2016 Audi A4 Allroad quattro Quick Review

Audi boosts the already considerable appeal of the A4 Avant wagon with the Allroad quattro crossover version. We finally drive it in Australian conditions.

Audi A4 Allroad quattro
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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 A4 Allroad quattro
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STRENGTHS

  • 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 A4 Allroad quattro interior
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WEAKNESSES

  • 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.

 

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Byron Mathioudakis
Journalist

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