Reviews

2014 Audi Allroad Walk Around

After being away for seven years, you might expect the revived allroad to look totally different from its ancestor, but not quite. It follows the A4 face and lines, however, so it’s not dated. In fact, the face looks especially bold on the allroad, because of its black front fascia with no-nonsense small round foglamps and air intakes, wider track from tires, and lips on the fender flares.

The Audi grille is chopped at the upper corners, adding elegance to the nose. The grille still looks massive on the allroad, with long chrome bars to complement a big, shiny Audi four-ring emblem. The headlamps are shaped sharply and flow inward perfectly, looking like the eyes of an eagle. It’s the upscale Prestige Plus version that exhibits this whole look, including LED rings (daytime running lights) following the shape of the xenon headlamps.

The back end looks just as tough, with muscular taillamps (LED optional) and a black fascia with diffuser and twin tailpipes.

On the sides, a sharp crease runs from the corners of the headlamps to the corners of the taillamps, over stainless sills and body-colored door handles. Roof rails add to the rugged utility, and don’t forget the stainless steel skidplates. Five-spoke 18-inch wheels are standard, with 5-spoke 19s optional. Some might like them, but we think Audi could do better.

Interior

The allroad interior is appealing, with stylish Nappa leather in black, brown, gray or beige. Trim on the dash and doors is walnut, ash, oak or aluminum. The console and center dash are angled toward the driver, and the center armrest top slides forward, making a comfortable elbow rest. There are storage spaces all over the place, from seatbacks to center armrests to a roomy glovebox.

The standard seats (unheated in Premium, although heat is available) are comfortable, while the optional $500 sports seats offer more back and thigh bolstering, without being tight. For that money you also get a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel with paddles for the Tiptronic, an option that we believe is well worth it. Especially since the shift knob isn’t a great fit, for sporty manual shifting; in this case, the paddles feel better.

The cabin is fairly busy because there’s much to control, and it’s all easy to reach. That includes the MMI (Multi Media Interface) knob with Google and navigation on a 6.5-inch screen, in the Prestige Plus model.

The chrome-ringed speedometer and tachometer aren’t cluttered by graphics, and the gauge lighting is easy on the eyes. There are controls on the tilt-telescoping steering wheel, thumb wheels that spin and click through what you need, particularly on the display located between the speedo and tach. It can show the transmission gear, radio info, fuel range and economy, temperature and more. On the Prestige model, trip computer data, cruise control distances, and navigation data are added.

The Audi music interface comes standard with iPod cable, Bluetooth, garage door opener, and driver info system. The optional Bang & Olufsen system offers 505 watts and 14 speakers. We’ve listened to both, and the 180-watt 10-speaker standard system sounds good, considering the cost of the Bang & Olufsen.

There’s good cargo space, with 27.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 50.5 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded. But not that good; the Subaru Outback blows the allroad away, with 71.3 cubic feet. Same with rear seat legroom; the allroad has the same as the A4 sedan, 35.2 inches, while the Outback offers 37.8 inches. Meanwhile, the Ford Edge offers the same cargo space as the allroad, plus 39.6 inches of rear legroom, with an overall length that’s actually 1.7 inches shorter.

The floor hump in the center will discourage an adult from riding back there, but kids can endure it. A nice touch is LED footwell lights. The rear headrests don’t get in the way of the driver’s rear visibility in the mirror.

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