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2012 Audi A4 Allroad review

  • New Audi A4 Allroad tested
  • Cosmetic updates, lower CO2 emissions
  • On sale now, from 31,475
Words ByMark Pearson

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The Audi A4 Allroad has been given the same cosmetic and fuel-saving updates as the A4 saloon and A4 Avant.

Exterior changes include a new design for the bonnet and grille, while the headlights are more angular than on the outgoing car. A continuous band of white LED lighting replaces the distinctive Christmas-tree style lights.

Changes at the rear include new lights and bumper mouldings, and the interior gets new materials and trim, along with a simpler infotainment system.

The Allroad comes with a choice of three more efficient engines: a 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol, a 242bhp 3.0 TDI diesel and a 175bhp 2.0 TDI, which we tested. This produces 7bhp than the engine it replaces, but average economy improves from 45mpg to 46.3mpg, while CO2 is also improved at 159g/km.

Whats the 2012 Audi A4 Allroad like to drive?
The revised 2.0 TDI diesel engine is the best part of the car. Its remarkably good; smooth and refined up to the red line, and flexible low down.

The new electromechanical steering system improves efficiency cutting CO2 by up to 7g/km. Our car came with the optional Drive Select system which allows you to adjust the steering response but this makes the steering feel a curiously weighted and short on feedback.

Cornering is safe and predictable, if uninspiring, and the firm suspension can thud alarmingly over poorer surfaces.

Whats the 2012 Audi A4 Allroad like inside?
The A4 Allroads updated interior is good looking and well laid out, while the revised MMI system is easier to use, with fewer buttons. However, some of the materials disappoint, and the driving position is compromised by Audi's off-set pedals.

Although theres plenty of room in the front, the rear space is tight for adults. The boot is generously sized, though, and access is excellent.

Should I buy one?
The updates especially the refined 2.0 TDI engine add appeal to the Allroad.

However, its occasional off-road abilities come at a premium: a regular front-wheel-drive A4 Avant with the same engine achieves 12mpg more, is better to drive, and costs nearly 3000 less to buy.

Rivals:
BMW X3 review
Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

What Car? says

Mark Pearson