2020 Audi A6 Allroad vs. 2020 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The A6 Allroad’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Outback doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the A6 Allroad and Outback have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A6 Allroad has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Outback’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A6 Allroad has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outback doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Allroad Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Outback doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The A6 Allroad has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Outback only offers a rear monitor.

Both the A6 Allroad and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi A6 Allroad weighs 549 to 852 pounds more than the Subaru Outback. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The A6 Allroad comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Outback’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A6 Allroad’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Outback’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The A6 Allroad’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 153 more horsepower (335 vs. 182) and 193 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 176) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The A6 Allroad’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 75 more horsepower (335 vs. 260) and 92 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 277) than the Outback XT’s standard 2.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the A6 Allroad’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Outback doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The A6 Allroad’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Outback doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the A6 Allroad’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:

A6 Allroad

Outback

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the A6 Allroad has larger tires than the Outback (245/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The A6 Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback Base/Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The A6 Allroad’s tires are lower profile than the Outback Onyx Edition XT/Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 Allroad has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback Base/Premium. The Outback’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The A6 Allroad has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Outback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The A6 Allroad has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outback doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A6 Allroad’s wheelbase is 7.1 inches longer than on the Outback (115.2 inches vs. 108.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 Allroad is 3 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the Outback.

Chassis

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The A6 Allroad is 7.2 inches shorter in height than the Outback, making the A6 Allroad much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

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For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the A6 Allroad’s rear seats recline. The Outback’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A6 Allroad easier. The A6 Allroad’s trunk lift-over height is 27 inches, while the Outback’s liftover is 28.4 inches.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the A6 Allroad’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outback doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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The A6 Allroad uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outback uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 28% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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The A6 Allroad’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The A6 Allroad Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outback doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the A6 Allroad and the Outback have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A6 Allroad is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A6 Allroad’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outback’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the A6 Allroad the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Outback can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A6 Allroad’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 Allroad has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Outback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the A6 Allroad to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Outback doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The A6 Allroad’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring/Onyx.

The A6 Allroad has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the Outback.

The A6 Allroad Prestige offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Outback.

The A6 Allroad has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring/Onyx.

Both the A6 Allroad and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A6 Allroad has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in Summer or warm in winter. The Outback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A6 Allroad has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the Outback and isn’t available on the Outback Base.

The A6 Allroad’s optional Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Outback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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