SEE ALSO: Audi Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price $ 41,900 Price As Tested $ 47,850 Engine Type DOHC 30-valve 2.7 Liter bi-turbo V6 w/SMFI* Engine Size 163 cid/2671 cc Horsepower 250 @ 5800 RPM Torque (lb-ft) 258 @ 1850 RPM Wheelbase/Width/Length 108.5"/76.1"/189.4" Transmission Five-speed tiptronic automatic Curb Weight 4408 pounds Fuel Capacity 18.5 gallons Tires (F/R) 225/55R17 high-performance Brakes (F/R) Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS) Drive Train Front-engine/all-wheel-drive Vehicle Type Five-passenger/five-door Domestic Content 1 percent Coefficient of Drag (Cd.) N/A PERFORMANCE EPA Economy, miles per gallon city/highway/average 15/21/18 0-60 MPH 7.5 seconds 1/4 (E.T.) 16.0 @ 88.5 mph Top-speed (Electronically limited) 130 mph * Sequential multi-port fuel injection
BRENDAN - In today's hot SUV market, crossover vehicles are becoming very prominent. The manufacturers take a station wagon, give it some elevation and burly tires and they've got a CUV, a family vehicle that can tackle a ice, snow and dirt roads mountain, but still transport the kiddies to soccer practice. Audi's new All Road Quattro is based on the A6 Avant and combines rugged looks and performance with German design and technology. A 2.7-liter dual-overhead cam V6 engine powers the Allroad. It uses intercooled twin turbochargers to put out 184 horses and a whopping 350 pound/feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Allroad, but our car had the smooth-shifting five- speed automatic that also features Tiptronic, which allows an automatic to be shifted a bit like a manual. I found it fun but a little odd.
MIKELE - I preferred leaving it in Drive, but I'm glad the Audi gave me a choice. As far as daily driving, the Allroad handled my highway commute quite well, but I enjoyed just driving around town. And thanks to Audi's all-wheel drive Quattro system, I had fun on my parents' rustic property. As a designer, I was impressed with the Euro-look of the Audi. It has an undertray made of ribbed stainless steel, boldly shaped bumpers and flared wheel arches. The cool five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels give it a classy look to go along with its rugged appearance, and the folding exterior mirrors are electrically adjustable and heated, which comes in handy on cold, icy mornings when I'm on my way to work. The front fog lights were handy in San Francisco Bay fog and there's a fog light for the rear, too. The Xenon high intensity headlamps as so bright they almost seem like flamethrowers.
BRENDAN - The interior is really what's outstanding. It has lots of wood, leather, and stainless steel inserts integrated into the console and door panels. The dash gauges were easy to read, and the Bose sound system really made the grade, especially when I blasted some of my old heavy metal CD's. I'm sure my neighbors are sick of me by now. The rear cargo area was spacious, and the dogs really enjoyed themselves. They tried to get up on the heated front and rear leather seats but I put my foot down this time. Leather is part of Audi's Convenience Package and I wish my chair at work had these creature comforts. The steering wheel is heated also, another feature in the long line of interesting luxuries I found as I read the owner's manual. The power sunroof wasn't used much because of our recent rainstorms, but it does feature a pinch protection system so you can't get a hand caught in it when it's closing. It's a great feature if you have kids in the car. The heating and air conditioning system is very sophisticated, with separate controls for left and right-hand side of the vehicle. Mikele likes it hot and I like it cool so we both get our way. Cup holders are all over the Allroad, and there's even some in the rear armrest that folds up into the rear seatback. It's hard to believe so many people sip sodas while they're going for a ride.
MIKELE - The Allroad handled like a dream. The brochure says it has a four-link independent suspension, tubular anti-roll bar, and twin-tube gas shock absorbers in the front, and double wishbones, anti-roll bar and air suspension spring struts in the rear. I'm not sure what that all means, but I felt comfortable traveling though long, winding roads to my folks place and never got that "tippy" top-heavy feeling like some of those gargantuan SUVs. Audi's Electronic Stability Program reduces the risk of skidding in emergency situations by specific braking of individual wheels. Safety is a big plus in the Audi and the Allroad has airbags all over the place front and rear, while rear child-seat tethers and child-safety rear door locks keep the family safe. There's even a first aid kit in the rear center armrest. When you talk about a family car, this is the ultimate. If we owned an Allroad, I'd want a third row of seats that could retract into the floor or be removed, because we have a family that can only get bigger.
BRENDAN - You mean we're getting another dog?
MIKELE - Brendan, don't push me.