No one is going to get excited about the appearance of the A6 Allroad. It is restrained, stylish and practical. Somehow it manages to say quality without shouting it.
Yet this is one of the most capable cars on the road. Fast, stable and luxurious on the inside, this is what used to be called a shooting brake or an estate car for the well-heeled. As a Q-car it is much faster than it looks.
With quattro all-wheel drive the Allroad can handle as much off-roading as your leisure pursuits are likely to require. This is an SUV that does not speak the word’s ‘Chelsea tractor’. Is this a pc alternative to the apparent excesses of a Range Rover or even its sister Audi Q7?
As befits a top end car, all the engines are V6s, only one is petrol. There are three 3.0-litre turbo diesel engines with outputs of 201bhp, 241bhp and an awesome 308bhp from a new bi-turbo version that also features an 8-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
Whatever one you choose, it will propel this big wagon more quickly that you would expect. The diesels are actually quite frugal for what they do. The entry-level 201bhp diesel is rated at 46mpg urban with emissions of 158g/km. My choice would be the extra grunt of the 241bhp TDi and this still produces a respectable 44mpg and 165g/gm.
The bi-turbo is the hard driver’s version with 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds, an exhilarating drive though you do pay for it! The asking price is £5K more and the consumption a little heavier, though still on the right side of 40mpg. This is still remarkable for a car with such oomph.
Allroad models are distinguished by contrasting bumpers and sills that can be colour coded, roof rails and a steel underbody guard. Based on the A6 Avant, they sit about 6cms higher. As the air suspension is adjustable this can be raised a further 18.5 cm for off road use. The ride is very comfortable provided you don’t go for the largest wheel options.
You can choose from five suspension settings. For its size the A6 is well behaved in most situations. Its bulk is more apparent in the sportiest settings. The quattro all-wheel drive system adds to stability on wet or slippery roads.
Inside the Allroad, the displays reflect the usual impeccable Audi finish and lay-out. There are crystal clear dials and a big ‘infotainment’ screen in the centre of the dash. It is a premium go-anywhere machine with understated style.
Prices start at £43,150 for the 201bhp diesel and rise to £49,445 for the twin-turbo 308bhp BiTDI. That is before you make your selections from the long list of ‘must-have’ options. These can add up to £10K or more.
This will not deter top people from queuing up to pay.