I’ve driven a number of Audi vehicles over the years, and I’ve yet to encounter one that I did not enjoy driving. It has created a bit of a love/hate relationship with the brand for me. I love driving an Audi, I hate reviewing one because it’s so hard to sound impartial. Hell, I have a dog named Quattro. The love runs deep.

This was my first time driving the Allroad and as a lover of wagons I was primed for a week with the car.

Here in the U.S. where people think a giant SUV is necessary to “see around” and where heavy duty pickup truck lines sellout due to a temporary decline in oil prices, the family wagon is getting harder and harder to find. It’s really a sad reality, the SUV is the vehicle people want, the wagon is the vehicle they need. How many SUVs actually see heavy hauling or off road use?

Enough proselytizing about the automotive reviewer’s almighty wagon. How did the Audi Allroad perform?

First stop in the fresh and clean Allroad dropped off at my door? The grocery store where the automatic rear lift hatch allowed my manly idiocy to function. With 10 grocery bags slung from each wrist I was able to open the rear hatch by punching the key fob in my pocket, the low loading gate allowed me to not blow out my delayed onset muscle soreness biceps, and when I was done I closed it easily with the push of the button.

After dropping off the groceries I had the opportunity to really put the Audi’s space to use, with several 6+ foot long walnut boards from the lumber yard. Another score for the wagon.

Storage is great, what about passengers. The rear is a little cramped if you put 3 adult humans back there, but kids would fit just fine. Put four adults in the Allroad and you won’t hear a complaint. Having unloaded little diaper fillers from tall SUVs, the Allroad would win again and with 27.6 cubic feet of space in the back, with the seats up, there’s room for all their junk too.

Now to the good part. Seven days with the Allroad and I had averaged 27 miles per gallon. Not bad for a 2 liter tubocharged engine that produces 220 horsepower and 268 pd-ft of torque. Nor is it bad for a family wagon that will race from 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds flat and has a top speed of 130 mph, I’d like to see your “necessary in Colorado” SUV do that.

All that combined with the included 8- speed transmission, made for excellent performance in all the conditions I encountered, including a nice warm day wet-heavy snow, turned to ice, turned to ice covered in more wet snow. Power allows the Allroad to merge and move about with ease and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system kept the vehicle planted when the roads got messy.

The Allroad rides comfortably. It’s a compliant ride but not a dead one. Bumps and pot holes are almost completely ironed out, and that’s with winter tires on. There is a little bit of body roll when the Allroad gets tossed, but for a family wagon I would say it’s barely noticeable. The brakes felt great, not overly harsh, not numb either. Turn-in was precise but the steering effort felt a bit lazy. Overall, the Allroad felt safely sporty.

The Allroad came with a very nice chsetnut brown interior that looked great with the ibis white exterior. Audi really delivers a great quality interior, it’s luxurious yet it feels like it could take a beating. It’s an inviting and warm space to sit and enjoy the ride. The Allroad was very quiet and comfortable, it felt like a library compared to my STI. Heated seats, thanks to the Premium package, were a welcome addition.

The Allroad sports Audi’s MMI technology system, it paired my phone through Bluetooth easily, and worked quite well. One disappointment is that if you want a physical connection you better still be sporting an iPhone 4 or earlier. The center cluster is simply, easy to navigate and lit in a non-distracting and clean way.

There are not a whole lot of competitors in the sports wagon market. The BMW 328i xDrive sports wagon and the Volvo V60 are about it and if you’re in the market the group is small enough that you should really give them all a spin. The Allroad was a an impressive drive, handling was outstanding, maneuverability more than competent, passenger space ample and storage space more so.

The Audi Allroad would be my family car of choice were I to procreate. With more than enough room to fit all the gear, an accessible height for loading and unloading, a sporty drive, a well built interior and all the extraordinary comfort that an Audi offers it’s an easy sell. On top of all that, the all wheel drive will safely get a family anywhere they need to go. Plus I would love to take Quattro for a ride in the Quattro.