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Audi Allroad

2013 Audi Allroad

Courtesy of Audi of America

You might recall that there already was an Audi Allroad in the mid-2000s. From a distance, it was barely discernible from the Subaru Outback. Both featured muted paint jobs accented with plastic cladding. Slightly beefy tires and roof racks seemed to hint at potential more than actual purpose. But they were capable and comfortable. Then the Allroad went away, probably because someone at Audi realized it was just a toughened-up A6 Avant (which Audi never really tried to hide, anyway). People preferred SUVs and crossovers. And now that Audi is phasing out all their remaining wagons, as well as the A3 hatch ... the Allroad's back. (Not everyone wants an SUV or crossover, after all.)

It doesn't stand out as much as it used to, that's for sure. The plastic body trim is back, but it can be painted to match the car, for a more subtle look. And other body armor, like the steel skid-plates that protect the car's belly, are hard to spot. But they're there. And that's where most of the similarities stop. The new 2013 Allroad is based on the A4 platform rather than the A6, and even though the A6 is the larger of the two, the new Allroad is slightly bigger than its predecessor. Unfortunately, it's also a little less powerful. Its sacrificed the adjustable ride height that helped enable more adventuresome off-roading, but a slightly widened track and slightly higher ride help increase the Allroad's stability and ground clearance. And the Allroad also lost the V-6 and V-8 engine options; instead, it's got the turbo 2.0 inline-4 that's prevalent across the current VW/Audi lineup. It's loaded up with standard luxury features and creature comforts. And, because it's an Audi, it somehow manages to be even prettier after it's been spattered in mud. So, although it might not be as ballsy as the old Allroad, it still beats the pants off a regular station wagon.

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