The Audi A6 Allroad
The pinnacle of wagons for all us Wagonistas.
By Glenn Oyoung
Mon, Jan 30, 2023 02:55 PM PST
Images by the author, Glenn Oyoung.
As the resident Audi-phile at LA Car, I have been blessed with stints in some cars that I ended up enjoying enough to recommend (see A3 review) and loved enough at the end of my stint behind the wheel to make a mental note to buy as soon as the kids can drive for themselves (see S3 review). Today’s review is of an Audi that I didn’t quite know what to make of on paper – but at the end of a week, I not only understood but also decided that if I ever had the means, I would need to find a way to put in the stable. Of course, I’m talking about the $82,690, fully-loaded Audi A6 allroad.
One of your first thoughts might be, who on earth needs an $83k, slightly-raised station wagon? As covered in this excellent piece on Investopedia, luxury car manufacturers are seeing a resurgence in wagons. They target the “millionaire next door” types – who tend to be more “educated, affluent, and loyal.”
There’s also a cultish following (#guilty) amongst gearheads for wagons – which offer the space of a minivan without sacrificing the handling and cool factor departments. I would also surmise that in the areas of our nation that experience heavy precipitation in the form of rain (looking at you, Pacific Northwest) and snow (wicked, New England) that the legendary quattro drivetrain paired with an extra 1.2” of ground clearance comes in handy.
Exterior: the Understated Überwagon
One of the reasons I have always loved Audis is simple: they just look so darn good. One of the things the delivery driver and I talked about when they dropped off my tester was the Dew Silver Metallic. It is a super cool color. In full sunlight, it has an ever-so-slight tinge of mint to it. Outside of that, it shows up as silver.
Audi bills the allroad as “Rugged, yet refined,” which perfectly summarizes its styling. My favorite view of the allroad is from the back because I am a wagon fan, and I love Audi’s LED taillight design. Our tester featured the Black optic package and was equipped with sporty 20” 5-spoke wheels, gloss black trim for the roof rails and other exterior elements, and Manhattan Gray contrast paint for the fenders and side skirts.
The last upgrade is critical – I am not a fan of plastic cladding on anything other than trash cans (or Pontiac Aztecs…#samesame). The Manhattan Gray paint contributes nicely to the allroad’s upscale design and resolves something that probably subconsciously eliminated the allroad from my previous consideration set.
Interior: The Lap of Luxury Has Massage Chairs
The star of the allroad show is the interior. As some of you may know, Audi is a stablemate of exotic brands like Lamborghini and Bentley in the Volkswagen Auto Group. My immediate impression in the allroad was that this was the Bentley station wagon, given all of the luxury accouterments provided to anyone lucky enough to own one.
My favorite feature is the incredibly comfortable heated and ventilated seats, with the best lumbar support I can remember. The next-level surprise for me was that they MASSAGE (!) and in a veritable slew of modes. WHATTTT! As someone with chronic lower back pain, this was a welcome reprieve from the achiness that sitting in LA traffic induces. I looked forward to driving because of how comfy these seats were.
To get these magic seats, you have to spring for the $2,500 Luxury Package, which also includes extra leather on the dash, armrests, and console, as well as upgraded Valcona leather. Our tester also came equipped with the $5,500 Prestige package, which also comes with adaptive cruise assist, animation of headlights and taillights, dual-pane acoustic glass for the side windows, heated rear seats, heads-up display, and a ton of other nifty upgrades. I feel that if you’re going to spring for a luxury wagon, you may as well load it up with all the goodies.
The available Bang & Olufsen® Advanced sound system features 23 speakers and a subwoofer and sounds excellent. Is it worth $4,900? Again, see the note above… and the fact that the two dash-mounted speakers rise like an Imperial Shuttle when you turn on the radio is worth it in my book. I’m sure this was designed to contribute to the “3D” sound, and I’m a sucker for motorized things moving around to add to my luxury experience.
Performance: A Wagon for All Roads
Wagonistas like myself are not in love with wagons because we’re trying to win drag races, although technically, the allroad’s sibling, the RS6, can probably beat many sports cars on the road. Again, it’s the versatility and comfort, paired with the ability to still get out of the gate and carve up the twisties vs. in an SUV or minivan.
The allroad has versatility for days, thanks to its assortment of driving modes. Are you going for a spirited drive? Select the Dynamic mode, and the allroad drops .6 inches from its 5.5-inch ride height. Going over a fire trail (a. why? b. take me with you)? Select the Offroad mode, and the allroad rises to its max height of 7.3 inches. The Comfort and Auto modes default to 5.5 inches, and you can fine-tune settings using the Individual Mode. For the most part, I left it in Auto, though I did enjoy a few trips in the Dynamic setting. Sprinting up a freeway on-ramp while getting a massage is, as Ferris Bueller would say, very choice.
The allroad is powered by Audi’s supercharged 3.0-liter TFSI V6 engine, which powers other high-performance Audis like the S4 and SQ5. It’s rated for 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds per Audi. In my week with the allroad, it was super comfortable and fun to drive.
The allroad does the best of both worlds – the three C’s: comfort, convenience, cargo room – as well as the ability for car-loving parents like me to get the adrenaline flowing with some short bursts of spirited driving on the way to pick up groceries and the kids from basketball practice.
If you have the juice, this Überwagon is more than worth the squeeze!
For more information, visit audiusa.com.
About The Author
Glenn Oyoung is a marketer based in Los Angeles. Glenn’s lifelong passion for cars is rooted in playing with Hot Wheels, and has continued into 1:1 scale. He’s the former marketing director of American Racing, author of ‘vehicular alphabet books’ “C is for Car” and "P is for Petersen" in collaboration with the Petersen Automotive Museum. His passion for cars extends to his role as the founder of the monthly car meet Carcadia at Route 66, the most diverse car meet in the San Gabriel Valley.