The National Automobile Dealers Association is projecting that SUVs will account for 56 percent of U.S. vehicles sales this year. They offer an elevated driving position, extra passenger and cargo carrying ability and many other benefits consumers seek in a larger vehicle. The lower price of gasoline is also a contributing factor and fuel mileage numbers for SUVs are coming up.
So, why would anyone be interested in buying a wagon?
Think of the allroad as an SUV-alternative vehicle that has many of the same features but in a smaller package.
This week, we have been test driving the 2015 Audi allroad 2.0T quattro Tiptronic ($42,400).
It didn’t take us long to see what benefits a wagon offers over an SUV and why you might want to consider this type of vehicle.
What’s New for 2015?
Every 2015 Audi allroad now gets upgraded with standard features like xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, a power liftgate and tri-zone climate control. An upgraded MMI system with console-mounted controls and navigation on the base Premium trim are new options for 2015.
allroad’s Standard Features
Standard features for the base Premium trim include 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic wipers, a panoramic sunroof, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and leather upholstery.
Additional features include: eight-way power front seats (with four-way power lumbar for the driver), Bluetooth and a 10-speaker audio system with CD player, iPod connectivity and satellite radio.
This allroad’s Options
This Audi allroad tester came with the Premium Plus Package ($2,100) that adds keyless ignition and entry, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, heated front seats and driver memory settings.
The Technology Package ($2,900) included a rearview camera and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitoring system and Audi Connect, an enhanced Web-based navigation and information services system.
There is also mobile WiFi capability.
A color driver information display, navigation system with voice control, MMI with center console-mounted controls and HD radio completed the list of options.
The Audi allroad’s cabin is appealing and this tester came with beautiful Chestnut Brown leather, heated seats that are comfortable and supportive. The interior is modern with the console and center dash angled toward the driver.
The cockpit in the allroad is a comfortable place, and for those who like to drive, it’s more driver focused than an SUV. Unlike some SUVs, the controls are easy to reach and the center armrest top slides forward, making a comfortable elbow rest.
It’s easy for everybody to find the perfect driving position with the eight-way power front seats and four-way power lumbar adjustment. Even though the cabin is not as big as many SUVs, there are storage spaces all over the cabin, from seatbacks to center armrests, plus a roomy glove box.
There’s good cargo space, with 27.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 50.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.
The Audi allroad has rear legroom of 35.2 inches that’s comparable to other small SUV-alternative vehicles like the popular Subaru Outback. Every allroad now comes with a power liftgate that makes life easy when you have your hands full.
Engine & Fuel Mileages Specs
The Audi allroad comes with one powertrain, but it’s a good one. This sporty wagon is powered by Audi’s highly respected 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, mated to a Tiptronic 8-speed automatic transmission. It sends power to all four wheels by way of Audi’s excellent quattro all-wheel drive system.
The engine produces 220 hp and 258 lb ft of torque.
Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 21/28 mpg city/highway and 24 mpg combined.
Premium fuel is recommended, but not required.
When compared to other European wagons, the allroad is as sporty as they come. When compared to an SUV, Audi allroad is high on the fun to drive meter, where most SUVs are on the low end on the scale.
Size gives the Audi allroad a distinct advantage on any road over an SUV. We tested the wagon in Colorado on the highway at higher altitude and through the curvy two-lane mountain roads. This is where the allroad shines with its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.
Even though the engine is small, it performs well beyond its size with strong torque translating to effortless acceleration, even on uphill, two-lane mountain roads.
An SUV-alternative like the Audi allroad is designed for those who will use their vehicle for commuting during the week and recreation on the weekends.
Loading up this vehicle with mountain bikes in the summer or snowboards in the winter is where this wagon will best fulfill its purpose.
The Tiptronic 8-speed automatic is fast-shifting and is willing to comply with the steering paddle shifters with rev-matching downshifting. You will drive circles around most SUVs on the way up the hill to get to your recreational destination.
Do you want a vehicle that is fun to drive and fast?
Okay, well we probably already know the answer to that . . .
The allroad sprints from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which is only a hair slower than the sporty A4 sedan. You won’t find many SUVs with that kind of sprinting ability. On the open road, Audi allroad is pleasing and smooth, with no roughness transmitted to the occupants over patchy pavement.
Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive is superb and has been for decades. It isn’t just for traction in snow, ice and rain; it improves the handling on dry pavement too and enables the driver to confidently push the Audi allroad hard in all driving situations.
It’s all-wheel-drive is ideal for those who live in northern climates and especially useful in the mountain climates.
The 2015 Audi allroad 2.0T quattro Tiptronic is an SUV-alternative vehicle that combines a near flawless powertrain with a luxury interior and the driving dynamics of sports sedan.
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This sporty wagon is not for everyone but for those who want to get away from civilization and who lead active lifestyles, then its the perfect fit.
What do you think of the Audi allroad? Tell us here!
2015 Audi allroad Gallery
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