Don't say it too loudly, but you'll find one or two fans of the Allroad Audis in the PH office. Why? Because they possess all the off-road ability that will ever be required - certainly as much as the average SUV buyer uses - enveloped in a handsome Avant body. They're regular, desirable estates, just made a little more rugged. What's not to like?
Audi has been making the A6 Allroad for 20 years now, clearly fans in the late 1990s of what Volvo had done with the XC70. Still going strong, the Allroad has now been launched in its fourth generation, and will be available to order from August.
The same key differentiators return versus the regular A6: standard air suspension, standard all-wheel drive, increased ground clearance and a more rough and ready look. It's an overhaul that's always suited the cars quite well, and nothing's changed here - Audi says the "special body attachments emphasise the most rugged Avant's capabilities and aluminium-look underbody cladding provides additional protection." In the UK, a Sport or Vorsprung Allroad will be offered, with the latter replacing those aluminium accents with black details.
The standard ground clearance is 139mm; a lift mode raising it another 30mm below 50mph and 45mm below 22mph. It also lowers 15mm from standard at motorway speeds above 74mph. There's standard hill descent control as well, to help get whatever you've towed - up to 2,500kg - to wherever you need it to go.
The engines will help with lugging loads around, UK buyers having the choice between a pair of V6 diesels using mild hybrid technology. The 45 TDI makes 231hp and 369lb ft, the 50 TDI boosting those figures to 286hp and 457lb ft. Both will do 155mph, should that matter, and all-wheel steer is standard on the Vorsprung model.
Otherwise it's as you were for the A6 Avant - certainly no bad thing if our experience of the S6 is anything to go by. UK Allroad buyers will have 11 colours to choose from - including Gavial Green, unique to this car, which evokes the original Allroad - and three interior colours of black, pearl beige and okapi brown - perfect. Prices are expected to start from £55k for the standard 231hp car, with the higher spec and more powerful engine naturally set to cost more. For less than half that, however, this 2014 Allroad presents a strong case - especially with more than 300hp...