Audi A4 Allroad Quattro Road Test
Review by Tristan Tancredi - 10 April 2013
To put it as simply as possible, the Audi A4 Allroad Quattro is basically a higher riding (with more ground clearance), off-road capable version of the A4 Wagon.
Last week we drove the VW Passat Alltrack. A vehicle that sits between the VW passenger range and the VW SUV range. The A4 Allroad Quattro is basically Audi's version of the same strategy sitting somewhere between the A4 range and the SUV (Q5) range.
Utilising a mighty 2.0L TDI engine with 7-Speed S-Tronic transmission, the A4 Allroad Quattro is doing its best to bring attention back to the passenger wagon market. Let's take a look why.
After picking up the keys from the friendly folk at Audi, we planted ourselves inside the high quality wagon that is the Audi A4 Allroad (pleasant change from the ever increasing popularity of the SUV). We initiated the push start button to get the engine purring, released the electromechanical parking brake and we were off for a week of luxury and comfort.
The Quattro All-Wheel-Drive system combined with a lower on road position (compared to the Q-range) provides extremely smooth and dynamic handling and steering of the A4 Allroad. Across a variety of terrain, both rough and smooth, the Allroad excels in all aspects of on-road performance.
There are limitations to the off-road capabilities of the A4 Allroad. Simply put, it works best over brief stints off-road. The occasional trip outback for instance.
The Allroad Utlises a 7-Speed S-Tronic transmission which is dynamic, refined and highly capable.
A Start/Stop system, which automatically shuts off the engine when coming to a full stop and restarts when the foot is released from the brake pedal, is smooth, the response is swift and, after time, becomes barely noticeable.
A reversing camera with an overly sensitive warning system (constantly beeped for no apparent reason), is a nice addition to an already impressive features list.
Access to all vehicle information, whether it be oil levels, tyre pressure, fuel usage, service bookings, etc, can all be ascertained via the central control unit.
Audi utilises a powerful 2.0L TDI engine with common rail diesel technology. This refined engine is a genuine beauty! It's dynamic, efficient and the perfect fit for an Allroad Wagon.
Delivering impressive power output of 130kW at 4200rpm and even better torque figures of 380Nm at 1750-2500rpm. There is never a dull moment behind the wheel of the A4 Allroad. The engine is always up to the demands of the driver. Starts are crisp, overtaking is a breeze and when coasting along, the diesel engine is barely audible inside the cabin.
The strong 380Nm of torque means that the A4 Allroad has some serious gusto, thus when heading off the tarmac onto off-road terrain, the vehicle is highly capable. Reaching 0-100km/h in 8.1 seconds is hardly a figure to laugh at for quite a heavy wagon (1705kg).
Thanks to the previously mentioned Start/Stop system, the A4 Allroad is also a highly fuel efficient vehicle with a listed fuel consumption rating of 6.0L per 100kms. Combining off-road driving, city driving and open freeways we couldn't get the vehicle below 7.0L per 100kms (we averaged 7.5L per 100kms). Mind you, that is still a highly respectable number.
The A4 Allroad strikes an imposing figure in the world of Wagons. In an industry where the SUV has made leaps and bounds over recent years, it is nice to find a wagon that offers buyers impressive "SUV-like" space and design.
A distinguishable addition to the Allroad Wagon is the increased height (37mm) of the body. This allows for the A4 Allroad to sit higher on the road, thus making for a massive 180mm of ground clearance.
This high ground clearance, alongside a widened wheel track and stainless steel underbody protection allows for the Allroad to occasionally be taken off-road.
Another major change to the design of the vehicle is the front grille. Unique vertical struts grace the grille in place of the standard horizontal lines. This says to the public, "this isn't your everyday Audi, this is something special!"
Other notable exterior goodies include; 17" (18" & 19" also available) Allroad Specific aluminum wheels, aluminium roof rails, wheel arch and sill extensions and plenty more high-end features.
As you would expect with such a high quality vehicle, the Audi Allroad is loaded with safety features.
Eight Airbags are positioned strategically within the cabin, these include; Driver and Front Passenger Airbags, Side Airbags for front and Rear Passengers and Head Airbags.
ESP is integral to the Audi safety package. Standing for Electronic Stabilisation Program, ESP with offroad detection system comes with ABS, ASR, EBD, EDL and Brake Assist.
Comfortable leather trim seating comes with electric seats for the driver and front passenger and sets the scene for a high quality, modern interior look.
Black is the dominant colour inside the cabin with flashes of steel grey scattered across the dash and along door linings. The "Quattro" logo sits prominently and proudly above the glove box (Just to remind people this vehicle is All-Wheel-Drive).
There is plenty of space for backseat passengers with an abundance of leg and head room. The automatic opening (and closing) boot has a capacity of 480L. Tri-Zone Climate control is also a feature of the Audi A4 Allroad and is easy to moderate, simple to use and sure to keep all members of the family happy.
SD Cards may be all the hype in Europe (and perhaps Asia), but to be honest I know of no-one in Australia who chooses SD cards as their first choice for media storage. If you do use SD cards to store media ahead of iPods, USB sticks and external hard drives, please let us know!
The Audi is fitted with 2 SD card slots on the front dash with no sign of a USB, Aux or iPod connectivity. You have to open the glovebox to find the iPod connections, yet there was still no sign of an AUX input. We were told by the folk at Audi that an AUX input can be an option.
The media interface and MMI Navigation Plus system is displayed on a 7" display screen. The controls are situated (like all modern Audi's) in the centre console above the transmission lever. This allows for easy guidance of radio, media and navigation requests. The controls are well positioned and perfectly designed to limit on-road distractions for the driver.
The sound is crisp and clear inside the cabin. A 10-Speaker Audi sound system is standard for the Allroad, however an even better Bang & Olufsen system is available at an extra cost.
Other features include; 20GB of music storage and a voice control system.
The catch with such an awesome vehicle, superior in both comfort and performance, is that it comes with a hefty price tag. Priced from $69,900 there are plenty of cheaper alternatives (in both SUV and wagon models).
Inside and out the A4 Allroad Quattro is produced to a very high standard. The 2.0L TDI engine is a beauty and there are no complaints with 7-speed S-tronic transmission.
If you are in the market for a large family car, take a break from the SUV search and check out the Audi A4 Allroad Quattro today.
* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Audi dealer.
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