Updated with a choice of the latest four petrol and diesel engines, the third generation A6 allroad went on sale this year and uses the same lightweight construction technology we had seen in the saloon and Avant.
Whether you go for the 310V6 petrol or V6 diesels delivering Front and back views show smooth lines each end 204ps, 245ps or whopping twin-turbo 313ps it’s up to you and your tax adviser. They come with the latest 7sp automatic box except for the bi-turbo’s 8sp unit.
All have a the familiar but improved permanent four- wheel-drive quattro system incorporating an “intelligent” air suspension which automatically adjusts to driving styles.
At the other end is a very big opening fifth door which conceals a normal 565 litres loadbed which can be extended to 1680 litres in stages as the seats quickly fold to give a continuous flat floor with anchor loops, rails and securing system as well as a cover.
The shape of the rear roof means you do not have a boxy compartment but it’s still wide and long and has a very low loadbed to easily heave in heavier items. The access for driver and passengers is very good and once inside the room is excellent, particularly if you have long legs.
The delightfully comfortable, well shaped seats are excellent for longer journeys and have enormous adjustment on the front pair, which when combined with the fully adjustable column, provide an unlimited number of driving positions.
Visibility is good except for some limited blindspots over the shoulders but you have parking sensors to assist when maneuvering.
Lights are extremely bright and the big wipers sweep a huge area of glass both front and back. Stylish and practical interior
The wireless and wired technology is immense with a standard high end sound system which you can upgrade and include web-based systems and services turning your allroad into an all-round computer.
We had the 245ps unit under foot and it gave excellent acceleration, good mid-range overtaking ability and utterly composed cross-country performance. Gearchanges were silky smooth, steering pin sharp and brakes phenomenally effective.
I liked the self-adjusting suspension which squatted at speed but raised when going slowly over far tracks and kerbs. Handling is entirely confidence inspiring with tenacious grip, a slight bias towards understeer, and no upsetting roll or pitching.
The fact it is so versatile and very comfortable means it can do nearly everything a big off-roader is capable of, except coping with moderate to severe off-road situations where ground clearance is vital.
But how many drivers truly find themselves in such a position and if they do would they know how to cope with the conditions?
I think that for 98pc of its time in an owners hands, the Audi A6 allroad would do everything expected of it, and get you where you want to go and with a lot more economy as well. That other 2pc of the time you’re probably better off walking and causing less damage to your car and your pride when you get stuck.
Audi A6 allroad 3.0TDI quattro 245ps
Insurance group: 36
Mechanical: 245ps 3.0V6 engine, 7sp S-tronic, 4WD
Performance: 147mph max., 6.6sec 0-62mph
Fuel consumption: 40mpg
Emissions/ tax: 165gkm/ VED band G
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000miles