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By Jim Flammang
February 10, 2005
Vehicle Overview Audi's quasi-SUV Allroad Quattro 2.7T saw no changes for the 2004 model year, but a new 4.2 edition joined the lineup. Equipped with a 300-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 and a five-speed-automatic transmission, the new model had side curtain-type airbags, a four-position pneumatic suspension, low-beam xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and five-spoke 18-inch wheels.
A new DVD-based navigation system is available for the 2005 model year. Either Sirius or XM Satellite Radio can be installed.
The Allroad Quattro is essentially a prior-generation A6 Avant wagon made to look roughly like a sport utility vehicle. Audi claims it delivers better on-road ride and handling qualities than traditional SUVs. The Allroad Quattro competes against such upscale SUV rivals as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, car-based SUVs like the BMW X5 and Lexus RX 330, and all-wheel-drive wagons such as the Volvo V70 and XC70.
Exterior Though it shares its foundation with Audi's A6 Avant wagon, the Allroad Quattro is distinguished by its larger gray bumpers and wheel-arch trim. Developers reached beyond paint and plastic components by installing unique 17-inch tires. An electronic air suspension adjusts ground clearance to four levels � from a maximum of 8.2 inches for offroad excursions to a minimum of 5.6 inches for highway cruising. At its greatest height, the wagon has more clearance than some car-based SUVs, including the BMW X5.
Riding a 108.5-inch wheelbase, the Allroad Quattro is 189.4 inches long overall. The V-8 model rides on standard 18-inch wheels.
Interior Five people fit inside the Allroad Quattro. The wagon features leather-upholstered sport front bucket seats and a three-place 60/40-split folding rear bench. Cargo volume measures 36.4 cubic feet with the rear seat up and 73.2 cubic feet when it's folded down.
The walnut-trimmed interior includes an eight-speaker 140-watt sound system that has both a cassette player and a six-CD changer. The Radio Broadcast Display System shows station call letters and other information, and the stereo volume changes with the vehicle's speed. Options include a glass sunroof, Bose sound, a navigation system, and heated front and rear seats.
Under the Hood Using twin turbochargers, the 2.7-liter V-6 generates 250 hp. It mates with either a six-speed-manual gearbox or a five-speed-automatic transmission that incorporates a manual-shift provision. A 300-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 is also offered; it's available only with the automatic transmission. Audi's permanently engaged quattro all-wheel-drive system distributes power among the four wheels to maintain peak traction.
Safety Antilock brakes, Audi's Electronic Stabilization Program stability system, side curtain-type airbags and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. Rear-seat side-impact airbags are optional. LATCH child-safety seat lower anchors and tethers are installed at the outer rear seating positions.
Driving Impressions Like all Audis, the Allroad Quattro is solidly built, civilized and refined; it lacks nothing of consequence. This beautiful road machine brandishes taut, extra-precise handling skills, satisfying ride comfort and sterling performance. The Allroad Quattro stays firmly planted through demanding curves.