Station wagons, even in the storied and oft-loved luxury market, are disappearing. It’s a sad state of affairs, but a few automakers are holding the line and producing well-done vehicles in the space. When the A6 was redone, the Allroad wagon version came soon after. It debuted last year.

Most of the changes for the 2021 model year of the Allroad are small. A new “Black Optic” appearance package is now available and the not well-received all-wheel steering has been dropped. This leaves the 2021 Audi A6 Allroad, one of the last of the luxury wagons, with two trim levels and a few package options.

All iterations of the Allroad are powered by a well-done 3.0-liter V6 that’s been turbocharged to produce 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This runs to a beautiful seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All-wheel drive (“Quattro” in Audi-speak) is standard.

Design for the 2021 A6 Allroad is a combination of station wagon goodness and crossover-SUV bulk. The result is a car-like station wagon body sitting on a slightly taller chassis with pretty good ground clearance. From the front and rear, the Allroad looks like a sports wagon or shooting brake. From the side, it looks more SUV-ish with a taller stance and beefier fender edges, but with the classic and beautiful station wagon profile up top.

Audi has done several good things here. 20-inch wheels are standard, for example, as are roof rails, an adaptive air suspension, and three-zone climate control. Several other things are also standard, including a 16-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo and dual-screen infotainment with navigation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and plug-in Android Auto are also standard, as is a wireless charging pad. But wait! That’s not all! The list of standard equipment is impressive on the new Audi A6 Allroad.

To add to the robust list of amenities that come with the Allroad are the Executive Package with four-zone climate, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and adaptive cruise control. The Black Optic package, new for this year, paints exterior accents black and adds black roof rails. A couple of stand-alone options are also available, including painted wheel arches.

The Prestige model upgrades the standard setup with the Executive Package and an exclusive headlight upgrade. It also adds powered soft-closing doors, sound-reducing glass, and a head-up display. Then if you want even more leather, a night-vision camera, or a 19-speaker B&O audio system, you can add those as well.

With all of those things, it’s no wonder that the drive quality and road appeal of the 2021 Audi A6 Allroad becomes second on the list of things we’d mention. It drives very well, with a balanced feel and good acceleration. It’s no shooting brake, but it feels good. But it’s luxury first in this car, which is a nice step for Audi, who often puts performance first and sometimes forgets the luxury part altogether. That’s been making a comeback in Audi’s designs lately and we’re glad to see it in the Allroad wagon. Where it should be.

In all, the Audi A6 Allroad compares well to the Volvo V90 Cross Country, which is probably its chief rival. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain is a little more over the top price-wise and a lot more sporty by comparison.

The 2021 Audi A6 Allroad has a starting price of $65,190 with a fully outfitted model getting closer to $80,000 after delivery.

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Audi S4

Yes, it’s worth it.  

Audi is known as a luxury performance brand, which means it makes cars not everyone gets the chance to drive. They’re the cars you see in traffic or maybe in the parking lot at the mall and wish were yours. That’s the moment you do a bit of rationalization in your head and tell yourself it’s silly to spend that kind of money on a car and you’re just fine in your [insert boring car here]. After spending some time in the S4 sedan and Q7 SUV, we can wholeheartedly say that spending your hard-earned cash on a luxury car gives you an experience that’s worth every penny.

2020 Audi S4: does it perform as well as we’d hoped? 

This year, Audi gave the S4 a host of upgrades that take what was already quite a nice sedan and make it even better. Park last year’s S4 alongside this year’s model and you will see myriad small changes that give it a sportier, more elegant look. This is a performance sedan, not just an appliance designed to get you from point A to point B. Instead it gets you there in style and with a smile on your face.

The S4 sits at the top of the A4/S4 lineup as the sportiest of the lot. Pricing for the base A4 starts at $37,400 while the S4 comes in at $49,900. What you get for that price increase is additional power, improved handling, and a more luxurious interior.

Under the hood is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine with 349 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. That’s a lot of power for a sedan and it shows when you step on the gas. The S4 accelerates smoothly and evenly and makes merging into heavy traffic effortless.

As for the dreaded turbo lag – that brief hesitation when you first mash the pedal – it’s there, but only when you’re being extremely aggressive. Most of the time you aren’t hitting the gas like you’re trying to win a race, so the turbo lag is barely an issue.

As for comfort, this is every bit a luxury car. Leather and Alcantara seats with heavy bolstering hold you in place without squishing larger frames. They’re 8-way adjustable with massage and heat to ease your tired muscles.

Infotainment boasts a new 10.1-inch touchscreen mounted high on the dashboard. It’s easy to see and easy to use with a short learning curve so even passengers who are completely unfamiliar with the system will find it workable.

The 2020 Audi S4 offers a true luxury experience in a performance sedan. That’s all well and good, but what if you have a family and need seating for more than five passengers?

2020 Audi Q7: family-focused and still sporty

You don’t have to give up the idea of luxury simply because you have a family. The Audi Q7 has three rows of seating with room for up to seven passengers with a luxurious, performance-focused experience similar to what’s found in the S4 sedan.

It even offers the same engine, although with a small dip to 335 horsepower. This is a large vehicle so you  might think that would kill performance, but don’t worry. The Q7 is still a spirited and sporty SUV.

The biggest performance difference is in the handling. This is an SUV, not a sedan, so on tight twisty roads it feels bigger with more body roll, but it’s not enough to dull the fun of driving the Q7.

While the second row is roomy, the third row is tight. Headroom is too low for tall adults and even those of average height will need to move that second row forward to fit. It’s best reserved for the kids. When it comes time for cargo instead of people, there’s up to 72.4 cubic feet of room for your stuff.

Pricing on the Q7 starts a bit higher at $54,800 for the base model, which has a less powerful engine. The top trim, which is what we drove, comes in at $60,800.

Not everyone can afford a luxury car, but for those who can, Audi offers good reason for the investment. The S4 sedan and Q7 SUV offer upscale interiors and powerful performance that don’t disappoint. Both are available at dealerships now.

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Kia Seltos ad

Do you watch the NFL for the games or the commercials? Every year, companies spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising during the season, culminating with the Big Game. It’s easily $5M+ just to place the ad, not to mention the cost to create it, the agency fees, and so on. But considering that about 100 million people watch the game that determines the championship, even a fraction of that viewership will bring the numbers the manufacturers want in terms of exposure.

Our favorite commercials are about vehicles, of course. Remember the one about

Let’s start with that GMC Hummer and the one… the only… LeBron James.

Next, the Kia commercial for the new Seltos AWD SUV is hauntingly touching, and Kia is putting their money where their mouth is with a new campaign to help the homeless.  In this ad, rookie running back Josh Jacobs returns to the streets of his hometown (Tulsa, Oklahoma) to offer his younger self words of inspiration. Josh’s journey took him from homeless youth to first-round draft pick. Kia is donating $1,000 a yard in the Big Game, and proceeds will benefit Covenant House, StandUp for Kids, and Positive Tomorrows.

“Groundhog Day” is one of my favorite movies ever. Personally, I love the part in which he orders a huge breakfast with tons of pancakes and eats it all because it won’t matter… the next day he’ll start over. If you have not seen the movie yet, what are you waiting for? GO! Go now. Jeep nailed it with this spoof with the Gladiator and Punxsutawney Phil (who predicted an early spring today, btw).

We got to see this one at the Genesis GV80 SUV launch last week in Miami, and hope it’s the boost Genesis needs to give the brand the recognition it deserves. This handsome three-row SUV is gorgeous.

We had the opportunity to test the 2020 Hyundai Sonata with “Smaht Pahk” in Arizona in December, and it’s really cool. In this commercial, Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch, and David “Big Papi” Ortiz drive the point home with a cheeky and clever skit about this feature. It’s impressive, and in cities where they actually say “Wicked smaht”, quite practical.

At the Fully Charged Live USA event in Austin this weekend, we drove the new Audi e-Tron at the Circuit of the Americas, and we can attest to the effortless ride of this EV. The navigation is unique and the audio is a kicking B&O system. The EV enthusiast crowd is all over this message, and it’s contagious.

The other cool car we got to see at Fully Charged Live USA was the Porsche Taycan, so this fun commercial with a twist will have you smiling and wishing for a chance to drive it. And 616 hp (750 with Overpower)! This extended cut is even better than the one you saw during the game.

Lastly, while this isn’t a car commercial, it includes James Bond and Aston Martin. You can’t get much better than that.

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