Audi A4 Allroad long-term test

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...

2018 Audi A4 Allroad LT office
2018 Audi A4 Allroad LT office
  • 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 9233 Official economy 55.4mpg Test economy 40.1mpg 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)

7 November 2018 – an office on wheels?

A few months back, when I took delivery of my Audi A4 Allroad long-termer, I had predicted that I’d barely see it. It turns out I was right, with the Allroad finding itself in France, up North and in a Gatwick Airport car park for a week or more at a time.

But after more than a month of waiting (well, it felt like that), I finally found myself back in the comfortable leather seats of the Allroad. The trouble was it wasn't the driver’s seat I was occupying. Instead, I found myself using the rear bench as a mobile office on the way back from Millbrook Proving Ground after a day of extensive testing.

With senior reviewer Neil Winn at the wheel, I was left to take new recruit Becky Wells through the finer points of uploading content to the What Car? website. We quickly found an issue, however: although the Allroad's squishy suspension is great when you’re driving, it can lead to some queasy feelings should you be hunched over a laptop in the back when your driver is pressing on over country roads.

Audi A4 Allroad

A switch from Comfort to Dynamic driving mode helped things out, although to avoid any unnecessary cleaning bills, we decided to wait until we got to the motorway before continuing our work. Thankfully, the standard fit three-zone climate control meant the rear of the car could be cooled down, banishing any sickly feelings.

And with a smartphone stuck in one of the pop-out cupholders built into the rear central armrest proving an internet connection and laptops perched on our knees, the Allroad came good. With the suspension back in Comfort mode and the engine revving slowly in seventh gear, it provided a quiet and relaxing space in which to conduct business. Indeed, the only fly in the ointment was some blustering above our heads caused by the roof rack that colleague Will Nightingale had bolted on for his holidays.

Needless to say, I’m now gagging to spend a bit more time in the Allroad. Thankfully, I’m attending a new car launch in Newcastle shortly. A 660-mile trip from home to the venue and back home should well and truly scratch that itch.

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