Audi A4 Allroad long-term test review
These days, it can feel like every other car is an SUV, but the A4 Allroad is a more distinctive choice that promises many of the same strengths. We've added one to our long-term fleet to see if...
- The car Audi A4 Allroad 3.0 TDI 218 quattro Sport
- Run by Alan Taylor-Jones, new cars editor
- Why it’s here To see if a practical family holdall with moderate off-road ability can mean something other than an SUV
- Needs to Provide good long-distance comfort and SUV versatility, while being refined, comfortable and frugal
Price £42,945 Price as tested £52,805 Miles 3854 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 41.2mpg Options fitted Technology Pack (£1395), Parking Assistance Pack (£1350), Comfort and Sound Pack (£1295), electrically adjustable front seats with driver’s memory (£950), damping control (£900), folding towbar (£850), 19in alloy wheels (£750), front sports seats in Milano leather (£750), matrix LED headlights (£650), Quantum Grey solid paint (£645), folding door mirrors with auto-dimming and memory function (£325)
29 August 2018 – A4 vs A4
As a jacked-up version of Audi’s A4 executive car, the A4 Allroad was always likely to be dynamically inferior. After all, raising a vehicle’s centre of gravity makes it lean more dramatically in corners – unless, of course, you firm up the suspension and trash the ride in the process. So, why do I enjoy driving the Allroad variant more than I did the A4 saloon?
It’s all about perception. You see, while the regular A4 is the quietest and most comfortable car in its class, meaning a great way to cover big miles, it’s not fun in the way that the rival Alfa Romeo Giulia, BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE are.
Put simply, these three all make you want to take the long way home, whereas the A4 is more about getting you to your destination with the minimum of fuss, so that you feel relaxed and ready to work.
In many ways, the A4 Allroad isn’t that different; after all, it's only hiked its skirt by 34mm. However, that’s enough to give you an elevated seating position and make it feel like you’re driving an SUV. And the car is lighter and less dynamically compromised than most of those aforementioned rivals, so you actually come away impressed with its agility.
In addition, the A4 Allroad feels secure in any conditions, thanks to its quattro four-wheel drive, whereas a bit of rain used to have my front-wheel-drive A4 saloon scrabbling for traction unless I was very gentle with the accelerator.
Is all this enough to make the A4 Allroad worth the £5000 premium it carries over our favourite A4 Avant, or the £2000 hike over the equivalent quattro model? I know I’d want to find out.
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