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Audi A4 and A6 Allroad 2012 Review

Despite runaway popularity, some people simply don't like boofy SUV-style vehicles. They prefer a sleeker carry-all in the shape of a traditional (station) wagon. We really don't get it because an SUV is so practical and the new ones drive just like passenger cars, certainly not like 4x4 “trucks.'' Perhaps we are style challenged.

But Audi reckons it has identified a vein of new car buyers prepared to pay handsomely for the privilege of not being identified with the hoi-polloi in their SUVs and has imported a limited number (150 each) of delectable Audi Allroads in A4 and A6 size. They are essentially Audi's version of the Subaru Outback — a semi-tough wagon on stilts with off road styling and some dirt/sand/ice road cred'.

PRICE AND MODELS

The A4 Allroad is a newcomer to Australia selling for $69,900 with a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine and seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch auto. It's the only way to get an A4 turbo diesel wagon with quattro all wheel drive in this country.

The A6 Allroad model has been here for some time first appearing back in the early 2000s and running through two generations before this latest effort. It goes for a sizeable $117,900 and runs a 3.0-litre, V6 turbo diesel with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and quattro all wheel drive.

If you are prepared to lump yourself in with the SUV bogans, you can get an Audi Q3 2.0 TDi for $54,500 and an Audi A5 3.0 TDi for $75,000.They are similar size vehicles to the Allroads with the same power trains and roughly the same amount of interior room. What price style?

It must be said the Allroads are a delight to drive and are also feature-rich though you can easily bump up the price substantially with a few ticks on the options list. Standard kit on the A4 variant includes xenon headlights, keyless entry and start, tyre pressure monitoring, front and rear park assist, rear view camera, leather, 10 speaker audio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, decent satnav, electric front seats and steering wheel controls as well as a 20 gigabyte hard drive. The A6 gets a lot more including adaptive air suspension.

The A4 Allroad is based on the recently facelifted A4 Avant and is pretty much identical inside and similar on the outside except for wheel arch flares, a raised ride height, stainless steel exterior garnishes, underbody protection and reinforced wheels with higher profile tyres. The A6 Allroad is a similar story but bigger and is built up from the A6 Avant.

TECHNOLOGY

The A4 2.0-litre donk is good for 130kW/380Nm while the A6 3.0-litre generates some 180kW/580Nm both achieving these outputs at low engine revs. The smaller unit consumes 6.0-litres/100km while the larger one drinks sparingly at 6.3-litres/100km. That means both benefit from the fuel economy triggered Luxury Car Tax reduction of up to $4000.

Audi's efficiency technology is used in both vehicles with auto stop/start, regenerative braking, low energy aircon, reduced friction engine internals, low rolling resistance tyres and on-demand engine cooling (thermal management) all contributing to better fuel economy and lower emissions. 

Off road capability is improved with a self locking rear differential, off road stability control and reinforced suspension subframes. But they have space saver spares — better than nothing.

THE DRIVE

We drove both cars on and off road and felt the smaller vehicle is much better value though the A6 has superb engine performance and economy and is substantially bigger. We drove them through creek crossings with about 500mm water flowing, over rocky fire trails and on graded dirt roads — none of which posed a problem. We doubt any Allroad owner would drive their car in these environments.

On the highway, both cars are just like the normal wagon variants in drive feel — in other words, rewarding, smooth, quiet and responsive. Even on fast mountain pass roads, the Allroads are quite adept. We found the controls to be intuitive and the level of luxury inside comforting.

VERDICT

These cars are consumate “inbetweenies'' fulfilling multiple roles with aplomb — at a price.

Audi A4 Allroad

Price: from $69,000
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel 130kW/380Nm
Transmission: 7-speed S-Tronic dual clutch
Thirst: 6.0L/100km

Audi A6 Allroad

Price: from $117,900
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 180kW/580Nm
Transmission: 7-speed dual clucth, AWD
Thirst: 6.3L/100km

Pricing guides

$18,990
Based on 45 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,500
Highest Price
$22,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
1.8 Tfsi 1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO $10,600 – 15,510 2012 Audi A4 2012 1.8 Tfsi Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, CVT AUTO $10,600 – 15,620 2012 Audi A4 2012 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs
2.0 TDI E 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $10,900 – 15,950 2012 Audi A4 2012 2.0 TDI E Pricing and Specs
2.0 Tfsi 2.0L, PULP, CVT AUTO $11,400 – 16,720 2012 Audi A4 2012 2.0 Tfsi Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$14,500

Lowest price, based on 37 car listings in the last 6 months

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.