Audi A4 Allroad review
The Audi A4 Avant-based Allroad 4x4 offers limited off-road ability and a comfortable ride
Based on the Audi A4 Avant, the Audi A4 Allroad is aimed at drivers who want extra off-road performance, but not a full-sized 4x4. It's equipped with four-wheel drive, and its upgraded suspension is 37mm higher than standard – but it's just 20 millimetres lower than the rugged Q5. It also gets a specially developed off-road ESP system, designed to help control the car on steep, slippery descents. Extra body protection is also fitted, and includes plastic wheelarches and rugged bumpers designed to protect the car from light scratches and dents.
Our choice: A4 Allroad 2.0 TDI quattro
It might look gimmicky, but the tough bodykit worn by the A4 allroad is actually very functional. The extra protection is both robustly built, and quite stylish. It also helps advertise the fact that this is no "normal" Audi A4 Avant. Inside, the cabin is beautifully finished – we particularly like the full-colour satellite navigation screen, and comfortable seats.
No other Audi A4 rides as smoothly, or feels as comfortable on rough roads as the A4 allroad. Its tall suspension, which is 37mm higher than standard, gives the car a far softer set up. There's a bit more bodyroll in corners, but not as much as you might expect. The engine range includes 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesels and one 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol. All deliver strong acceleration, but the big diesel is fastest, recording the 0-62mph sprint in less than 7.0 seconds. Our favourite, the 2.0-litre diesel is slower, covering the benchmark sprint in only 8.9 seconds. However, on the open road, it feels just as competent, accelerating easily past slower moving motorway traffic.
There are no official Euro NCAP crash test performance figures for the Audi A4 allroad, as the agency has never tested the car. However, as it's based on the standard A4 – which gets a five-star result – it's fair to assume that the car offers above average protection. It gets front, side and curtain airbags as standard.
There's a large boot and plenty of cabin stowage space, but the key appeal of the Audi A4 allroad is its off-road performance. It will tackle muddy roads with ease, and if you regularly tow horse boxes, caravans or trailers across rough terrain, its four-wheel-drive transmission offers lots of grip. Rear seats are spacious, offering a good blend of leg and headroom.
The 2.0-litre diesel-engined A4 allroad offers the best fuel economy, but it's worth bearing in mind that the petrol-engined car will be as cheap to run, particularly if you don't plan on buying the allroad as a company car. There's little to choose between the two in terms of purchase price, and despite a higher CO2 figure, the petrol car is almost as fuel efficient, returning 40mpg, versus the diesel car's 46mpg. At today's fuel prices, the petrol car is actually cheaper per mile on fuel.