No matter how enthusiastic wagon buyers love their cars, automakers continue to find it hard to sell these roomier vehicles in big numbers. For Audi, there will be no A4 Avant wagon in the US; however, a different spin in the form of a more rugged-looking allroad version will take its place. The folks from Ingolstadt hopes that resurrecting the Allroad trim—last seen in the US in a 2005 A6—will appeal to a broader audience, including those that already like wagons, and adding those that want to go off-the-beaten-path to get to the next outdoor adventure.
The 2013 A4 Allroad rides on a 0.2 inches shorter wheelbase than the A4 sedan, but is 0.8 longer in length, and 1.8 inches taller in height. The front and rear tracks are also wider, with a fully-loaded ground clearance of 7.2 inches, enough to get you through most adverse road conditions. The 27 cubic feet of cargo space (50 with the rear seats folded) is available to carry all your gear for the camping or ski weekend. As with past Allroads, matte-finished lower bumper and wheel arches help set the car apart from just being a normal wagon. A few exterior cosmetic changes such as the single-frame Audi grille now features angled upper corners, new headlamp design with LED accents, circular foglamps, and stainless steel skid plates complete the new allroad look.
Powering the Allroad is a 211-hp, 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive is standard; optional is the Audi drive select that allows the driver to choose Comfort, Auto or Dynamic settings that allows for changes in damping control, steering effort and engine response to fit individual driving style.
On the road, the Audi Allroad is a competent interstate cruiser. Even through 6,000-ft. high mountain passes west of Denver, the 258 lb.-ft. of torque from the turbocharged engine never showed any hint of high altitude sickness with thinner air density. And through curvy mountain roads, the A4 wagon off-roader turns in predictably and progressively with no heavy understeer behavior. The interior cabin is quiet, and the ride is comfortable.
Along with the allroad, the 2013 A4/S4 sedans and the A5/S5 coupes also receives a few exterior styling changes. These include the angled Audi single frame grille, refreshed headlamps, new hood and bumpers. Standard across all A4 and A5 model lines is the 211-hp 2.0-liter turbo engine mated to a choice of a continuously variable transmission, 6-speed manual, or 8-speed automatic gearbox. The higher-performance S4/S5 come standard with the 333-bhp 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine with a 6-speed manual or the optional 7-speed dual-clutch. Of note, the S5 is no longer available with the 354-hp 4.2-liter V-8 as seen in the 2012 model year.
Perhaps the best new feature of them all for the 2013 A4/S4s, the A5/S5s, including the allroad, is the Audi connect wireless data service. It allows your car to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot allowing up to eight connected devices in the car, making long road trips more enjoyable for the younger members of the family, and peace and quiet for the adults.
The 2013 allroad's sticker price starts at $39,600, the A4 at $32,500, and the A5 at $37,850. Opt for the speedier versions and the S4 will jump to $47,600, and the S5 to $50,900. All models should be arriving into the showrooms now.