David Motton

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Practical Caravan's experts review and rate the 2008 Audi A6 Allroad 3.0 TDI Quattro Tiptronic to help you find the best tow car

Overview

Not all 4x4s have to be off-roaders. A four-wheel-drive estate car like the Audi A6 Allroad offers most of the benefits of a big 4x4 but with many of the rough edges smoothed over.

Towing

In fact, rough edges aren’t so much smoothed over as non-existent with this car. The 3.0 TDI engine is effortlessly powerful, responding strongly even from low revs. Even hitched up to an Abbey Expression 550 (MTPLM: 1500kg) the Audi was able to accelerate from 30-60mph in just 8.4 seconds. That’s exceptionally quick.

Power is nothing without control, as the saying goes, and the Audi stayed on top of the caravan’s behaviour whatever manoeuvre we attempted. Even through the lane-change test the Audi kept the big Abbey in check, swerving between the cones at speeds which few cars could match. Only at high speeds could we begin to feel the van pushing at the back of the car.

Our hill-start test took place in dry conditions and was straightforward for the Audi, both going forwards and in reverse. We know from having towed with the Allroad in the wet that it’s just as capable in the rain, If the Audi’s armour has any chink, it’s that the 30-0mph stopping distance of 11 metres is no better than average.

Everyday driving

Leave the caravan behind and you’re rewarded with lively handling and acceleration that would be good enough to embarrass many sports cars. Drive more gently and set the air suspension to ‘comfort’ mode and the ride becomes very supple.

Space

Passengers have plenty of space, front and rear. There’s 565 litres of luggage room with the seats upright. However, the sloping roofline won’t endear itself to dog owners. Fold the seats down for maximum luggage space and the floor isn’t completely flat.

Running costs

This is an expensive car, but if your budget stretches far enough it’s a very tempting one.

Find out more about this car at www.whatcar.com

Technical specs

Engine size3000 cc
Kerbweight1955 kg
85% KW1662 kg
Towball limit85 kg
Maximum towing limit1900 kg
Power230.0 bhp
Torque332.0 lb ft
Official MPG32.1 mpg
CO2230 g/km
30-60mph8.4 seconds
30-0mph11.0 m

Verdict

An impressive four-wheel-drive estate, although it should be with a list price of £37,210 when we tested it.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's a good, practical tow car
  • Enjoyable to drive, solo or hitched up

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Controls the caravan effortlessly
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