Back before luxury SUVs were all the rage, wagons ruled supreme. Whether factual or simply perceived, SUVs had a reputation for being more rugged and robust, since early models were based on truck platforms. Bridging this gap between urban sophistication and rural durability was the original Audi Allroad Quattro. Even though the first-generation Allroad was well received, it was only offered for five years. Shortly thereafter, Audi's pair of "Q" SUVs filled the void.
More recently, Audi has brought the Allroad back, this time slightly smaller and based on the A4 wagon. This new Allroad is covered in a separate review. As a used choice, the original Allroad Quattro should appeal to shoppers looking for a luxury wagon with a bit of extra ruggedness. But it did have some notable drawbacks, and few were sold, so finding one might take some time.
Used Audi Allroad Quattro Specs
The first-generation Audi Allroad Quattro debuted as a 2001 model and was based on the midsize A6 sedan. As a result, this Allroad wagon was larger in every dimension than the current model. Supplying power to all four wheels was a turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 that produced 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission was standard, with a five-speed automatic available as an option. One of the distinguishing features on the Allroad at the time was an adjustable suspension that could raise and lower the ride height by 2.6 inches. This gave drivers the choice of off-road clearance or greater on-road handling.
Feature highlights included 17-inch wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, leather upholstery and a nine-speaker stereo with CD player. Available options mostly comprised auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, xenon headlights, a sunroof, heated seats, rear-facing third-row seats, a Bose premium audio system, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, a navigation system and parking sensors.
By and large, changes throughout the first-generation Audi Allroad were slight. The most significant addition was an available 300-hp V8 that debuted in the 2004 model year. That engine was paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Minor changes included an available heated steering wheel and OnStar telematics for 2002 and optional satellite radio in 2004. In 2005 -- the Allroad Quattro's final year -- OnStar was dropped and the trademark black fender panels were then painted to match the rest of the body.
Throughout its run, the first-generation Audi Allroad Quattro maintained its position as an alternative to larger luxury SUVs at the time. To its detriment, however, the Allroad lacked the level of comfort and flexibility that those SUVs offered. Furthermore, the Allroad was more expensive than those rivals. In reviews, we deducted points for the base V6 engine's pronounced turbo lag under acceleration, the suspension's rather harsh ride quality over bumps and less-than-admirable fuel economy figures. These are all items of contention that should be taken into account when considering a used Allroad.