BMW, are you paying attention?
Not long ago this was merely a rumor and now it's been confirmed: the Audi A6 Allroad is officially returning to the US market for the 2020 model year. The last time it was sold here was in 2005. The station wagon isn't dead after all but has been reformed for the crossover age. Like the hot-selling Subaru Outback, which will be one of its main competitors, the Audi A6 Allroad has both on and off-road capabilities thanks to a standard adaptive air suspension and powerful V6 engine.
Audi has styled the A6 Allroad with crossover design cues such as the enhanced wheel arches, a formula that continues to work well for the smaller A4 Allroad. The German automaker wants to repeat that success for those seeking a mid-size luxury family vehicle that's not a crossover or SUV.
Audi claims the 2020 A6 Allroad was "designed for adventure." Based on the familiar A6 sedan and supercar-like RS6 Avant, the A6 Allroad blends refined styling with various off-road enhancements. You'll immediately notice the large wheel arches and rocker panels, both painted in Scandium gray matte, which contrasts with the body paint to emphasize the wagon's rugged nature. Those who desire a more refined look can instead opt for a full-paint option.
Regardless of paint preference, there's a wide model-specific grille with chrome vertical slats and standard 20-inch wheels. To help complete the outdoorsy appearance, there are standard roof rails with an Alu-optic finish, front blade and underbody protection, and a model-specific rear diffuser.
To pay homage to the original 2000 model, there's the Anniversary Edition with exclusive Gavial Green exterior paint and some interior upgrades as described below.
Audi has long been known for designing and building world-class interiors made from only the highest quality materials. Fit and finish is excellent, and the A6 Allroad is certainly no exception. Like the A6 sedan, the A6 Allroad features a large infotainment screen and driver gauge display. When driving over light terrain, drivers can even utilize a unique display on the MMI monitor showing the vehicle's current tilt angle in both longitudinal and transverse directions. Translation: the display will warn you if you're about to tip over.
Inside, the A6 Allroad Anniversary Edition features Sarder Brown Valcona leather with Fine Nappa accents, Grain Ash Natural Noble Wood inlays, stainless steel pedals and footrest, leather seat base, and a leather airbag cap with contrast stitching.
Audi further differentiated the A6 Allroad with a standard dual-pane panoramic sunroof, ambient LED interior lighting, and a Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium South System. Precise interior measurements are not yet available, but we expect additional passenger and cargo space over its sedan stablemate.
The Audi A6 Allroad will be offered with only engine: a turbocharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that's coupled with Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle technology for a combined output of 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Audi gave the A6 Allroad a specially-tuned adaptive air suspension enabling drivers to switch between on and off-road driving situations. Ride height is adjusted based on the mode set from the drive select system. At its maximum height, the A6 Allroad is 1.8 inches higher than the sedan for a total ground clearance of 7.3 inches. Six driving modes are offered: Auto comes with 5.5 inches of ground clearance; Comfort, also with the same ground clearance, provides a lighter steering feel; Dynamic provides a heavier steering feel and a generally sportier ride with a 0.6-inch lower ground clearance; Individual adheres to personal preferences; Offroad offers increased ground clearance of 1.2 inches at speeds up to 21.7 mph; and finally Lift, a setting that provides an additional 0.6 inches of lift above Offroad.
Off-roading aids like hill descent control, tilt angle assist, and dynamic all-wheel steering come standard.
Official pricing has not been announced, but we do expect it to be higher than the A6 sedan V6, which starts at just under $60,000. The A6 Allroad Anniversary Edition could easily begin at around $70,000, if not more.
Competition in the premium wagon segment is not fierce, though the A6 Allroad will face off against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon, which begins at just over $66,000. However, the Mercedes lacks the Audi's off-road capabilities and this could be a deciding factor for some buyers. Same goes for the Jaguar XF Sportbrake, another expensive and road-focused premium wagon. And then there's the redesigned for 2020 Subaru Outback, a vehicle that has come to define the off-road wagon. Heck, it helped invent the segment. However, the Subaru doesn't have Audi's luxury and general premium factor, though it is possible to spend as much as $40,000. The 2020 Audi A6 Allroad is sort of an experiment for the German automaker, hypothesizing that luxury crossovers are not for everyone.