Audi A6 allroad (2004-2011) review
The A6 allroad excels in many areas. It handles sharply, has a top quality interior and a versatile boot
Driving: In terms of ride, the Audi reigns supreme. The standard height-adjustable air suspension has five models - there are off-road presets, while predictably the 'comfort' setting provides the best ride, and 'dynamic' reduces body roll in bends. The handling is composed and stable, and the steering precise, if a little lifeless. Overall, the Allroad does a good job of ironing out bumps and makes a fine long-distance cruiser. Mot models sold will be diesels, with the 2.7-litre V6 TDI forming an admirable entry-level model. Smooth and quiet, it's blessed with an excellent Tiptronic six-speed auto too, though larger engines will be needed if performance is paramount.
Marketplace: If you think the Allroad is simply a standard A6 Avant, look again. It has an executive edge, but it's been beefed up to create a lifestyle model. It's not as rugged as the model it replaces, but that's because Audi wants to increase the car's appeal. As such, it isn't instantly recognisable as a soft-roader. Steel body protectors, extended side sills and plastic wheelarches are the main clues. Offered with either a 2.7-litre or 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel, its most obvious rival is Volvo's XC70, but Audi will be hoping to pick up buyers of compact 4x4s too, as well as those trading down from larger SUVs (such as the company's own Q7?).
Owning: The Allroad is well proportioned and deceptively big, too, which is noticeable in the rear. Space is ample, with plenty of head and legroom for rear passengers - three adults can easily travel in the back in comfort. The boot has a huge 1,660-litre maximum capacity, but it's the accessibility that is most impressive. A wide opening and high roof make loading awkward objects simple. Further forward, the interior is barely distinguishable from the standard A6, but that's not a bad thing. The leather seats are comfortable and supportive, while fit and finish are outstanding. Features such as the chrome-trimmed heater switches and central multimedia controls show real thought in design. It has an obvious air of quality. Servicing costs are likely to be similar to the A6 - more than reasonable - and while economy may take a hit due to the four-wheel-drive system, retained values are likely to be brilliant. Good job; the Allroad is expensive even as standard; adding a few 'must-have' options can push the price up dramatically.