Bottom line: The 2014 Audi Allroad Quattro wagon is probably the best all-wheel-drive compact wagon available. It has a 7.1-inch ground clearance and a well-engineered 40-60 front/rear torque-split all-wheel-drive system. As such, it is a good deal. But beware of very expensive options pricing.

Ride, acceleration, handling: It gets excellent marks in all three, with one minor demerit. The exhaust note, the sound exiting the exhaust system, is reminiscent of the singing voice of a hoarse drunk.

Head-turning quotient: It is attractive in a stately, upscale sort of way.

Body style/layout: This is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive compact wagon based largely on the Audi A4 sedan. It has good ground clearance and underbody cladding to facilitate snow travel and light off-road use. The body is unitized steel construction with an aluminum hood. It is available in three trim levels — Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige.

Engine/transmission: It comes with a turbocharged, 16-valve, in-line 2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing. It is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually.

The Audi allroad Quattro. (Audi/Audi )

Capacities: Seating for five people. Cargo capacity is 27.6 cubic feet with all seats up and 50.5 cubic feet with rear seats folded. The fuel tank holds 16.1 gallons (premium gasoline is recommended).

Mileage: I averaged 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; turn-signal mirrors; high-pressure headlamp washers; dusk-sensing headlamps; and front and rear side and head air bags.

Price: The base price of the 2014 Audi Allroad Quattro wagon is $40,700, with a dealer’s invoice price of $37,852. Price as tested is $48,745, including $7,150 in options (onboard navigation with rearview backup camera, heated front seats, power tailgate, three-zone climate control and other items) and an $895 factory-to-dealer transportation charge. Estimated dealer’s price as tested is $44,100.