The 2015 Audi Allroad is a premium wagon that offers capability that’s normally reserved for all-wheel drive crossovers.
European automakers are bringing back the station wagon, this time by combining the features of a well-made wagon with the versatility and capability of a an all-wheel drive crossover. Case in point: the 2015 Audi Allroad.
The Allroad is based on the popular A4 sedan, but adds standard all-wheel drive, more ground clearance and the roominess and versatility of a station wagon. The Allroad also offers seating for five, three trim levels and a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Key updates for 2015 include standard xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, tri-zone automatic climate control and a power liftgate. In addition, Audi’s MMI infotainment system sees an upgrade.
Key German styling which emphasizes simplicity of form and function is the basic element of the 2015 Allroad’s appeal. Like most Audi vehicles, the Allroad utilizes light curvature and unadorned lines to make its curb presence known. Large wheel wells, wide tires and plenty of ground clearance (more than 7 inches) showcase the Allroad’s capability.
Standard on the 2015 Allroad are the panoramic sunroof and five-arm alloy wheels.
Interior fittings are luxurious with several color schemes available. Styling is functional and emphasizes Audi’s no-nonsense approach to luxury and capability. Beautiful chestnut leather adorned our test model, for example, and did a good job of offsetting the black and aluminum trim.
Seating is comfortable in all positions, with the driver’s chair offering four-way lumbar and eight-way adjustments. The front passenger seat offers eight-way adjustment. Both are standard to the Allroad. Added with the Premium Plus package, which we drove, were heated front seats and driver’s seat memory functions.
The rear seats accommodate full-size adults easily and the wide-opening doors and tall door frames mean easy entry and egress from any of the Allroad’s four doors. The rear seat allows three across as a bench, though the center position is a bit cramped and lacks headroom due to the tunnel for the driveshaft below.
Cargo room is ample and easily accessed thanks to the low load height and standard power liftgate. The rear seats fold forward in a 60/40 configuration for a maximum of 50.5 cubic feet of space. Where the rear cargo space shines, however, is with the rear seats up, maintaining an impressive 27.6 cubic feet of space that is easy to access and very usable.
Our only complaints about the interior design are small ones. The positioning of the electronic parking brake control, keyless start button and audio control knob (all surrounding the shifter) can be awkward at times. Otherwise, the 2015 Audi Allroad is top-shelf in terms of design, function and materials.
No one should mistake the Allroad for a sport sedan. The 2015 Allroad is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs a respectable, but not powerful, 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and quickly while offering manual shift control and full-time all-wheel drive.
The EPA gives the Allroad fuel economy estimates of 24 mpg combined, or 21/28 mpg city/highway. Our real-world driving lined up with those estimates, as we saw 23 mpg combined during our week with the wagon.
Performance testing averaged just shy of 7 seconds for 0 to 60 mph runs in the Allroad. That’s about average for a similarly powered crossover in this segment.
Where the Allroad shines is in its handling characteristics. It performs similarly to a sport sedan from the Audi lineup, retaining most of the A4’s characteristics in this regard. The Allroad holds curves and remains confident in most driving situations, despite its higher ground clearance from the A4 it’s based upon.
Technology in the Allroad focuses on the MMI infotainment system. The base-level system includes the MMI control knob which is placed at the center of the console just under the screen. This awkward positioning requires the driver or front passenger to lean forward to operate the infotainment system, which does not have a touch-screen interface. An upgrade to include navigation moves the control knob to a space just below the shifter at the driver’s right hand, which is a much more ergonomic position.
The MMI interface sees an upgrade with better graphics on-screen and a slightly modified user interface to ease the learning curve.
That curve is still a bit steep, however, and some menus are clunky to operate. However, most standard functions, such as audio and phone controls, are easy to use, and learning to use the audio control knob rather than the MMI knob greatly reduces frustration during audio adjustments.
Standard technology features in the Allroad include basic Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and auxiliary audio jack, a 10-speaker audio system and satellite radio. This is an average amount of standard equipment for a vehicle at this price point.
Our test model included upgraded features that come in the Technology package, which adds navigation, a CD/DVD player, HD radio and Audi Connect, which provides a Wi-Fi hot spot and Google Earth views for the navigation system. These are priced steeply, but not out of line for the luxury market.
The 2015 Allroad has a bevy of standard safety features. Premium Plus and Prestige packages add a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Allroad a top five-star rating overall, with five stars in both frontal and side impact crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not crash tested the 2015 Audi Allroad.
The Allroad is not available with advanced safety features like forward collision warning. Another ding against the Allroad’s safety score is that rear side-curtain air bags are not standard, but are instead optional on all trims.
The base price for the 2015 Allroad is competitive within the class and includes a host of standard features that befit the luxury brand. Higher trim levels and ala carte options add additional features that are appropriate for the Allroad’s price tag. Updates such as the addition of standard xenon and LED lighting, as well as the panoramic sunroof, bring the Audi Allroad forward in terms of value.
Compared with vehicles such as the BMW X4, the Audi Allroad has more standard features and options that are more competitively priced.
Its general versatility, great driving dynamics and ride quality are a boon as well, making the Allroad a great buy for the luxury wagon segment. Audi’s overall history of slightly above average maintenance costs are offset by the overall reputation Audi has for holding good resale values over time.
The 2015 Audi Allroad is an excellent station wagon that combines the on-road driving dynamics of a sedan with the capabilities of a crossover. Its luxurious interior and overall appeal are both impressive for the segment.