We’re big fans of cars like the Audi A6 Allroad here at Only Motors. They are just as luxurious, refined and fast as their low-riding siblings. But the extra bit of ground clearance makes them genuinely useful off road and more comfortable on road.
Volvo invented the high-riding-posh-estate-SUV-crossover with the 850 XC of 1997. But Audi has exemplified the genre, launching the A6 Allroad 20 years ago. The last generation was, in its later years, outclassed by the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain. But Audi is fighting back with this, the fourth generation of A6 Allroad.
As ever, the styling is much the same as the A6 Avant, but with added lower body cladding, brush plates on the bumpers and standard roof bars. The same goes for the interior, which is peerless in its ergonomics and construction. As ever. Though the E-AT does have a bigger boot.
The powertrain is shared with the Avant, as well. The A6 Allroad gets a 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine with a mild hybrid system that allows EV running at speeds below 13mph. It comes in 45 TDi (228hp, 369lb/ft) and 50 TDi (282hp, 457lb/ft) flavours. Both are connected to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and the obligatory quattro four-wheel-drive.
The big difference between Allroad and Avant is in the adaptive air suspension. In its default setting, the Allroad sits 139mm above the tarmac. But that increases and decreases depending on speed and driving mode. For off-road use below 22mph, the suspension rises up to a maximum of 184mm. At high speeds it sinks down to 124mm. There’s hill descent control as well, which the driver sets to their preferred speed between 1.2mph and 18.6mph.
The beefier suspension allows a higher towing capacity, too, up to 2.5 tons.
The A6 Allroad comes in two trim specs – Sport or Vorsprung. The latter comes with all of Audi’s bells and whistles, including a large-format touchscreen infotainment system with more functionality than a laptop. Probably.
The Audi A6 Allroad goes on sale in the UK in August, priced from around £55,000.
By Graham King