Audi's mid-size wagon rides higher, wider and even more handsomely.

I agree with the principle that says buy a wagon rather than an SUV. The ride and handling are in your favour, the load area is not as high...you get the picture.

Explore the 2015 Audi A6 Range

Audi does a good line of prestige SUVs, but it has a foot firmly in the load-lugging camp with its Avant range of A4 and A6 models.

Last week's launch of the updated A6 wagon line-up benches the regular mid-sized wagon in favour of an "Allroad" quattro model with marginally more ride height and alloy bash plates front and rear.

Previously a limited edition variant, the $111,900 Allroad now rides alongside the stupendously quick RS6 Avant as the wagon choices.

Audi Australia is considering adding a twin-turbo diesel wagon but is still crunching the numbers to see whether it can justify the extra variant. Expect that model to come in close to $150,000 if it is approved.

Value

It isn't hard to appreciate the space in the A6 from any seat. It is harder to justify its premium over an Audi-badged SUV such as the Q5 or Q7 and this is one of the reasons the Allroad will remain a niche vehicle.

Audi has cut the price by $6000 to $111,900 — about $20,000 more than a turbo diesel Q7 and a whopping $34,000 up on a more entertaining SQ5. Not hard to see why so many buyers gravitate to SUVs, then.

For those who do indulge, the A6 Allroad has an impressive array of standard gear and an equally impressive options list to personalise your premium transport. Standard items include four-zone aircon, powered tailgate, 10-speaker audio, digital radio, satnav and adaptive air suspension.

The A6 Allroad isn't going to win awards for steering precision or tactile feedback

Driving

This is set-and-forget driving. The A6 Allroad isn't going to win awards for steering precision or tactile feedback. It will win plaudits for the way it simply gets on with the job of conveying its occupants from point A to B, regardless of the surface conditions.

The adaptive air suspension helps here, regulating the ride height and damping forces depending on speed and conditions. Throw in the signature quattro all-wheel drive and the Audi's plastic-clad wheel arches and alloy bash plates suddenly start to look more practical than poseur.

Dust suppression on the Northern Territory's dirt roads was first rate, as was noise insulation from rocks flicked up against the Audi's undercarriage.

It is equally at home on the freeways. Wind noise is faint and the A6 feels effortless as it lopes along at 130km/h as the suspension — supple over rain-scribed ruts moments ago — stiffens to match the increase in pace.

This wagon has a grip on luxury recreation market its rivals are yet to match

The Allroad is fitted with Audi's multiple driving modes but the default auto setting will do the job for most. Throttle, steering and drivetrain are all happy to adapt to driver inputs.

Hill descent control and off-road stability control mode are standard and there's a screen to display lateral and longitudinal angles when tackling hills.