Audi allroad wagon grips snow reputation

The Audi allroad wagon is secure in the snow. (Bud Wells photo)

Not everyone concerned with winter-weather driving in Colorado purchases SUVs or crossovers. It seems that way, yet there are other choices.

A gem of a product falling between the multitude of SUVs and the front-drive or rear-drive sedans is the 2018 Audi A4 allroad turbocharged quattro wagon.

It sits low; in fact, the allroad’s ground clearance of 6.5 inches is much less than the 9-inch clearance of Audi’s popular Q5 SUV. That seems of little deterrence in traversing streets in 4 or 5 inches of snow, as the allroad churns through with little slippage, even across icy intersections.

Two snowfalls gave the German-built allroad opportunity to display its grip and maneuverability.

It handles impressively and performs fairly strong with its 252-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 7-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox. Suspension feel is altered through selection of five drive modes – dynamic, comfort, auto, individual and offroad; steering and throttle, too, are quickened or softened.

An easily gripped short shifter sits in the center console, and small paddles at the steering wheel lend more control to the driver. Advanced safety technology will vibrate the steering wheel if the allroad ventures over to a lane marker and will activate steering guidance back into the driving lane.

The 25.8 miles per gallon I posted with the allroad would have seemed satisfactory if the week previously I hadn’t averaged 29.5 in similar driving with the BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe, which is of same weight and horsepower as the Audi, both are with 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinders.

The Audi interior is trimmed in brown leather, front seatbacks are fairly deeply bolstered. The roomy rear seats are heated and the rear side windows have manual-pull sunshades. Cargo space behind the rear seats is 24.2 cubic feet; that’s more than the Q5 offers.

The German-built allroad , based on the Audi A4, is compact-sized, with wheelbase of 110.9 inches and overall length of 187; curb weight is 3,825 pounds. Some years ago, the allroad was larger, then as a derivative of the A6. Today’s allroad rides on Continental 245/45R18 tires.

Pushing the allroad’s price from a base of $44,500 to sticker of $56,650 are a long listing of options including:

Bang & Olufsen sound, Audi MMI navigation, heated power-folding mirrors, LED headlights, high-beam assistant, top-view camera parking aid, head-up display, adaptive cruise, traffic sign recognition, ventilated front sport seats and heated steering wheel.

I tested Audi A4 allroad quattro wagons in 2013 and 2015 at prices, respectively, of $47,395 and $48,325