allroad 45 TDI quattro 231PS Sport tiptronic
have had it all their own way
for quite some time now, but not
everyones a fan and the alternative
all-wheel drive, all-terrain estates
are fighting back hard. Leading the
charge are the likes of Audis
ESSENTIALLY A RUGGED ALL-TERRAIN version of Audi's executive lifestyle
A6 Avant estate, the A6 allroad perfectly occupies the no-man's land between
tough SUVs and classy upscale estates. So if you'd like an all-wheel drive vehicle
that's seriously svelte grand tourer then the allroad's elegantly tailored lines
will suit you down to the (all-terrain) ground.
When it comes to going off the beaten track you need torque; plenty of it. Audi
gets this only too well and consequently serves it up in the A6 allroad by offering
three muscular powerplants: a pair of V6 turbodiesels with either 227 or 282bhp
and a TFSI petrol unit with a fiery 335bhp. Badged 45 TDI, the 'entry-level'
model is a 3.0-litre, its 227bhp backed-up by 368lb ft. Top speed has been restricted
to 155mph with 0-62mph despatched in a vigorous, and wheelspin-free, 6.7 seconds.
is the official combined cycle figure actually rather good for a feisty
off-road-capable estate with permanent all-wheel drive and automatic transmission.
While owners of a car costing upwards of £53,000 are unlikely to lose any sleep
worrying about the fuel economy, the bottom line is that they won't need to
anyway our hard-driven A6 allroad recorded an impressive 43.3mpg.
it comes to going
off the beaten track you
need torque; plenty of it.
Audi gets this and
consequently serves it
up in the A6 allroad by
offering three muscular
powerplants: a pair of V6
turbodiesels with either
227 or 282bhp and a TFSI
petrol unit with a fiery
335bhp. Badged 45 TDI,
the entry-level model is
a 3.0-litre, its 227bhp
backed-up by 368lb ft
Cars are not unlike restaurants in that no matter how talented the chef (or
engineers), if the atmosphere is not convivial then the meal suffers. In the
A6 allroad's case, the ambiance is perfektionieren. Audi cabins have
long been among the best of the best and the allroad's makes the ideal setting
in which to enjoy all of the German technisch hidden under the skin.
Along with meticulous fit and finish and plush, upscale materials, the allroad
is comprehensively fitted out but there is one extra worth fitting the
£1,500 Technology Pack. This buys you a lot of very desirable stuff including
a three-screen set-up. Two full-colour HD touchscreens (10.1- and 8.6-inches)
between them service all the infotainment, navigation and climate control systems;
the third screen is Audi's Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch full-colour digital instrument
cluster. Taken together with these command and control screens, the logically
arranged fascia and switchgear set-up reeks of Germanic order underscored by
a cool minimalism.
Alongside the tastefully coordinated finishings there are every-which-way power-adjustable
seats with three-stage heating and power lumbar control. Shapely, with effective
bolstering, the chairs are, of course, leather-wrapped. Setting the ideal driving
position is quick and easy and once done a two-memory recall for the driver's
seat and mirror positions makes sharing driving duties even easier. Further
boosting convenience for the driver is an automatic easy-entry feature.
Add to that a decent acreage of glass, loads of front legroom, masses of shoulder
and elbow room and a fist of headroom plus long, comfy outer armrests on the
doors and a generous centre armrest that's wide enough for two to socially share,
and you have a car designed to make long journeys a genuine pleasure.
are cutting-edge anchored by Audi's straightforward and intuitive MMI infotainment
system. The driver's instrument screen is brilliantly multi-configurable
just tap the 'view' button on the multifunction steering wheel to instantly
change the layout and info-mix: say, to minimise the dials with active 3D mapping
that usefully gives a more zoomed-in view of what's on the upper fascia main
touchscreen. Incidentally, a large digital speed readout is shown in the speedo's
'bull's-eye' as similarly is the currently active Drive select mode and autobox
ratio in the rev-counter.
anchored by Audis
The drivers instrument
screen is brilliantly multi-
configurable just tap
the view button on the
wheel to instantly change
the layout and info-mix:
say, to minimise the
dials with active 3D
mapping that usefully
gives a more zoomed-in
view of whats on the
upper fascia main
All the graphics and text are crystal clear and navigation offers destination
entry via voice, digital keyboard or fingertip written input. Texts and emails
can be read out to you while normal conversational commands enable you to manage
the radio, climate system, SatNav, and even get answers (What's the weather
going to be like in Hastings? Where is there a Japanese restaurant?). A DAB
radio and Bluetooth are also on hand along with smartphone mirroring. WiFi smartphone
charging is another of the goodies the Tech Pack adds. Naturally there's also
an SOS button (emergency call service and roadside assistance) Just In Case.
In-cabin storage is as efficient and accommodating as the very generous boot
at the opposite end of the allroad: big, long and deep bottle-holding door bins,
a cubby for coins and small gadgets in the dash, siamesed cupholders (plus a
mini-holster for the keyless entry and start key if it's not in your pocket
or clasp bag) with a flip-over lid for when its off duty for drinks, a real-world
size damped, lined and chillable glovebox and, under the armrest between the
front seats, a deep lined segmented tray incorporating a bed for your smartphone
(where it can also be charged wirelessly) plus a Sim, SD and two USB jacks.
The A6 allroad is comprehensively kitted-out with, in addition to the many items
mentioned throughout the review, a Keyless-Go entry and start system, privacy
glass, side and rear windows in heat-insulating glass, 2-zone electronic climate
control, frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, powerfolding (on-demand and
auto on locking) heated door mirrors, all one-shot windows, cruise control,
speed limiter, reversing camera with active guidance grid (a neat touch; you
can tap the screen to trigger a wash of the camera lens) plus all-round sensors
for proximity warnings as well as reversing, a powered tailgate, and 19-inch
10-spoke cast aluminium alloy wheels.
safety 'assists' include Audi's Pre Sense (with distance warning and full autonomous
collision-avoidance emergency braking) and Lane Departure Warning. Then there's
Matrix LED headlights, dynamic rear indicators, child seat anchors (including
the front passenger seat), drive-off automatic door locking, tyre pressure monitoring,
and a Rest Recommendation alert.
standard alloy rim size
for the allroad in Sport
trim and yet even
rolling over worn and
weathered city blacktop
the ride quality is
even more so when
youre escaping the
smoke, where it ensures
fluent and quiet mile-
eating. In fact, thanks to
the allroads nicely-
fettled balance and
superb body control, only
Dynamic mode for
times when pressing-on
is a priority noticeably
switches to favour
handling over ride...
The allroad's huge boot won't baulk at carrying five people's luggage and neither
will its rear cab flinch at seating three adults abreast; and most comfily.
Space in the back is generous starting off with a fist of headroom and very
supportive seats; backrests are set at a relaxing angle, there's loads of room
for feet and enough knee room for some honest-to-goodness leg stretching. Dedicated
climate air-vents in the B-pillars mean keeping hot or cold is never an issue
whatever the weather.
The very wide and well-padded central armrest has pop-out cupholders (that adjust
to various cup sizes) as well as a lidded and lined built-in tray plus there
are proper overhead reading lights, two USB ports and 12v power, seatback pouches,
and biggish door bins. Good views out can be enjoyed both to the side and the
front which, along with the plush and refined ambiance, makes for a first class
seat for those being driven.
All allroad models come with air suspension as standard, so the car can hunker
down aeronautically when cruising or jack itself up to cross rutted mud-tracks
or worse. For passengers, the best of its multiple Drive Select modes is undoubtedly
Comfort, where the A6 palpably chills without incurring any handling penalties.
Nineteen-inches is the standard alloy rim size for the allroad in Sport trim
and yet even rolling over worn and weathered city blacktop the ride quality
is exceptionally good; even more so when you're escaping the smoke, where it
ensures fluent and quiet mile-eating. In fact, thanks to the allroad's nicely-fettled
balance and superb body control, only the champing-at-the-bit Dynamic mode
for times when pressing-on is a priority noticeably switches to favour
handling over ride. At which point you'll be getting from A to B far faster
than if travelling in a tall-riding SUV.
While it might not pack the blistering acceleration of its über-quick sister,
the 591bhp RS 6 estate, the V6 turbodiesel engine that lives in the A6 allroad's
engine bay is no shrinking violet. Wearing 45 TDI badging, it's something of
a dark horse. Stick the tiptronic autobox selector in Sport and choose Dynamic
from the Drive Select menu and you'll discover that this 3.0-litre V6 has a
passion for life press on and you'll discover it's a bit of a humdinger
with a growly soundtrack.
allroad line-up all come in auto-only guise. That said, Audi's tiptronic autobox
is everything it needs to be: smooth, fast-shifting, and it makes excellent
use of its eight well stacked ratios whether you're pootling in traffic or getting
to the church on time when it makes full use of the V6's 368lb ft of torque
you'll never be left short on poke whenever there's a need for it. Flicking
from Drive to Sport requires just a light southerly tap on the selector lever
to toggle between them; for more focused control you can make manual shifts
via the lever or the steering wheel shift-paddles.
its V6 bark
is good, its (quattro) bite
is better. Off-road
ability is a given,
courtesy of the quattro
drive with its famed
allroad skills on slippery
or snow-blanketed roads
a definite advantage.
Specific off-road tech
includes Hill Descent
Control and means its
not easily baulked by
Despite more ground-clearance than a regular A6 estate and neatly-fitted black
wheelarch protectors, the allroad's 'jacked up' look is subtly nuanced
the important thing is that it's underpinned by adaptive air suspension which
adjusts the ride height automatically (or on demand for instance; dropping
down to its lowest setting for easier loading). The selection of ride settings
covers the full spectrum from aerodynamically-favourable low for motorway work
to its high-point for maximum ground clearance when venturing off the tarmac.
While its V6 bark is good, its (quattro) bite is better. Off-road ability is
a given, courtesy of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with its famed 'allroad'
skills on slippery or snow-blanketed roads a definite advantage. Specific off-road
tech assists include Hill Descent Control so it's not easily baulked by tricksy
terrain. Usefully, you can also display off-road information such as the tilt
angle and active ride height. The steering is fine and definitely singing from
the same hymn sheet as the rest of the dynamics and the brakes are absolutely
A powered boot is undeniably A Very Good Thing. Unlike some, it can be opened
and closed from the driver's seat as well as from the key fob. Beyond it you'll
find an impressively large 565-litre boot; long and wide with 'clean' sides,
it benefits from repositionable lashing eyelets mounted on a sliding rail system.
Use the remote levers to auto-fold the rear seats and you'll get a seamlessly-floored
1,680-litre loadbay. Loading is hassle-free thanks to the air suspension that
lets you raise or lower the loading height (through 60mm) as best suits.
to the ease of use is a roller-blind luggage cover that glides up the rear screen
pillars as the tailgate rises. You'll find additional storage space in handy-sized
trays beneath the boot floor as well as quite a bit of room in the built-in
locker and netted pocket in the sidewalls. Sturdy bag hooks and stretchy luggage
sets help keep loose cargo in-situ.
the boot will
accommodate just about
anything you want to
toss in, from 14 carry-on
cases to his n hers
mountain bikes, a key
consideration for allroad
customers is towing
ability. No problem with
that the allroads
2,500kg braked towing
capacity is manly enough
to cope with horse-
boxes and the like...
split 60:40, the larger section incorporates a wide, full-depth fold-down section
that in effect makes it a more versatile 40:20:40 arrangement when folded
down its upper surface sits perfectly level with the boot floor which makes
heavy and bulky load-throughs that much simpler. Should you need even more space
then the roof rails will support an additional 100kg of cargo.
While the boot will accommodate just about anything you want to toss in, from
14 carry-on cases to his 'n' hers mountain bikes, a key consideration for allroad
customers is towing ability. No problem with that the allroad's 2,500kg
braked towing capacity is manly enough to cope with horse-boxes, speed boats
and the like.
For many motorists the A6 allroad will be an enjoyable way to side-step the
tall-riding SUV road-show. A classy, versatile and convincing all-wheel drive
wagon with the ability to take its driver and passengers in comfort far from
the blacktop, Audi's oh-so-desirable wagon is a great place to be a passenger
and a great place to be a driver. ~ MotorBar
Audi A6 allroad 45 TDI quattro 231PS Sport tiptronic
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 6.7 seconds | Test Average: 43.3mpg
Power: 227bhp | Torque: 368lb ft | CO2: 153g/km