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The Audi A6 Allroad is a cross between a premium estate and an SUV, with strong diesel engines, superb quality and a huge boot.
It’s pricey to buy and generates a little too much wind noise. A hard seat and raised central tunnel make life uncomfortable for a middle rear passenger.
The Audi A6 Allroad is a somewhat unconventional proposition, but its blend of abilities is appealing.
The entry-level 3.0-litre diesel engine gives the A6 Allroad a decent turn of speed, but we prefer the extra flexibility of the more powerful version. The flagship bi-turbo BiTDI engine makes the Allroad almost indecently quick. Every version comes with a slick-shifting automatic gearbox.
Ride & Handling
Like the A6 Avant it’s based on, the Allroad is an accomplished motorway cruiser, and feels secure and composed on sweeping main roads. Once the road gets tighter, though, you can’t escape the car’s sheer bulk. Likewise, the ride is at its best at speed, where it’s mostly comfortable; it’s a little firm around town, so you feel bumpy surfaces more than you’d like.
The two lower-powered diesel engines are smooth and quiet, while the BiTDI engine has an almost addictive sporty exhaust note. The one serious black mark is the amount of wind noise the Allroad generates at motorway speeds.
Buying & Owning
The A6 Allroad comes with relatively large engines, so it’s an expensive car to buy. Those engines are pretty economical, though – over 40mpg in all the diesel-engined models – and resale values are strong (except on the petrol version), which will keep whole-life costs down. The trouble is an A6 Avant offers much the same abilities, but costs thousands less.
Quality & Reliability
This car is another example of why Audi has such a fine reputation for cabin quality. The materials, build and attention to detail are faultless throughout, and the overall ambience isn’t far off that of the pricier A8 luxury saloon. The A6 didn’t score particularly highly for reliability in our latest JD Power survey, but it didn't disgrace itself, either.
Safety & Security
The Allroad is brimming with safety equipment, including six airbags and stability control. Optional extras include rear side airbags and a system that steers you back on course if you start to wander from your lane on the motorway. The A6 saloon earned the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, and the Allroad should be just as safe.
Behind The Wheel
The A6 Allroad has supportive seats and there’s plenty of adjustment to help the driver get comfortable. The upper dashboard is refreshingly clutter-free, too. However, the MMI system – which links a rotary control knob and on-screen menus – takes a bit of getting used to because the four function buttons grouped around the dial relate to different commands depending on which menu you’re in at the time.
Space & Practicality
There’s plenty of room up front, and the rear seat will take a couple of six-footers. However, the large transmission tunnel and hard central seat make it awkward for a third. The huge boot is well shaped and has lots of practical touches, including straps, lashing points and a rail-based system for securing luggage. The 60/40 split rear seats drop down to extend that space, but they don’t fold completely flat and are heavy to set back upright.
As befits a premium product, the Allroad comes well equipped. Every model has adaptive air suspension and a 4x4-style bodykit, with the wheelarches, bumpers and sills finished in a contrasting colour (although they can be body-coloured at extra cost). Inside, you’ll find full leather upholstery, sat-nav, Bluetooth and dual-zone climate control. Front and rear parking sensors are also standard, while the options include adaptive cruise control, DAB radio and a head-up display.