allroad quattro 2.0 TFSI 252PS S tronic
cars continue to pull
customers away from crossovers,
and none more so than estate cars
equipped with the four-wheel drive
that many pseudo SUVs lack
and without which they can let you
down precisely when you most
need to get a grip...
FIRST PORT OF CALL, if you're looking for a premium all-wheel drive estate,
has to be an Audi dealership. The 'four-rings' brand just keeps introducing
more new models, each tantalisingly better than the last, the latest batch of
which includes the newly-arrived A4 allroad quattro.
Yes, it's based on the A4 Avant estate; Yes, it's more rugged; and Yes, of course
it comes with Audi's renowned quattro all-wheel drive system that the brand
have been refining for the past four decades and which a third of customers
now specify on their new Audi.
Putting an allroad on your drive will require a minimum spend of £37K which,
given its dual on/off-road character and all-weather five-seating/load-lugging
capabilities, is actually a pretty good price.
higher-riding allroad appears, at first glance, to be exactly what it's based
on: a mid-sized A4 Avant estate… however, the eagle-eyed will quickly spot the
additional ground clearance there's 34mm of it over the regular A4 Avant
which might not seem a lot but that old saying about 'every little bit helps'
is as true today as when it was first uttered four hundred years ago.
its the same
tasteful first class cabin
already defining the A4
saloons and estates
beautifully tailored from
high quality materials,
its a great place to
spend time whether
youre the one gripping
the flat-bottomed sports
steering wheel or youre
just along for the ride...
Look closer and you might also notice that the allroad's grille is bigger and
more 'in-your-mirror' when coming up behind other cars, plus there's a protective
skid-plate under the shapelier front bumper; and you certainly won't miss the
black-finished 'body-cladding-style' wheelarches linked by matching protective
side sill extensions.
There are just two models to choose between badged 'allroad' and 'allroad
Sport'. Engine choices take in a 252hp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol and three turbodiesels;
a 190hp 2.0-litre, and a 218hp and 272hp 3.0-litre. All come with Audi's S tronic
autoboxes and 4WD. The 252hp petrol 2.0-litre version is marginally different
in that it gets 'quattro with ultra technology'.
'ultra' is used by Audi to designate their most efficient performers, both fuel-
and emissions-wise. In the allroad's case, during normal running, drive to the
rear wheels is temporarily (and intelligently) decoupled although it can be
automatically reactivated in an instant when required. Adding to the substantial
(21%) emissions improvement is the new-generation allroad's 90kg weight loss
over its predecessor, this courtesy of a new platform.
Inside the allroad it's the same tasteful first class cabin already defining
the A4 saloons and estates beautifully tailored from high quality materials,
it's a great place to spend time, particularly on long trips, whether you're
the one gripping the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel or you're just along
for the ride.
It's unexpectedly spacious inside and exceptionally driver-friendly with engineered-feel
switchgear and logically arranged controls and crystal clear dials most
welcome is the comprehensively customisable instrument display that allows the
driver, at the flick of a switch, to resize the dials and use the live navigation
map for a practical real-time background; add to that a very multifunction wheel
with an agreeably grippy satin black rim plus paddle-shifters and a first rate
driving position and you have a cabin you'll not just be happy to spend lots
of time in but one that you'll also be very reluctant to leave.
seats can be taken for granted although you might not have been expecting the
full fist of air between the top of your head and the roof; there's also plenty
of space around your shoulders too, and more than enough of it for you to cheerfully
share the central armrest with your front passenger who will, for their part,
appreciate their wide outer armrest. Finding favour with your passenger too
will be the beautifully-integrated, full-width air-vent strip in the sculpted
mode lets you noticeably
soften the allroads
sportily-firm ride to
ensure non-tiring, long-
haul road trips.
And thats not to say you
lose out dynamically
pressing on in Comfort
even on twisty B-roads it
still feels very grippily
gung-ho, holding its line
looking the biz is the classy satin black oak trim, plus there's a full-house
of high-end kit including a satin alloy engine start button, WiFi smartphone
charging, electric parking brake, 3-zone climate control (operated by delightfully-knurled
knobs), a pin-sharp 7-inch central infotainment display for the foolproof and
intuitive MMI interface and SatNav that's made even more user-friendly by 3D
landmarks and 3D street-plan or Google Earth view maps.
Incidentally, it's not a touchscreen; and all the better for it! Sometimes it
seems as though the car-world has gone touch-mad but operating everything from
a touchscreen on the move over never-perfect blacktop takes your attention away
from the road for far longer than using a knob or switch that, night or day,
you can find without looking.
Other desirable kit includes fiercely-good three-stage heated front seats, a
rear parking camera with selectable multi views (front, rear, front and rear
corners, and overhead bird's-eye) that's a big help for hands-on parking
or you can just leave it to the electronic on-board 'parking jockey' to find
you a space and then parallel or perpendicular park for you.
There's also Audi's Drive Select with its instantaneously switchable driving
modes (a choice of Comfort, Efficiency, Off-Road, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual
covers every set of road/driving conditions, each modifying the suspension settings,
handling, steering weight and engine response) along with essential driver aids
such as traffic sign recognition not just for speed but also things like
upcoming road works displayed on the central display's maps and in the
instrument panel so you're always aware.
the foregoing you can see that this new A4 allroad's pretty much got the lot.
In addition to everything already mentioned there are also one-shot power windows
and powerfold heated door mirrors (autofold on leaving), a frameless auto-dimming
rearview mirror, drive-off auto door locking, cruise control and speed limiter,
Audi Smartphone interface, front and rear parking sensors, a cooled glovebox,
powered tailgate, Xenon headlights, 17-inch alloys shod with 255/55 rubber,
plus driver aids such as Downhill Assist (manages the car's descent down steep
gradients by maintaining a constant speed), Pre-Sense City Brake Assist, Rear
Cross Traffic Assist, distance warning to the vehicle ahead and even advance
prompts to lift off in good time when approaching junctions, etc.
independent suspension at the front and rear, using Drive Select's Comfort mode
lets you noticeably soften the allroad's sportily-firm ride to ensure non-tiring,
long-haul road trips. And that's not to say you lose out dynamically pressing
on in Comfort even on twisty B-roads it still feels very grippily gung-ho,
holding its line tenaciously through bends.
at low or high
speeds, ask for more
and the engine gives it
willingly and without
fuss. While most of the
time it delivers its thrust
fluently without any
audible fireworks, in
Sport mode youll hear an
growl that fits nicely with
Dynamic serves up an encouragingly sharp and focused handling mode. And if you
do decide to put the pedal to the metal, don't you fret about the extra ground
clearance because body control is well managed and precision cornering, helped
by the fact that from behind the wheel you can see the corners of the bonnet,
is a fact of allroad life.
Under the low profile bonnet sits Audi's turboed and direct injected inline-four.
In 2.0 TFSI 252PS guise it punches out a persuasive 248bhp backed-up by 272lb
ft of torque with drive, via a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, to
all four wheels. Which is more than enough to push it past 150mph and see it
sprint to the benchmark 62mph in 6.1 seconds.
Travelling at low or high speeds, ask for more and the engine gives it willingly
(peak torque stretches from 1,600 to 4,500rpm) and without fuss. While most
of the time it delivers its thrust fluently without any audible fireworks (which,
to be honest, is exactly what you want in a discreetly quick car like this),
in Sport mode you'll hear an agreeably hard-edged growl that fits nicely with
its point-and-squirt dynamics.
journeys are made more pleasurable by its refined, long-legged cruising ability
although care is needed as 90mph feels deceptively like fifty. Those with a
penchant for pressing-on will be glad about the ease with which they can toggle
between Drive and Sport: just lightly pull back the selector lever to switch
between them. Of course, if you're in the mood for some manual shifting the
paddle-shifters are at your fingertips' command. And when you do reach journey's
end, a convenient feature is the 'Park' button on the side of the selector knob.
Running on the standard 17-inchers, the official Combined Cycle fuel consumption
is 44.1mpg with 147g/km of CO2 emitted. A fondness for driving in Dynamic mode
saw our week's hard-driven test average come out at 37.7mpg but a modicum of
restraint will definitely benefit your plastic come fill-up time.
relegated to travelling in the rear cabin will be cosseted and pampered to the
same degree as those travelling up front, with their own climate controls, decent
headroom and armrests both between them and on the doors, with conveniently-sited
cupholders; they also sit about six inches higher and enjoy fine views out as
well as relaxing backrest angles on their well-padded soft leather seats.
allroads boot is
an accommodating 505
litres sure to be big
enough for most.
Access is through a fast-
tailgate made even better
by a roller luggage blind
that opens and closes
automatically with the
The allroad's boot measures an accommodating 505 litres, which is sure to be
big enough for most. Access is through a fast-acting power-operated tailgate
made even better by a roller luggage blind that opens and closes automatically
with the tailgate. Neat. And if you're stacking to the roof there's a sturdy
mesh pull-up 'load guard' installed along the top of the rear seats.
If you need to make use of the full loadbay, the versatile 40:20:40-split rear
seats can be quickly folded to create a cargo bay with a seamless floor ready
to swallow 1,510 litres. And should you need to tow, the allroad will pull a
1,900kg braked trailer; or you can carry 90kg on the roof.
The A4 allroad offers a genuine and stylish alternative to a road-hogging SUV.
It also comes with premium build quality that's apparent in every corner of
its roomy cabin, plus practical and versatile load space. Most important of
all though is its ability, on road and off, sunshine or snow, to make easy work
of taking the rough with the smooth. ~ MotorBar
Audi A4 allroad quattro 2.0 TFSI 252PS S tronic
Maximum speed: 153mph | 0-62mph: 6.1 seconds | Test Average: 37.7mpg
Power: 248bhp | Torque: 272lb ft | CO2: 147g/km