by Deiondre van der Merwe
It's hard to find a family-hauling wagon that's easy on the eyes, powerful, and kind to your fuel budget. The 2020 A6 allroad does just that, and wraps it in a truly stunning package. The wagon was only recently reintroduced to the US market, with the last one enjoying the title of Crowd Favorite in the early 2000s. With rivals including the Jaguar XF Sportbrake and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, the A6 allroad definitely has its work cut out for it. We think it'll fare well thanks to a 335 horsepower V6 engine, an excellent attitude on the road, and an undeniably premium cabin.
The Audi A6 allroad returns once again as a 2020 model and Audi has added a 20th Anniversary Edition that pays homage to the very first A6 allroad that was sold in the United States in the early 2000s. The limited edition is coated in Gavial Green paint, reminiscent of the Highland Green that the allroad of yore came in. Valcona leather in a shade of Sarder Brown covers the seats of the special model, sealing off the walk down memory lane.
See trim levels and configurations:
For a select few, the sight of an attractive wagon results in an uncontrollable grin from cheek to cheek. It's us - we're the select few. The A6 allroad is ridiculously beautiful, and Audi has pulled out all the stops for the outward appearance of the family hauler. Sharp LED headlights bookend a unique allroad grille and the result is an aggressive, eye-catching face while the rear is complemented by slim LED taillights. Silver roof rails are evidence of the Avant-inspired design and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof is standard, too. The drool-worthy body sits pretty on a set of 20-inch wheels.
In terms of outright measurements, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake is slightly bigger than the A6 allroad: the Audi has a total length of 194.9 inches and a 115.2-inch wheelbase. The wagon stands at 58.9 inches from the ground up, and boasts a rather voluptuous width of 83.1 inches with the mirrors extended. Both trim levels have a curb weight of 4,486 pounds, which is considerably heavier than the Jaguar's 4,035-pound disposition.
A turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 powerhouse is responsible for the A6 allroad's remarkable 5.1-second run from 0-60 mph, which is slightly faster than the Jaguar XF Sportbrake manages. The V6 thwacks out 335 horses and 396 lb-ft of torque, and doesn't spare a second glance for slower cars on the highway. Its horsepower figure may be less than the XF Sportbrake's 380 hp, but the Audi has the Jag's 332 lb-ft torque figure beat. A seven-speed automatic transmission is responsible for rowing the gears, and does so capably. The entire setup is rock solid and is deserving of its copper-bottomed reputation.
The A6 allroad's off-road capability is commendable, thanks to the standard adjustable air suspension that has the ability to raise the wagon up by an extra 1.2 inches. The general handling of the Audi is a pleasure, though the allroad isn't likely to rank at the top of the "most thrilling drive" list. With that said, the allroad is undeniably dependable and comfortable. In fact, it's so large and trustworthy that it may be enough to soothe any parental abandonment issues, and the four-ringed family wagon does extremely well at providing a smooth ride without losing the characteristic of a car that's known to take the more adventurous path.
Given that both trim levels share the same curb weight and engine, no difference can be seen between their fuel economy; both models share EPA estimates of 20/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined, and the wagon sips relatively lightly on premium gasoline. These manage to best the V6 XF Sportbrake's figures of 18/25/21 mpg. The Audi is on par with the E-Class wagon's 19/26/22 mpg estimates. When the 19.3-gallon fuel tank is full, you can expect around 425 miles of range from your A6 allroad.
As expected of a modern Audi, the inside of the A6 allroad is dominated by sleek, clean lines and the latest technology. Premium materials encase the cabin from front to back, and both the driver and passengers will cherish the interior space offering. The rear of the wagon beats its British rival in terms of real estate. The front seats are a boon and embrace occupants with meaning, and the rear seats aren't too far off the mark, either. From the moment your keister touches the driver's seat, you can tell you're in a wagon that costs upwards of $60,000.
While the trunk of the A6 allroad falls slightly behind the XF Sportbrake's 31.7 cubic feet, the 30 cubes offered by the Audi are more than enough for that family trip you've been planning. If you're in a sticky situation and need to haul something larger than usual, the Audi boasts 40/20/20 folding rear seats to allow for extra space.
In-cabin storage is decent thanks to a sizable middle console and accommodating glovebox. Door pockets will allow for a water bottle and a smartphone or two, but not much more.
The A6 allroad is packed with a generous number of standard-fitted conveniences, and boasts a dual-pane sunroof and keyless entry as well as a hands-free liftgate. A heated tilt and telescopic steering wheel joins the list and four-zone climate control aids the atmosphere of the cabin, along with ambient lighting. The front seats in the Premium Plus are heated and eight-way power-adjustable with four-way lumbar support, and the Prestige's front seats add ventilation. Multicolor ambient lighting is also added to this trim level. Possibly the biggest difference between the two trim levels would be the standard safety features, with the Premium Plus offering cruise control, lane departure warning, front and rear park sensors and a 360 degree top view camera. The Prestige adds active lane assist, rear cross-traffic alert and vehicle exit warning. The top of the range model also enjoys traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, intersection assist, and a head-up display.
An impressive infotainment suite is part and parcel of the A6 allroad, and if you're not careful, you may lose count of the digital screens housed by the cabin. At the heart of it all is a 10.1-inch touchscreen and an 8.6-inch touchscreen just below it. These screens make way for the intuitive MMI interface and a navigation system. Also enabled by the central screens is Apple CarPlay along with Android Auto, HD Radio, SiriusXM functionality and Bluetooth streaming. A Bang and Olufsen sound system is responsible for pushing crystal clear audio out of 16 speakers, and two USB ports and wireless charging are standard. Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus offers two visual modes including Classic and Infotainment from its 12.3-inch LCD screen.
The 2020 A6 allroad has been on the receiving end of one recall so far, for the possibility of moisture entering the start generator. Audi offers a four-year or 50,000-mile basic and drivetrain warranty, and a 12-year corrosion warranty to help allay any concerns you may have. Roadside assistance is valid for the same time period and mileage limit as the basic warranty.
The NHTSA hasn't given the A6 allroad an overall safety rating, but the wagon scored five out of five stars for its front driver and passenger sides. The IIHS hasn't rated the Audi as yet. This is common for large luxury vehicles, but the safety features on both trim levels speak for themselves. The Premium Plus comes standard-fitted with features including lane departure warning and a 360-degree camera, while the Prestige adds features like rear cross-traffic alert, traffic jam assist, and active lane assist. It also gets a head-up display with traffic sign recognition.
If this was a one-word answer, it would be yes. But it isn't, so let us delve into why it is a worthy choice. Starting with the first thing you notice about the A6 allroad, it has an exterior that's so attractive, it's close to unmatched in terms of aesthetics. We're talking about a car that offers enough space for the entire family without looking like it's reserved for the average soccer mom. It's not just a pretty face either, it's powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that not only delivers an impressive 335 horsepower, it boasts excellent fuel economy figures of 20/26/22 mpg. Power and beauty are important, but intuitive technology nears the top of the list for the modern shopper. The A6 allroad delivers with a two-screen central infotainment system and a large digital instrument cluster, and all the digital elements integrate seamlessly. Possibly the only fault of the Audi would be that its trunk is smaller than rivals, but the 30 cubes that it does have provides more than enough space for a camping trip or a trip to the coast. The A6 allroad is one of the strongest contenders in the segment, and deserves to be somewhere at the top of your shortlist.
With only two trim levels to choose from, pricing is a rather easy affair. The Premium Plus is the more affordable of the two and has a starting MSRP of $65,900. A hefty price increase accompanies the top of the range Prestige model, and the crème de la crème has a final asking price of $70,400 excluding the $995 destination fee. With additional packages like the Executive and Luxury Package costing from between $1,600 and $2,950 extra, the asking price has the potential to skyrocket even further.
You might cringe at the thought of paying nearly $5,000 extra for the Prestige model, but you have to bear in mind that this trim level adds both the Executive and Driver Assistance packages along with some convenient standalone features, like the head-up display, power soft-close doors, and dual-pane acoustic glass. If you opt for the lower model, it wouldn't be a mistake per se, you'd just be missing out on a whole bunch of added safety features. If you're willing to loosen the purse strings even more, the Prestige gets access to the $2,950 Luxury Package that adds Valcona leather upholstery and leather-clad bits to the interior as well as heated and ventilated 18-way power-adjustable front seats.
When you have to pit a wagon from Audi and a wagon from Volvo against each other, you're in for a battle of the gods. With both brands boasting a considerable amount of fame for producing wagons adored by the public, it's going to be a tough one. A considerable amount of money separates the Volvo from the Audi, with the latter costing nearly $10,000 more. It's worth noting that the V90 Cross Country employs a supercharged 2.0-liter twin-charged engine, resulting in lower power output figures of 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, but that isn't exactly a downfall considering that the fuel economy figures delivered by the Volvo are better than the ones offered by the four-ringed contender. Both offer impressive cabins, but the Audi's seamless integration between two infotainment screens and intuitive system makes it the winner for the best interior, considering that both offer premium materials of the same standard. The V90 Cross Country is the one to go for.
The family-focused relatives from Audi both have 3.0-liter V6 engines, the Q7 boasts 48-volt mild-hybrid technology that is absent from the wagon. They may share a badge, but the core ethos between the cousins is vastly different. While both share the same power output figures, the Q7 drops its EPA estimates down to 17/21/18 mpg, which makes it a lot less frugal than the A6 allroad. Notably, the Q7 is a brawny SUV and the A6 allroad is a sleek wagon, so the two will likely appeal to different shoppers. The interiors offered by both haulers are very similar and offer the same features, and though the Q7 is similarly priced to the allroad, we'd still pick the latter.
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