Is the Audi Allroad better than its predecessor?

Automobile recently tested the new Audi Allroad, based on the new B9-generation Audi A4. The editor that had the opportunity to test it for the week was Arthur St. Antoine, who previouly had a 2013 long-term Audi Allroad test car with Motor Trend. So he’s quite familiar with the old Allroad and is able to say with experience whether or not this new car is an improvement over the old one. Considering that the new B9-generation A4, upon which the new Allroad is based, is better than the B8-generation A4, upon which the aforementioned 2013 Allroad was based, it’s no surprise that the new car is better. A lot better.

Under the hood of the new Audi Allroad lies a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Those power figures are up from the 211 hp and 258 lb-ft of the old car. The new car also gets a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, rather than the old car’s eight-speed auto. When combined, the new car is far snappier from 0-60 mph, doing the sprint in 5.9 seconds. That’s a good bit slower than the standard A4 but it’s still pretty good for a car that weighs as much as the Allroad and has as much cargo space.

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But don’t expect the Audi Allroad do be some sort of go-fast wagon with good cargo space. Thanks to its Quattro Ultra system, it’s actually front-wheel drive most of the time but switches to all-wheel drive when necessary. So grip through corners isn’t as good and off-the-line acceleration isn’t as quick as the sedan. It also lacks a bit of handling precision and isn’t as enjoyable to drive. However, it makes up for that with supreme ride comfort and luxury.

Inside, the cabin is stunning, just as it is in the A4. Rich leather, burl wood trim and remarkable build quality make it a lovely place to be. And remember, the Audi Allroad is a luxury car and not some sort of rugged outdoor car. It can handle a bit of snow but barely anymore than the sedan. The only extra help for off-roading is its extra 1.3 inches of ground clearance, which is about the same increase in height as a king-sized Snickers.

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Realistically, the Audi Allroad is an Audi A4 Avant in all but name and look. It has the same engine, transmission, interior and cargo space. The only real differences are the ever-so-slight increase in ride height and fake rugged body cladding. Having said that, as a car, the new Audi Allroad is quite good. It’s comfortable, luxurious, practical and quick. We’re just bitter that we get it and not the A4 Avant.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.