Car reviews - Audi - A4 - Allroad
1.8T quattro sedan
2.0 Multitronic sedan
2.0 TDI sedan
2.0 TDIe sedan
2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport
2.0 TFSI range
3.0 TDI quattro sedan
Allroad 2.0 TFSI Quattro
Avant 2.0 TFSI 5-dr wagon
Avant 2.0 TFSI Quattro Sport
Avant 5-dr wagon range
RS4 5-dr wagon
S Line Avant 5-dr wagon
Ride and handling, top-quality cabin, chunky SUV-like styling, fuel economy, sprightly turbo-diesel engine
Room for improvement
Expensive, rear legroom, occasional dash rattle, turbo lag
8 Mar 2013
Price and equipment
AS its name suggests, the A4 Allroad is based on the A4 Avant and is priced at $69,900 plus on roads.
Conceptually similar cars including the Skoda Octavia Scout and the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack are cheaper by $26,000 or $20,000 respectively.
It can be argued of course that the Audi is a more premium offering and should therefore carry a higher sticker price, but how much more should you be paying over a couple of vehicles that also hail from the Volkswagen Group?
The Allroad is also $10,000 more expensive than the regular A4 Avant 2.0 TDI which retails for $60,900. But, then again, it is also just $2400 more expensive than the 2.0-litre petrol all-wheel drive A4 Avant, which seems much more reasonable.
The Allroad gets a few more goodies and SUV-like styling flourishes such as cladding on the lower part of the vehicle, beefier wheel arches and roof rails, and some people will be happy to pay the extra for the more macho-looking version.
For the extra outlay you also get a higher ride, with the Allroad adding 37mm to the ground clearance of the regular A4 Avant for a total of 180mm.
Because it is an all-wheel drive, Audi has also included an off-road driving program that can identify road surfaces and adjust the traction control when needed.
Standard features include a seven-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation and rear-view parking camera, Bluetooth, 10-speaker sound system, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Xenon headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels.
There is one thing that the A4 Allroad has over its competitors and that is exclusivity. Audi has allocated just 150 units for the Allroad’s first year of sale in Australia and will gauge the response before making a decision on whether to increase that number.
AFTER recently spending some time in the entry-level variant of Audi’s top-selling Q5 mid-size SUV, we came away a little disappointed with the less-than premium feel of the cabin.
We are happy to report that the interior of the Allroad is a much more luxurious affair.
A lot of darkly coloured materials are used but the cabin is far from gloomy. In fact there is a lovely cosseting feel about the interior of the Allroad which is due in part to the size of the vehicle and the design of the interior.
Dash materials have a quality feel and the leather used on both the seats and the steering wheel feel top notch.
The dash has a much more appealing design than the Q5 and there is no question you are sitting in an Audi.
As with other Audis we have driven recently, the Allroad’s sat-nav and infotainment controls are easily accessible in the centre console and you don’t need a physics degree to operate them.
Sound quality for the Bluetooth audio and phone is of a high standard.
The Allroad test car had an occasional rattle that we think was coming from under the centre of the dash, close to the audio speakers and while it wasn’t constant, it was a slightly irritating distraction.
Somewhat unfairly, we tested the rear seat legroom by ferrying a six foot two adult male around Melbourne who said that it was a tad squishy in the back. We imagine children would fare better.
Boot space for the Allroad is 490 litres with the seats up and 1430 litres with them down – the Passat Alltrack and Octavia Scout have 588 and 580 litre capacities respectively seats-up.
, Engine and transmission
AUDI’S 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that powers the Allroad is lifted straight from other variants in the A4 line-up and paired with the Quattro all-wheel drive system.
Outputs of 130kW and 380Nm are enough to propel the 1670kg crossover with gusto. A zero to 100km/h sprint time of 8.1 seconds is sprightly, and there is plenty of torque on tap once on the move.
The seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission was generally imperceptible in regular D mode, but held onto low gears for too long in S mode pottering around town.
While Audi’s auto stop/start function is great for saving fuel, when combined with a turbo-diesel, there was a noticeable delay when accelerating.
This wasn’t a problem until we had to put our foot down to make it through a busy Melbourne intersection after a being slowed by a texting driver in front of us.
We made it through unscathed but we were very much aware of it after that.
Our drive in the Allroad took us from the streets of Melbourne to the Golden Plains Shire near Geelong and we managed to better Audi’s fuel consumption figure of 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.
We recorded an impressive 5.3L/100km for highway driving and 5.6L/100km around town.
Ride and handling
HAVING a slightly higher ride and SUV-like styling thankfully did not translate to the handling and performance of the German-built car.
The Allroad has A4 underpinnings meaning it handled well and was not lofty enough to have any body roll issues. In fact, when we first sat in the Allroad, we did not even notice the additional ride height.
Taking the Allroad on some winding country roads was a pleasant experience, with the vehicle holding its nerve and tucking in neatly, even when it was being pushed into corners.
We didn’t get a chance to see how the Allroad managed on the rough stuff but given that it is based on a mid-size station wagon, we probably wouldn’t take it to the outback or test its ability on a hardcore off-road track.
In saying that, the bumps that we encountered on our drive through the city streets and on country highways were soaked up beautifully by the Allroad.
Overall, while the ride of the Allroad didn’t set us on fire, it certainly provided a spirited and even sporty drive that left very little to complain about.
Safety and servicing
THE Audi A4 range has a five-star ANCAP safety rating and the Allroad is kitted out with all of the necessary goodies including eight airbags, the Attention Assist fatigue detection system, Audi’s electronic stabilisation program with an off-road detection system and speed-sensitive power steering.
Audi covers the high-riding A4 with a three year unlimited kilometre warranty and the service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km.
THERE is clearly a lot to like about the A4 Allroad.
It looks a bit sexy and has a beautifully laid out interior with high quality materials that feel classy and easy-to-use gadgets.
Fuel economy was excellent and the turbo-diesel engine was impressive, despite the turbo lag.
Audi has produced a dynamically solid car that was a pleasure to drive around town and on a lazy Sunday drive in the country.
But with a number of cheaper rivals that also hail from Europe, is $69,900 too much to pay for a jacked-up A4 wagon?
Some people won’t question the value of the Allroad, given that the limited allocation provides instant exclusivity, while others will deal with a less-premium European badge for around $20,000 in change.
For those willing to fork out the extra cash, they will enjoy a very competent, stylish and well-rounded prestige offering.
And with such limited availability, you are all but guaranteed to be the only person on your block with one parked in the driveway.
1. Volkswagen Passat Alltrack 2.0 125TDI – From $47,790 plus on-road costs. Generous specification levels, excellent fuel economy and clear value for money make this a tempting proposition.
2. Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 103TDI Premium – From $43,990 plus on-road costs. Skoda offers even better value for money but misses out on the performance of the Audi and the Volkswagen.
3. Subaru Forester 2.0D-S From $43,990 plus on-road costs. An Asutralian favourite, the Forester might not have the badge cache of the European cars but it is a solid performer off road and good value.
Make and model: Audi A4 Allroad Quattro 2.0 TDI
, Engine type: 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel
, Layout: All-wheel drive
, Power: 130kW @ 4200
, Torque: 380Nm @ 2500
, Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
, 0-100km: 8.1 seconds
, Fuel consumption: 6.0L/100km
, CO2 rating: 156g/km
, Dimensions: 4721mm long/ 1841 wide/ 1495 high/ 2805mm wheelbase
, Weight: 1670kg
, Suspension: Five link front/independent-wheel trapezoidal link rear
, Steering: Electromechanical steering
, Price: $69,900
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