If you ask Audi, 2020 is the year of the wagon. The A6 Allroad allotment to the United States afterwards a two-generation hiatus, accustomed the 591-horsepower RS 6 Avant in its wake. The A6’s two long-roof options will accommodate crossover-averse affluence buyers with a midsize addition that prioritizes appearance and active dynamics over best admeasurement and a college appearance out, but will they bite?
On paper, the Allroad is a solid proposition. It’s a midsize, like the A6 auto on which it’s based, admitting stretched. It additionally has a awfully continued annual of accepted accessories – best than that of either A6 auto alternative – including Audi’s latest MMI infotainment diabolism and Virtual Cockpit agenda cluster, accession the Allroad as the best exceptional non-S archetypal in Audi’s A6 hierarchy.
The Allroad’s absolute affair piece, however, is its ambush suspension. The air bureaucracy grants adjustable ride acme and firmness, acceptance for advantageous flexibility. Aback the C5-generation Allroad debuted 20 years ago, this angle was still cool.
Whether this blueprint tickles your adorned two decades afterwards is up to you, but air-conditioned or not, we can say for assertive that it is no best unique. The high-riding wagon abstraction has acquired acceptance in Europe, bidding continental automakers to accord it addition go in the U.S. market. Volvo has angled bottomward with a brace of Cross Country wagons, Mercedes has assuredly brought over its E-Class All-Terrain, and the A6 Allroad joins the A4 Allroad that was launched as a analysis airship of sorts seven years ago. There’s additionally the European-built Buick Regal TourX, but you wouldn’t be abandoned in apathy about that.
Like the others the A6 Allroad is a wagon, aboriginal and foremost. It boasts 30 cubic anxiety of burden amplitude abaft its rear seat, which will aloof about bifold annihilation you see from a midsize affluence sedan. And if you charge the A6 Allroad to behave added crossover-like aback the alley gets rough, well, it’s appropriate there in the name, isn’t it? Put the wagon in “Offroad” approach and you get an added 1.2 inches of arena clearance, for a absolute of 6.7 inches; a “Lift” approach gives you addition 0.6 inches if you absolutely charge to get it on its tippy-toes.
Sounds like all of the allowances of a adventurous wagon and a asperous crossover put together, right? Well, not quite, as the Allroad’s adequacy comes with caveats. The best dispatch for these modes is aloof 21.7 mph, which ability complete like a accidental number, but it’s the aftereffect of advice 35 km/h into Proper American. Mercedes claims the All-Terrain sits a actual bare 5.75 inches aloft the ground, while the Volvo boasts a whopping 8.3 inches of changeless approval behindhand of the dispatch you’re activity – the bright champ actuality if alpine is what you’re after.
The Allroad additionally bypasses the A6 sedan’s turbo-four. Instead, it comes accepted (and only) with the advancement 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. It’s acceptable for 335 application and 369 pound-feet of torque and is commutual to an eight-speed automated transmission, Quattro all-wheel drive and a 48V balmy amalgam abetment arrangement that takes abroad the accepted auto stop/start discharge and alike throws in a little added dispatch torque. This is added almighty than the V90 Cross Country’s 316 hp engine, but gives up a bit to the ‘Benz, which checks in at 362 horses and 369 lb-ft.
And while the Allroad may ride lower to the arena than a absolute crossover, it’s not absolutely a lightweight, nor is it absolutely any added durably planted, as we apparent already we got it out assimilate the road. Alike with all of the Audi’s assorted systems set to their sportiest and the abeyance sitting as low as it will go, it still feels tippy aback pushed. And while it may be lighter than a ancestors SUV, the Allroad is a bit convalescent than the A6 sedan, blame 4,500 pounds unladen.
You’ll pay for that at the pump too, area the Allroad checks in at 20 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the artery and 22 mpg combined. Both the Volvo V90 Cross Country and new Mercedes E450 All-Terrain bigger it at 24 mpg combined. We put about artery 350 afar on the Allroad during our loan, averaging aloof over 20 mpg at midwestern freeway speeds.
The acceptable annual is that the Allroad is never absent for power. Audi says the big wagon will hit 60 in aloof 5.1 seconds, and we’re absorbed to accept it. And acknowledgment to the V6’s about acceptable displacement, all of that action is attainable appealing abounding the burning you get on the throttle. The A6 Allroad may not be graceful but it’ll absolutely get out of its own way, and it packs absolutely a bit added bite than the Volvo, admitting the A6 Allroad’s ability advantage comes with a 300-pound weight penalty.
Inside, Audi has gone with a two-tiered infotainment system, with the primary affectation awning sitting aerial aloft the centermost animate and a accessory ascendancy awning residing below it. This analysis of activity frees up added amplitude in the primary awning for advice you absolutely appetite to see and collaborate with, while controls (such as aperture and temperature settings) are relegated to the lower unit. While the tech is robust, it suffers from abounding of the aforementioned drawbacks as added touchscreen-dependent systems, and abate UI elements can prove abnormally arduous to use while on the move. Abounding of the settings for the driver-assist functions are additionally active abysmal in assorted arrangement menus.
Yes, options are good, but clashing Volvo’s Sensus, which puts aloof about every toggle on one calmly attainable screen, Audi’s customization appearance are active analogously abysmal aural its MMI interface – a accountability aggregate with Mercedes-Benz. Hit the alley afore you get aggregate aloof right, and you’ll apparently accept to cull over to dig through airheaded attractive for whatever you forgot – or didn’t apprehend you bare to activate with.
Despite this steeping acquirements ambit (and diffuse setup), we begin the MMI interface to be about automatic and about absolutely responsive. Kudos on both fronts. Alike afterwards hours abaft the wheel, we begin the Allroad’s berth allowance and serene, acceptance us to put hundreds of afar abaft us with alone basal fatigue.
But what of the wagon things, you ask? Well, we’re blessed to address that it does those appealing accursed well. The Allroad’s rear bench is adequate and spacious, yet accessible to bundle aback it comes time to booty ample or abounding cargo. We managed to put three sets of additional auto (two still shod with tires) into the aback with abundant vertical allowance larboard to advance the rearview mirror.
So, it’s a wagon, it’s comfortable, it’s luxurious, it’s feature-rich and it’s able abundant to comedy the cycle of a soft-roader aback alleged upon. What’s the catch? Well, it ain’t cheap.
A 2020 Audi A6 Allroad 55 TFSI Exceptional Plus with aught options is a $67,000 car. A Prestige amalgamation car like ours with the Soho Brown acrylic accomplishment checks in at $73,040 (including $1,045 for destination). Our loaner acceptable had some added allowance and ends we can’t calmly annual for, but it’s safe to say that to get one abutting to this spec, you’re activity to carapace out about seventy-five grand. The Audi and Mercedes-Benz are appealing analogously akin on price, but the less-powerful Volvo V90 Cross Country appealing abounding acme out area the Audi begins.
You apperceive what abroad is $10,000 cheaper than an A6 Allroad? Audi’s own Q7 crossover, which offers three rows of seating, added burden allowance and added arena clearance. Yeah, you get beneath ability with the abject Q7, but the Allroad’s V6 is alternative on Audi’s big three-row too, and for about the aforementioned money.
So maybe the Q7 makes added faculty on paper, but we doubtable that abeyant buyers of a affluence wagon like the A6 Allroad may not affliction admitting actuality able-bodied acquainted of any applied shortcomings about an SUV. Perhaps they like the look, lower ride acme or aloof actuality altered than the SUV-buying masses. Maybe they aloof apperceive it’ll fit in their garages better. Either way, we can affiance you this: If you appetite a comfortable European affluence wagon with affluence of bite and burden amplitude galore, there aren’t too abounding options. Fortunately, the 2020 Audi A6 Allroad is a acceptable one.
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2020 Audi A6 Allroad Aboriginal Drive | Return of the Wagon originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Sep 2020 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our agreement for use of feeds.