The below editorial is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

Audi A6 allroad

AUDI GOES ALL IN (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The fourth generation Audi A6 allroad shows that compromise is far from a dirty word. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 120

It's hard to think of a better 'one car fits all' solution than Audi's A6 allroad quattro. It's presentable in any situation and as at home in the city as it is blasting across continents or slogging its way along dirt tracks. What's more, it'll do all this in any weather, in total comfort and with some style. That much we already knew about this model. This fourth generation version though, improves the concept further, with sleeker style, extra space, high-tech cleverness and greater efficiency from a mighty range of six cylinder engines that now feature the brand's latest mild hybrid technology. It is, in short, a smarter choice for those who need occasional off road traction and all-weather capability.

Backgroundword count: 323

Back in the year 2000, the original A6 allroad was introduced merely as a stop-gap until Audi could introduce its Q7 large SUV. Back then, that original A6 allroad was then - and basically is now - an Audi A6 Avant estate with clever air suspension for limited off road ability and a little more styling attitude. A simple enough idea you might think, except that at the time of this brilliantly executed model's launch, no one else had thought of it. Even so, fast-forward a decade or so and you might wonder why this car is still with us - three further generations having made the British market, the MK2 model of 2006, the MK3 model of 2012 and this MK4 design, introduced in 2019. Audi has, after all, long since properly plugged the SUV-shaped gap in its line-up with its various Q-series crossover models. But almost any brand can sell you an SUV these days. This A6 allroad, in contrast, remains a largely unique proposition, copied in concept by other premium rivals (principally the Volvo V90 Cross Country and the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain) but never bettered in execution. While other SUV-style all-wheel drive estates - including Audi's own smaller A4 allroad - offer nothing more than plastic body cladding and a marginally higher ride height, this one does the job properly, with an air suspension system able to raise the car height enough to give it real off road ability. Such has always been the A6 allroad's appeal, the car of choice for the clever few who realise they don't need a hulking great off roader for the style of sensible SUV-ness. And in fourth generation guise? Well, the recipe's been further refined, with a more powerful range of more efficient 3.0-litre V6 engines and enough high technology to satisfy the most committed technophobe. So much is different. Yet the reasons you might want one of these remain just the same.

Driving Experienceword count: 412

One thing this latest A6 allroad isn't short of is power - and these days it's delivered with a bit of eco responsibility thanks to Audi's latest MHEV 48-volt mild hybrid electrified engine technology. Even the entry level 45 TDI variant fronts up with 231PS, plus a huge torque figure of 500Nm from its 3.0-litre diesel engine. Alternatively, there's an even more powerful 50 TDI version of this powerplant with 286PS and 620Nm. The small percentage of customers who want a petrol-powered engine are catered for in the shape of the 55 TFSI model's 340PS 3.0-litre TFSI unit. The two diesels use an 8-speed tiptronic auto transmission; the petrol powerplant has a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto gearbox. Either way, there's obviously quattro permanent four-wheel drive, but these days you can no longer have it with an optional low range gearbox, as was possible with early generation A6 allroad models. The adaptive air suspension system is this A6 allroad model's signature feature, combining air suspension with controlled damping. It adjusts the ride height depending on the road speed and the mode you've set in the Audi drive select driving modes system. For ordinary tarmac use in 'auto' and 'comfort' modes, this go-almost-anywhere 4WD estate will set off at the standard ride height, giving you a ground clearance of 139mm, which is then actively adjusted according to speed. At motorway speeds of above 74mph, the ride height is lowered by 15mm. For light off road surfaces in your A6 allroad quattro, you'd set off in the 'select' system's dedicated 'offroad' mode, which covers speeds up to 49mph, at which point the body will be set 30mm higher than the normal ride height. But let's say you've then a stretch of quite gnarly off road track to cover - the kind of thing that would damage a conventional A6 Avant, or any similar large executive estate model. For that, you'd activate the adaptive air suspension system's 'lift' setting, which you can implement at speeds of up to 22mph and which adds another 15mm to the ride height, raising the ground clearance 45mm above the normal position. Hill Descent Control and 'Tilt Angle Assist' systems are also included - and mean that you can get surprisingly far in this car off the beaten track. A display on the centre-dash MMI monitor shows the terrain you've covering and the car's current tilt angle in longitudinal and transverse directions. And the car can tow up to 2.5-tonnes.

To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

6.7

Boot capacity min (litres):

565

1680

Combined mpg:

37.7

CO2 (g/km):

153

174

Height (mm):

1470

Length (mm):

4940

... and 3 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

Performance
70%
Handling
70%
Comfort
80%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

Subscriber? Login here

Mobile
Narrow
Narrower
Normal
Wide