Unlike the standard A6 range, the Allroad engine line-up is limited to the more powerful offerings. The entry-level petrol is the 2.7T and with 246bhp it has more than enough power for most buyers. The other petrol unit is the hefty 4.2-litre V8 with 295bhp but it offers little advantage in terms of performance but is far more thirsty, averaging just 13mpg.
The diesels are by far the better choice. The 2.5 TDI unit is a little noisy but offers strong pulling power. Originally available with 177bhp, a less powerful 160bhp version was launched in 2003.
Thanks to the quattro four-wheel drive system the Allroad has superb traction and can deal with slippery conditions with ease. The adaptive air suspension can be raised for tricky terrain and lowered for motorway driving. It's not quite as good to drive as a standard A6 with a little more bodyroll but it feels equally composed on the motorway.