The sexy, sporty German wagon that has legions of fans, the all new 2013 Audi allroad is rugged, purpose-built, elegant and right-sized: all things to all people.
By Tara Weingarten
The Big Picture
You just aren’t one of those SUV drivers. You hate their big size, what they stand for, and how difficult they can be to park in tight spaces. But you still have things to haul, maybe a kid or two, or you are sports fanatic and have to lug around equipment. And something a little sporty wouldn’t hurt, either. Has Audi got the car for you?! The 2013 Audi allroad is a wagon with comfortable seating for five, plenty of cargo space, has Quattro permanent all-wheel drive for great traction and handling in bad weather or on rough roads, and it’s pretty, because it’s an Audi.
An Inside Job
One thing Audi does best is bathe its drivers in comfort. Not like fuzzy slippers comfort, more like five-star hotel comfort; contemporary, clean lines, zen atmosphere. A kind of all is right with the world feel. My test drive in the Audi allroad took us through the mountains of Colorado, where we sped around tight corners, punched it on uphill climbs, and sampled the allroad’s sharp brakes on downhill slopes. You’d think we’d have gotten sick with all that tossing and turning, but not a queasy one in the bunch. The allroad’s cabin is peaceful and prone to a flat, smooth ride, with heavily bolstered seats that kept me and my fellow auto writers snug and in place rather than sloshing around.
The 2013 Audi allroad has luxe features like a panoramic sunroof, a/c vents for backseat riders, an optional electric tailgate, so there’s no need to reach up high to close the hatchback, a 12V outlet in the cargo area, a must at tailgate parties, and useful 60/40 split rear seats. The 8-way power front seats are heated, and the sporty leather-wrapped steering wheel tilts and telescopes in and out, to help you achieve the optimum seating position. It also has plenty of new electronic and web-based tech, which we’ll get to later.
Of course, we’re stating the obvious that a station wagon is family friendly. But with so many of us eschewing wagons for SUVs, there are scant few manufacturers making wagons anymore. Audi is one of just a few that believes in the configuration. While many of us like that the SUV allows us to ride up high, the 2013 Audi allroad is lower to the ground, making it better able to handle twisty roads without making its occupants sick, and with much less body roll than a high center of gravity SUV. If that’s not kid friendly – who wants to clean up after a sick kid? – I don’t know what is.
Raised roof rails allow cargo to be stored overhead, while the ample trunk space, accessed through the tailgate, is low enough to load and unload without stepping on tippytoes. For moms and dads looking to entertain the kids with video, forget about it here. The allroad shuns this plebian option in favor of the great outdoors. Meaning…the kids should look out the window and be entertained the old fashioned way, the way we were. And if the sun is too much, side window shades are included and are easy for kids to operate.
Slaloming through the Rocky Mountains is fun, but it’s even more fun in a 2013 Audi allroad. That’s because the Quattro all-wheel drive makes the car planted and sporty, even at high speeds, and even in less-than-perfect road conditions. Gravel, loose dirt, all that means nothing to the allroad. And while it’s tearing up the highway, making this driver feel like Penelope Pitstop (sorry for such an ancient reference!), we look swank to those driving near us.
The 2013 Audi allroad wears a new aluminum grille, with slats that run vertically, instead of the brand’s other models, which wear horizontal slats. It’s the little details that make the allroad fun.
Gizmos and Tech
Audi Connect (an option) offers Google maps, real-time traffic alerts, real-time weather, gas prices, news feeds, and voice technology that allows the driver to say “Chinese Restaurant”, which will bring up nearby options for restaurants and then directions mated to the car’s navigation system.
Equally appropriate on the sidelines of a soccer game, atop a snowy peak, and at the Valet stand of Nancy Silverton's Mozza.
All the utility of an SUV in a well-handling car
Full-time all-wheel drive for better fowl weather performance