TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR
Aimed directly at the Volvo XC70 set, albeit in a slightly smaller overall package, the A4 Allroad quattro is unique among cars like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class in that it combines the more traditional premium medium-sized wagon with a crossover. Extra ground clearance and a tougher off-road ready look promise lifestyle and adventure, yet the Audi is still very much a practical, comfortable, safe, and efficient urban family hauler underneath.
- Audi and great design are synonymous. Looking every bit the luxury wagon, the A4 Allroad quattro heaves with eye-catching detailing to put it ahead of the game.
- Real car driveability. Forget lumbering SUVs – the Allroad is about half-way between the regular A4 Avant and the in-house Q5 for ground clearance, yet the easy steering, agile handling, and secure all-weather/all-condition body control.
- The cabin is a masterwork. Eye-catching design fuses practicality and technology to make the Allroad – like all latest-model A4s – feel special inside. Excellent seats, heaps of practicality, and enough room for five adults (and their gear) point to a high degree of efficiency.
- Engineering efficiency. Whether it is the petrol or diesel versions, the A4 Allroad promises to use significantly less fuel than similarly-priced mid-sized luxury SUV alternatives.
- Audi has been very conservative with its styling, so it’s difficult to tell the latest A4 Allroad apart from the limited-run previous-generation version.
- Headline features like the Audi Virtual Cockpit that turns the instrumentation into a vast digitised info/multimedia screen cost extra – so don’t be fooled into thinking all those dazzling brochure features are standard.
- The base price is getting up there at $71,400 for the 2.0 TDI diesel, and $74,400 for the volume-selling 2.0 TFSI petrol variant.
- Firm ride. Though not uncomfortable, the suspension is prone to occasional hard jolts. The solution – adaptive dampers – are expensive options. They ought to be standard.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?
If a raised wagon is what you are after, the A4 Allroad’s closest rival is the Volvo XC70 – but that’s a decade old and feels it in every department. Otherwise it’s one of the myriad medium luxury SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery Sport, or save upwards of $20,000 and buy the Audi’s distantly-related Volkswagen Passat Alltrack cousin. Essentially the same type of thing, not quite as elegant or advanced, but the Vee Dub still delivers. Though just a low-riding wagon, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate is also recommended for similar money to the Allroad.