Audi A4 Allroad 2016-2020 review

Open gallery Close by Matt Prior 16 January 2012 Follow @matty_prior Share

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On the face of it, a conventional estate car modified for light off-road use with the addition of all-wheel drive, raised ground clearance and increased suspension travel would seem to make more sense for many buyers than a contemporary high-rise SUV. And the Audi A4 Allroad is just such a car, an the Audi A4 Avant that has been modified to provide it with the ability to head off-road, albeit not too far. 

The A4 Allroad slots into Audi’s line-up between the Audi A4 Avant quattro and the Audi Q5 SUV, and serves to provide customers with yet another choice in a crowded four-wheel drive market.

The ruggedised A4 Allroad adds off-road talent. Don’t expect Camel Trophy-like ability thoughNic CackettRoad tester

As with the more expensive A6 Allroad, Audi has persisted with black plastic cladding to provide the exterior of the Audi A4 Allroad with a toughened-up appearance. It’s certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but the various styling measures help to instantly set the car apart from its road-biased siblings.

An added 34mm of ride height improves approach and departure angles, while extra cladding along the underbody also provides improved protection to the components underneath.

The Audi A4 Allroad’s cabin is standard Audi A4, so it’s good looking, superbly laid out and generally high in quality. Unlike the previous generation the new Audi A4 Allroad is available in two trims a standard one and a sport level. 

Entry level models get 17in alloys, adaptive suspension configured for comfort, xenon headlights, aluminium exterior trim, cruise control and parking sensors as standard, while inside there is tri-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, city brake assist, and Audi’s 7.0in display MMI infotainment system with Bluetooth, smartphone integration and DAB radio all included.

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Upgrade for a mere £2985 and the Sport trim will equip your A4 Allroad with 18in alloys, LED headlights, Audi’s rear dynamic indicators, acoustic glazing, sports seats, a leather upholstery and sat nav all thrown in as a neat bundle. 

Related Audi A4 Allroad 2016-2020 reviews

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There is a choice of four engines: one petrol and three diesels. They include Audi’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI engine with 248bhp, while the diesel range is headed by a 178bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit, and heading the range is a 3.0-litre V6 oilburner available with 215bhp and 268bhp. Each model is mated to a seven-speed automatic, except the range-topping 3.0-litre V6 which is fitted with an eight-speed ‘box.

It is the excellent and well-proven 2.0-litre four-cylinder TDI that promises to attract the majority of UK sales. The 3.0TDI, as you would expect, delivers performance in a very similar manner to the 2.0-litre version, only more so. The 268bhp version is the fastest of the four Allroads, with a 0-62mph time of 5.5sec and a top speed of 155mph. It suffers only marginally compared to the smaller diesel in fuel consumption, with a combined figure of 53.3mpg compared to the 2.0TDI’s 57.6mpg.

The 2.0TFSI petrol option combines good performance (0-62mph in 6.1sec) and decent efficiency (44.1mpg and 147g/km when equipped with the manual). Being turbocharged, it also delivers its power in a similar fashion to the diesels, with a linear delivery of its 258lb ft.  However, given the off-road bent of the Allroad, the extra torque of the diesels would be preferable.

And given its twin roles, the A4 Allroad is surprisingly competent. You get a commanding view of the road (although not as commanding as from within a dedicated SUVs), yet in overall on-road ability it is virtually indistinguishable from the standard Audi A4 Avant. To offset a slightly higher centre of gravity, Audi has provided the A4 Allroad with 20mm wider tracks, achieved by fitting redesigned wheel carriers rather than altering the fundamental mechanical package.

Audi A4 news

Upgraded Audi A4 to become new A5 as firm rebrands line-up Upgraded Audi A4 to become new A5 as firm rebrands line-up Audi approves V6 diesel engines for use with renewable fuels Audi approves V6 diesel engines for use with renewable fuels Nearly new buying guide: Audi A4 Nearly new buying guide: Audi A4 James Ruppert: Trade up to an older model James Ruppert: Trade up to an older model

Firm damping ensures body roll is well contained, and while it leans more than the A4 Avant, it never quite builds to the levels evident in the Audi Q5. There is a drawback to the increased ride height, though, and it can be felt at high speeds, where wind buffeting within the wheel arches upsets the Audi A4’s straight-line stability.

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