Allroad is to Audi what Cross Country is to Volvo: Jacked-up station wagons with plastic body cladding designed to lure buyers away from SUVs. Audi has been making its Allroad models for 20 years now, and the latest in the line is the redesigned 2020 A6 Allroad. The wagon gets some new tech, including features normally found on dedicated off-roaders. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Audi still won’t bring the A6 Allroad to the United States.
The A6 Allroad sits taller than the A6 Avant it’s based on (that model isn’t sold in the U.S., either), and comes standard with adaptive air suspension, which can raise or lower the ride height based on speed and the selected driving mode. The standard ride height offers 5.5 inches of ground clearance, according to Audi, making it easier to negotiate uneven terrain. The ride height can be raised even more at low speeds, and lowers automatically at higher speeds.
Most A6 Allroad owners will likely never take their vehicles off-road, but Audi included some tech to help if they do. The Allroad gets hill descent control, which holds the car at a set speed between 1.2 mph and 18.6 mph, and can brake any of the four wheels individually to ensure a smooth descent. A tilt-angle sensor warns the driver if it detects that the vehicle is at risk of tipping over.
The A6 Allroad uses a 3.0-liter TDI turbodiesel V6, tuned to three different power levels. The base 45 TDI version makes 228 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, the midrange 50 TDI makes 282 hp and 457 lb-ft, and the top-of-the-line 55 TDI makes 349 hp and 516 lb-ft. All versions get an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive, as well as a mild-hybrid system to help improve fuel efficiency.
Like numerous Audi models sold in the U.S., the Allroad gets the latest version of the automaker’s MMI infotainment system, which covers the dashboard in screens. Range-topping models get a 10.1-inch central screen, which is paired with an 8.6-inch lower screen that replaces most analog buttons and knobs. The Allroad also gets Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which replaces the conventional gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch reconfigurable digital display.
The 2020 Audi A6 Allroad goes on sale in Europe this month. It won’t be available in the U.S., although Audi does offer the smaller A4 Allroad here. But with even Audi’s marketing department apparently hoping for more wagons in the U.S., it’s possible that the A6 Allroad could return in the future (the model was sold here when it launched in 1999). Audi would likely swap the diesel engine for one of the gasoline engines used in the U.S.-spec A6 sedan, however.