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Driven: Audi revives its A4 Allroad

High rider: The A4 Allroad is now a permanent fixture in Audi's line-up, a shift from the outgoing model that was limited to 150 units.

A4 Allroad pitched as premium as Audi boosts its luxury features

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Audi logo5 May 2015

By NEIL DOWLING

AUDI is taking advantage of an increasing number of buyers moving into crossover station wagons with the launch this week of its refreshed A4 Allroad.

A smaller sibling to the long-standing A6 Allroad, the high-riding A4 Allroad arrives with a lift in standard comfort equipment and a new beefier diesel engine ahead of the expected debut of the next-generation A4 series next year.

Audi Australia senior product communications executive Shaun Cleary said the Allroad was a popular choice in the current A4 wagon line-up.

“Almost half of all A4 Avant (wagon) buyers opt for the Allroad variant,” he said. “This is similar to the trend set by the A6.”

In the bigger A6 range, Audi has dropped the Avant and retained only the Allroad and the fire-breathing RS6 as the wagon derivatives. However, the same cutbacks have not occurred with the A4, with three existing Avant variants remaining alongside the latest A4 Allroad.

Priced from $70,500 plus on-road costs, the A4 Allroad is $600 more expensive than its predecessor, which was introduced in 2012 in a limited run of 150 units.

Mr Cleary said the company now expects to sell about 20 units a month, more than double the volume of the A6 Allroad, which starts from $111,900 plus on-road costs.

The 2015 update for the A4 Allroad brings extra safety and convenience equipment together with a low-emissions Euro 6-compliant diesel engine already in service in the A4 sedan range.

Featuring an upgraded turbocharger and new engine mapping software, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder oil-burner produces 140kW of power and 400Nm of torque – up 10kW/20Nm over the previous version – and drives all four wheels via a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system.

The 0-100km/h dash takes 7.8 seconds – a 0.3s improvement – while official combined-cycle fuel consumption is 5.6 litres per 100 kilometres, or 0.4L/100km less than before.

The level of standard equipment is high and includes Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, a 10-speaker 180-Watt sound system (including Bluetooth and audio streaming), satellite navigation with a large touchscreen, three-zone climate-control air-conditioning and leather-appointed upholstery.

It also features front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, eight airbags and keyless entry/start.

Buyers can move up through three option packages with extra safety, technology and comfort features.

The technology pack includes a premium Bang & Olufsen audio, in-car internet connectivity and adaptive headlights for $2308. The comfort pack has 18-inch alloy wheels, memory functions for seats and mirrors and an electric tailgate for $2923 (an extra $1000 brings 19-inch wheels).

There is also a safety-oriented ‘assistance pack’ with autonomous emergency braking and a lane departure warning system for $1300, or $2146 when including the ‘side assist’ program.

Compared with the Q5 SUV, the A4 Allroad sits 20mm lower. It costs almost $8000 more than the equivalent Q5 but has more equipment, a more powerful engine and is more economical.

The other key differentiator is that the A4 Allroad has more car-like ride and handling attributes.

The Allroad has a useable boot capacity of 490 litres and up to 1430 litres when the rear seats are folded. The Q5, by comparison, offers between 540L and 1560L.

There are few, if any, direct rivals to the A4 Allroad, with the Passat Alltrack from its own Volkswagen Group stable perhaps the closest at 48,290.

Similar money will also net top-spec versions of Subaru’s popular Outback.

Audi A4 Allroad pricing*
2.0 TDI quattro$70,500
*Excludes on-road costs.

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