by four per cent to the maximum 37 per cent as it is diesel-driven.
The insurance rating for the Audi A6 Allroad 45 TDI quattro Sport tipronic is group 43.
Quality & Reliability
Despite the fact that Audi has come under some criticism in recent years concerning reliability especially regarding electrics, the premium car maker has upped its game and worked tirelessly to address the issues in recent models.
The A6 Allroad’s build quality is solid with the doors closing with a reassuring thud and the cabin has a premium quality feel to it with upmarket upholstery, lots of soft touch surfaces and high-end materials used for the dashboard, switchgear and decorative inlays.
The instrumentation looks like it has been designed to survive the test of time, and although the touchscreen can be prone to fingerprint smudges, it can easily be wiped clean.
The car comes with Audi’s three year, 60,000-mile warranty.
Safety & Security
Audi has an enviable reputation throughout the industry for developing safe, secure cars that protect occupants and pedestrians alike and the A6 Allroad is another fine example.
The model carries the same maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating awarded to the saloon model when it was tested. There is a full suite of airbags, lane departure warning and a cruise control system with speed limiter as standard, along with an e-call function that alerts the emergency services should the vehicle be involved in an accident.
Other standard safety features include traction control, Isofix child seat anchor points, plus anti-lock brakes.
Another system worth noting are the Matrix LED headlights, which offer superb lighting of the road ahead without dazzling oncoming motorists. The vehicle uses information obtained from multiple sources, including the interior mirror camera and navigation system to identify the appropriate lighting required. Using GPS data, the car activates the high beam, but will automatically switch to dipped lighting when entering built-up areas or if oncoming traffic is detected.
And, of course, the quattro all-wheel-drive system will keep you firmly planted when faced with more challenging weather and driving conditions.
The car is fitted with an anti-theft alarm to keep uninvited attention at bay.