With decent off-road ability and tonnes of standard features, the classy Audi A4 Allroad has no limits. It's a wonderful estate car built for family adventures.
Lovely cabin, great tech
Handling is uninspiring
At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the A4 Allroad was the same as the A4 Avant. They use most of the same panels, have mostly the same features and you can get Audi quattro on both. The A4 Allroad is actually 3.4cm taller. So, if the A4 Allroad sits somewhere between the A4 Avant quattro and the Audi Q5 Estate SUV in an already crowded four-wheel-drive market, is it worth considering?
It faces some tough competition from the likes of the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Subaru Outback, Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain and the Volvo V60 Cross Country. While it may not be a fully-fledged SUV, it does offer improved ground clearance over the standard A4 Avant, a set of roof rails and a bit of extra protective cladding on the car’s underbody which should, theoretically, provide better off-road ability. In reality, if you’re rarely straying off the beaten track you’ll be perfectly fine with the standard Audi A4 with quattro. If you tend to do a lot of motorway driving, you may even prefer the standard A4, as you’ll start to notice the extra wind buffeting in the wheel arches as a consequence of the increased ride height.
The A4 Allroad only comes in one trim, but this includes pretty much everything you could want. The stylish cabin packs in everything from Audi’s class-leading MMI Navigation plus and Audi Virtual Cockpit to Android Auto and Apple Carplay for your smartphone, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav, climate control and more.
So, it’s a luxury estate car that you’ll be able to take off-road, even if not very far.
Nice and simple. The A4 allroad comes in just one trim! It comes with 18-inch '5-V-spoke' alloy wheels, LED headlights with LED rear lights and dynamic rear indicators, cruise control, Audi parking system plus with rear-view camera as well as Audi’s brilliant MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system with MMI Touch and Audi Virtual Cockpit *gasps for air*.
The A4 Allroad borrows most of its design cues from the standard A4 Avant. The most noticeable differences include silver bars across the grille, a roof rack and a slightly increased ground clearance.
The A4 Allroad comes with a choice of 3 different engines: a 2.0-litre Sport 40 TDI S tronic, 2.0-litre Sport 45 TFSI S tronic, and a 3.0-litre Sport 50 TDI tiptronic. The 2.0-litre diesel has plenty of performance and runs nice and smoothly for a 4 cylinder. The 3.0-litre options are even smoother however, and you’ll barely notice the extra fuel consumption in the lowest-power V6.
The 40 TDI diesel engine will see you from 0-62mph in a reasonably quick 7.9 seconds, topping out at 137mph. The 45 TFSI petrol engine shaves nearly 2 seconds off that time while pushing the top speed to 153mph. The 50 TDI is capped at 155mph but manages 0-62mph in a brisk 5.3 seconds.
There's plenty of steering wheel and seat adjustment to reinforce the A4 Allroad's ethos of luxurious comfort.
Those looking for a car with a high driving position may be slightly frustrated by the minimal amount of height adjustment on offer.
The quattro all-wheel-drive system ensures that none of the engine’s power goes to waste and the car remains firmly planted in the wet. The extra height and weight means that there is a little more body lean in corners and the steering isn’t quite as precise as the standard A4 Avant. This isn’t a car you’ll find yourself wanting to throw with gusto into every corner that presents itself, but it’s enjoyable to drive nonetheless.
The Allroad’s raised suspension glides across all but the most uneven surfaces. Adaptive dampers are an option, but it feels like damper control goes too far at either extreme: Comfort mode feels a little too floaty while Dynamic makes jagged roads all too jarring.