We’re guessing you aren’t done with crossovers yet, right? In the past year, the sales entrance of the SUV luxury models went up by about 15% with the large SUV sales going up by 20%. However, in some segments, the SUV sales stalled. Well, if you’re thinking of going a different route, the 2017 Audi A4 Allroad is a worthy choice. The Audi has earned itself a spot at the table as being one of the top wagons even though it’s existed since 2001. It joins other beauties such as the Volvo V90, Mercedes E-Class Wagon, BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, and so on.
Wagons get much love from critics even though they might be hard to fathom. The wagons bare no similarity in regards to the engineering compared to that of the truck-based SUVs, but all have a signature with their lengthened rear designs which facilitate more storage. The wagons don’t get sold that much in America. Compared to the A4’s 34,687 sales last year, Audi sold only 2,300 A4 Allroads. Early in January this year, Audi had a 49% increase in sales of 222 vehicles compared to the same period last year. However, that’s still lower than its plug-in hybrid sales-e-Tron. If we’re making a contrast, then the company’s favored creation-Q5 SUV topped the chat with a sale of 3,636 vehicles in the same period.
Having had the opportunity to drive an Audi Allroad last week during an extreme snowstorm, I can say it’s the solution for the station wagon-cautious buyers. We’ll get into that later on, but for now, let’s do a background check.
The Family Car History
From the 1960s, one can see the pattern of the poor sales figures in the American car market. The station wagon was deemed the family car in the 1960s and ‘70s. They were more of embarrassing, unwieldy, oblong, and a means of getting from point A to B vehicles. They were suitable for big families whose pockets didn’t have much to say.
The SUVs started to make an entrance in the 1980s. It was as a result of automakers realizing that the SUVs would gain favor with families as independent, cool anti-wagon selections. With the introduction of models such as the Chevy Tahoe, Lexus RX, Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalade, they started stamping the market.
It was kind of late when the BMW, Mercedes, and Audi introduced their wagons into the US market way back in the 1990s and 2000s. The chances of dominating the market were next to impossible. The Volvo’s “V” and Subaru’s Outback can still be seen in the market but have a special place with the enthusiasts who don’t have the top dollar for the vehicles and live in mystical areas like Maine and Oregon.
The one I had an opportunity to drive featured a turbocharged 2.0 –liter four –cylinder engine with 272 pounds of torque having a capacity of 272 horsepower, the same as that of the bestseller-A4 sedan; which can be said to be the best creation that Audi has come up with so far.
Having a cruise in the snowy weather last week in Manhattan seemed to be a walk in the park. The experience was like that of a Labrador jumping into a lake; the moment where he’s happiest in his habitat. The electronic stability and 18-inch tires are available in standard, and the chilly weather package consists of heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
The Allroad interior comprises of a slim and low dashboard with edgewise vents running around the front set off with a control screen on the top displaying high resolutions. It also features an Audi virtual cockpit that’s 12.3 inches and is located close to the steering which extends from an outstanding dial presentation to a panoramic programming which shows driving systems, maps among other settings. It offers a neutral effect attaining a lower fuzzy feel compared to the BMW while at the same time being way softer than the BMW.
The sliding cockpit experience of the Allroad is somehow the same as that of the A4. It features a leather-brown Nougat brown steering wheel; panoramic sunroof, ergonomic, firm seats; privacy glass and a climate control three-zone feature. You’re likely to forget that this is a sports sedan given its performance and exotic interior.
The trunk will always remind you that this is a wagon. Though you can’t afford to not love both the back and front headroom and the spacious back seat, it’s the trunk that always does the trick as it graces us with more storage space than you would think of if you were to look at it from the outside. Compared to the BMW, the trunk space might not be the largest in this category, but it also offers a rear split-fold functionality of the backseat which creates more space for one to slide in appliances, furniture, snowboards and much more.
The Allroad has a fuel efficiency of 28 mpg on the highway and 23 around the city. That’s more than that of the E-Class’s wagon and the Audi Q3.
It’s clear to see what path I’m heading towards. It’s with no doubt that the Allroad is a spectacular choice when compared to other creations out there in this category. It just allows a small handful of people in its circle who know what they know. It might not be a leader in terms of volume, but it offers great functionality and performance for a proportionate set.